Sunday, January 20, 2013
Marathon Training Update
I'm currently gearing up for the Toronto Marathon in May, using the Furman "FIRST" plan (3plus2) popularized in the book "Run Less, Run Faster".
The plan calls for 3 run workouts per week - a track workout, tempo run and long run - plus 2 cross-training workouts (or more if you are up for it!).
So far, I love this plan!
Track workouts - there's enough variety to keep me interested. For example, week one was 3x1600m, week two was 4x800 at a quicker pace, week 3 was 1200m/1000m/800m/600m/400m with relatively short 200m rests in between. I enjoy running fast, and even though it hurts like hell, it's very rewarding.
Tempo runs - these are also quite varied, there are marathon tempo runs (5:05/km for me), but then this week we're down to 4:45/km for a shorter distance, then 4:35/km the week after that. I used to run the same pace every week and just pick a distance that felt right, too random and unfocused.
Long Runs - I'm not used to having target paces like they do, so I sometimes find myself busting my butt at the end to hold it... not the normally advised LSD philosophy, but because there are only 3 runs a week I don't feel like it's taking anything away from my other runs so far. I'm up to 27k @5:33/km, next week is 32k @ 5:42/km - that could be a toughie.
Cross-Training - Biking - I would be doing this anyway because I'm a cyclist first and foremost, so it's nice to have it be encouraged and accounted for! I've been doing it once or twice a week. Sometimes I feel like the biking is just a bit too close to running - sore legs are sore legs - so I've chosen my other new cross-training option...
Cross-Training - Rowing - Bought myself a Concept 2 rower to get some cross-training that is entirely different from running. I really love it, works so many muscles I haven't used that much before! Much like swimming but I find I get a much better cardio workout from the rower. Partially because it's easier to take nice deep heavy breaths, where in swimming breathing is more limited/difficult. It's different enough from running I can do an LSD, row the next day, then hammer a track workout after that without missing a beat.
Typically I've been doing 6 workouts a week - 3 runs + 3 cross-training days with a rest day. I feel really great, all the intensity has been good for me. Rowing has improved my core - I can really feel it after a workout - which should help the running. Even if it doesn't, it makes me an all around more fit person, which ultimately is the goal of all this stuff anyway, right? :)
To the marathon!