Time for a Marathon

So as I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm going to a weekly log format for the 12-week buildup I'm doing for the Albany Marathon, since it provides a good opportunity to post my training during a marathon Specific Phase.  It may get thwarted here and there by weather, but I'll do what I can.  Before the 8 weeks of Specific work, I've got what I'd call 4 weeks of Fundamental/Special work.  It's Fundamental (just basic, non-race-specific fitness) in nature, but I'm also adding a few workouts reintroducing marathon pace (this is the Special part—a sort of transition into the Specific phase).  That starts this coming week.

I'm really going to try to be more diligent about the "little things" during this buildup.  Things like core strengthening, stretching, self-therapy (primarily with a foam roller), and even morning runs are easy to let slip by the wayside with a busy schedule.  I should be able to do most of these things, most of the time—it's just a matter of diligence and planning.  I've got two different core (general strength or GS) routines that I've come up with for this buildup, based mostly on Jay Johnson videos from Running Times (here and here).  Jay really knows his stuff in this area.  I've been doing some of these exercises over the past 6 months, but not nearly enough.  So I've got two routines planned with the ideal of doing each three times a week.  More realistically, doing each routine twice a week would be pretty solid.  It's almost all body-weight stuff, with the occasional aid of a Swiss ball, medicine ball, and ankle weights.  I thought I'd go ahead and post the routines, since this was a recovery week and thus an abbreviated post.    As far as reps, I'm just starting at a comfortably hard level and building from there.  Also, I don't know how to adequately describe some of these exercises, though most can be viewed in Jay's videos—however, feel free to ask for a better explanation of any of the exercises.

General Strength – Circuit 1 (GS1)
  • pullups
  • bicycles
  • pedestal routine
  • lower ab hold
  • hammy curls w/ swiss ball
  • single leg squats
  • russians w/ med ball (8 lb)
  • hammy curls w/ swiss ball
  • single leg squats
  • Rockys
  • side (abductor) leg lifts (three varieties – toe pointing down, neutral, and pointing up)
  • adductor leg lifts (inner thigh – done with a chair, see Wharton article in this month's Running Times)
  • Supermen
  • hurdle (trail leg) mobility drills (forward and backward)
  • paw-backs

General Strength – Circuit 2 (GS2)
  • pullups
  • bicycle
  • pedestal routine w/ leg lifts
  • lower ab hold
  • lying hip raises
  • wall squats w/ swiss ball
  • russians w/ med ball
  • lying hip raises
  • wall squats w/ swiss ball
  • pushups
  • bird dogs
  • fire hydrants
  • leg circles (forward and backward)
  • Aussie crawls
  • jackknives
  • back extensions
  • Iron Cross
  • scorpions
  • standing hamstring curls w/ ankle weights
  • concentric calf "lowers" (I use my bath tub, as opposed to the more common stairs)

As for the week's training, it was mainly a recovery week from the TNF 50 race.  I also got sick, so I took an extra day or two off, not running until Friday.

Monday – Thursday: Off - recovery/sick

Friday: PM - 8 miles easy, GS1

Saturday: AM - 1 mile w/u, 12 mile basic aerobic tempo: 1:11:59, 1 mile w/d

Sunday: PM - 8 miles easy, GS2

Total: 30 miles

The plan for the aerobic tempo was 90% MP or so (roughly 5:50 pace, assuming a marathon race pace of 5:20/mile—a reasonable guess/starting point), but I struggled a bit—not a total surprise as I was just getting over some sickness and only 7 days out from TNF.  I wanted to keep the effort right, so I ran 6:00 pace, hitting 1:11:59 for the run.  It was also fairly cold out—feels like 8—which probably slowed things a bit.  This wasn't really a problem, because I still got the right stimulus.  That's it—the real training starts next week!

If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And—which is more—you'll be a Man my son!
     —Rudyard Kipling