Close-up of the cool tech tee that arrived on my doorstep Saturday!
Week 1: Rest on Sunday; 4 easy miles on Monday; 6 miles of hills on Tuesday; rest on Wednesday; 4 easy miles on Thursday; 4 easy miles on Friday; 7-mile long run on Saturday. Total: 25 miles.
Last week, I followed my Bart Yasso intermediate plan very closely. The easy runs were done at an average pace of 9:06 per mile, the long run a little quicker, at 8:44. I programmed my Garmin to help me hold back the pace on the easy runs, because I knew I'd be more susceptible to picking it up otherwise.
I also did a brick Thursday morning, driving to the Aquatic Center uptown and doing the 4-miler from there, then jumping into the pool for a 1,500-meter swim. Typically, I try to do a 17- to 30-plus-mile bike ride on Sundays or Wednesdays, but it didn't come together for me last week.
The only cheating I did at all during Week 1 was throwing in half a dozen hill repeats in the middle of Tuesday's hilly run -- the plan says not to start the repeats until Week 8. (But for what it's worth, I didn't run them too terribly hard, and this particular hill -- though steep -- is only about 0.2 miles long.)
In some ways, it didn't even feel like I'd started a marathon training plan. Not including the week of July 5, when I logged only 15 miles because I was resting a minor injury, my recent weekly totals have been 26.3, 28.7 and 29.6 miles. So 25 miles didn't feel like anything special, and a long run of 7 miles seemed kind of embarrassing (my usual is 10-12), especially as friends on Facebook post status updates announcing long runs of twice that distance.
The other thing is that in recent months, I'd started to do fairly regular speedwork -- often in the form of hill repeats. So it was a little troubling to me that I'm not scheduled to do any type of fast workout till the end of Week 6, when I'm supposed to do a 5K race (that weekend I'll actually be subbing in the Lake Norman triathlon, which ends with one). Speedwork doesn't really start, on my plan, till Week 8.
My fear is that so much easy running will cause me to get slower. But according to Mr. Yasso: "There are only so many times you can really lay it on the line. If you do it week after week, you're going to dread it."
This quote appears in the July issue of Runner's World, which is where and when this plan I'm using was published. And -- frustrating as easy running may be -- I'm going to assume Bart Yasso knows what he's talking about since, well, he's trained more people for marathons than I have.
Thoughts or advice regarding my training? Want to share stories about how your own plan is going? Fire away!