Thursday, April 23, 2009

Speedwork: Then Vs. Now

I ran 7.5 miles this morning:

  • 2.5 warmup at 9:40
  • 2 miles tempo at 7:43
  • 1:30 recovery jog
  • 2x800 w/1:30 recoveries, 3:43 for each (7:26 pace)
  • 2x400 w/1:30 recoveries, 1:45 for each (7:00 pace)
  • Cooldown at 10:10
I did this workout at the same point, 10 days out from RnR Arizona on January 7 of this year.

The tempo miles were 7:53, the 800's were at 3:45 (7:30), and the 400's were at 1:47 (7:08). Also, my log only shows one of the 400's, so I guess I couldn't squeeze in that last one.

Due to the "meltdown" at Arizona, I will never know what kind of time I would have gotten if I hadn't been so impacted by the heat and cramping.

I'm scheduled to do this workout again on Tuesday, but with a total of 6 miles instead. It might be too intense a workout just 5 days out from the race, but I will see how I feel and maybe only do the tempo portion.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

To BQ or not to BQ: That is the BQuestion

My taper for the NJ marathon has officially begun, as I just wrapped up a 21 miler.

I would say that my "real" training for the NJ Marathon started last summer, when I first decided to train for a 3:40-- the Boston Qualifying time for my age group. Since then, I have had bad luck with getting sick and bad weather at races so I haven't really been able to "showcase" my hard work.

My average mileage in November-December was about 50 miles per week. It included a half marathon PR of 1:48:43 and a 5K PR at 23:22. Neither of these times indicated that a BQ was possible, but I gave it my best shot at the Rock 'N Roll Arizona marathon. Had the weather not been so hot, I think I probably could have pulled off a 3:45, but instead I bonked and ended up walking most of the last 10 miles.

Weekly Mileage
It took me three weeks after that marathon to feel recovered enough to resume normal marathon training. I decided that I would try to average 55 MPW instead of 50, and peak at 61 instead of 56.

Week of 2/15:  52.0
Week of  2/23: 57.0 (long run of 20)
Week of 3/2:    58.5
Week of 3/9:    61.0 (long run of 20.5)
Week of 3/16:  47.1 (includes a half marathon at 1:44:04)
Week of 3/23:  58.0
Week of 3/30:  52.0
Week of 4/6:    60.0 (long run of 21)

Speed work
I have been doing speed work once a week. The long tempo run used to be a staple of my marathon training program, but I removed it this time in exchange for intervals. Speed is my weakness, so I decided to do 12x400's and other shorter intervals. I've been doing my 400's at a pace of 7:04, and I did a set of 1200's earlier this week at a pace of 7:09.

To BQ or not to BQ- That is the BQuestion
Based on this training and based on my half marathon time, I am very confident about my ability to qualify for the Boston Marathon. What I am not as confident about is getting the right weather conditions. I've learned that I do best when it's completely overcast. And on a sunny day, it needs to be in the upper 30's or cooler for me not to feel like I am overheating. When I ran New Jersey in 2007, it was ideal race conditions-- about 50 and completely overcast.

If the weather is not going to be in my favor at all, there is a chance I could run the half marathon and then try for Cleveland two weeks later.