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Friday, August 8, 2008

Toronto Marathon - The Plan

The Race
The Toronto Marathon, October 19th

The Problem
My long runs are only at 16K, and there are only 11 weeks left... so it's going to be a less than perfect ramp-up, and a less than perfect race! I also have a triathlon next weekend (with a 7K run) and a century ride in early September, so there are those interruptions as well.

The Solution
  • Use 10 and 1's (walk breaks) to limit injuries.
  • Rely on my overall endurance, especially from cycling, and my previous running.
  • Ramp up quickly to 20K, then more normally to 30K+

My long run/event plan looks like this:

Week 1: 16K run (this week - complete!)
Week 2: Sprint Triathlon (features a 7K run)
Week 3: 20K run
Week 4: 23K run
Week 5: 160K bike (Ride for Karen)
Week 6: 26K run
Week 7: 29K run
Week 8: 32K run
Week 9: 20K run (taper start)
Week 10: 13-15K run
Week 11: Toronto Marathon, 42.2K

It's aggressive, but if I feel it's not going well, I will back off and do the 1/2 marathon instead.

The Rationale
Most marathoners are shaking their heads by now... but my goals are different than a runner's goals. I'm not trying to do a really fast marathon, I'm trying to push my endurance and understand my limits so I can someday complete an Ironman.

The Ironman run is not a running event for most competitors, it is a death march... if you look at the finishing times from any Ironman, it's clear the marathon at the end is slow and painful. I feel I will get more from doing the Toronto Marathon poorly prepared and pushing the limits than I would from doing a sizzling 1/2 marathon at this point.

And it's end of season, I have a few months to recover from it before I need to start ramping up for 2009!

The Goal
Finish. That's really about it.

Based on my previous 10K and 1/2 marathon results, I am confident if I trained properly I could do a sub-4:00 marathon... but since I won't be training properly I'm thinking a 6:00/km pace is about as good as I can do. That would put me around 4:15:00, assuming all goes well. I'll be taking walk breaks, so I might be even slower.

I have to stick to this goal and mentality and not try to push, or I will certainly get myself into trouble! A fast marathon can wait for another day, it's not an immediate goal of mine.

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