Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Running Less, Running Faster

Due to my sporadic attempts at blogging, no one is probably aware that I am currently training for the Indianapolis Marathon on October 19th. Last year, you might remember that I ran the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon in Fort Wayne with John and Abby, their first half. Well, this time, it’s going to be John’s first full marathon! Abby is currently taking a break from running due to an injury, so she’ll be our shuttle driver, cheerleader, and all-around fabulous spectathlete.


John has been following the training plans in Run Less, Run Faster (based on the Furman FIRST program) for a little while now and has really improved both his speed and endurance. For this training cycle, I wanted to spend a little less time worrying about getting in my miles and a little more time cross-training. The basis of the program is 3 key running workouts (interval, tempo, and long runs) supplemented by 2 cross-training days. The workouts are HARD as the suggested pace is based on a recent 5K time, but it has improved my fitness immensely.

RLRF 2012 web

After an unusually successful 18-miler this weekend that included the 11.2 mile loop at Percy Warner Park, a hilly route that has previously brought me to tears, literally, I knew that this training program was really working. And really, if I’m honest, I’ve probably done 75%, at best, of the workouts as written due to travel and scheduling and life. On Labor Day, I ran the Franklin Classic 10K on a hot, humid day on a hilly course and came within 40 seconds of my PR, run on a 50-degree day on a flat course.

The FIRST program has its detractors, but 5 weeks out from a marathon, I’ve never felt better. I’ve had no consistent niggling tightness or aches and pains. For the most part, I feel energetic and motivated, and I don’t loathe having to lace up my shoes and hit the road. So it’s working for me. Currently, my suggested paces are based on a 27:50 5K I ran on Memorial Day, shortly before starting training. FIRST predicts a 4:30:51 marathon based on that 5K and the subsequent training, which seems laughably fast to me (about 10 minutes faster than my marathon PR from last December), but we’ll see. Based on my 10K time from Labor Day, McMillan predicts a 4:27:16 (eek!).


Anyway, this is what my training from 9/9-9/15 looked like.

Monday: 1750 yds swim using this workout. Joe came with me, and we shared a lane.

Tuesday: 5 miles intervals on the track: 1600 warm-up, 4x1200 @ 6:25, 1600 cool-down. I have a terrible habit of running them too fast and clocked them at 6:02, 6:11, 6:13, & 6:15. Not executed very well. Joe came to the track and ran a few laps of my speedwork with me.

Wednesday: 1 hour of racquetball with Joe. He’s a much better player than I am, but I did pretty well.

Thursday: 2.5 miles of some fartlek on the treadmill, 30 minutes upper body lifting, again with Joe.

Friday: 7 mile tempo at MGP (10:20/mile). We had a cool front sweep in overnight, and I got excited and ran too fast because it felt so easy. Splits were 10:18, 10:08, 9:59, 9:42, 9:35, 9:57, 10:12.

Saturday: 18 mile run at MGP+45. I usually do long runs with my mom, but she was out of town, and Joe was working in the ICU so he wasn’t available to run part of this with me. Fortunately, my friend Kelly volunteered to run 11 with me at Percy Warner, so I ran to the park to meet her for the 11.2 loop and then ran home for 18 total. Average pace was closer to MGP+25.


Sunday: 17 mile bike ride to Radnor Lake with Joe. We were not the only ones with the idea to go to Radnor on a lovely September Sunday afternoon, and we had to go really slowly on the road through the park due to people being completely oblivious. It was beautiful though. I think we will definitely bike that route again.

Totals: 32.6 miles of running, 17 miles of biking, 1 mile of swimming, 1 hour of racquetball, and 30 minutes of weights