My running has not been great lately. I had a poor cycle before Chicago Marathon.
A month prior to the marathon I ran Stockholm half marathon on a hilly course in 1:37 and Chicago full marathon was in 3h39 minutes. My legs and my pace for a 3:15 finish collapsed pretty much at km 26.2. They had not understood that it was 26.2 miles I was supposed to run. I put on my headphones and with some of my own Guran Guran music and a selection of songs by David Bowie, Clash, Iggy Pop, Molotov and Cake (Going the Distance) I kept moving my legs in a slow run without stopping until the finish. Prior to the marathon I had not done a single long run of close to 30K since May – and that was the disastrous 4:23:24 Lima Marathon.
Having said that, there are a few take aways. My Marathon in Chicago was 44 minutes faster than in May. My 5K, 10K and Half Marathon times for all these races have been:
Lima May 21: — (5K) 46:43 (10K) 1:42:24 (HM) Stockholm Sep 9: 21:05 (5K) 44:31 (10K) 1:37:00 (HM) Chicago Oct 8: 23:10 (5K) 45:39 (10K) 1:36:51 (HM)
This means I was running a sub 3h Marathon pace for 5k during Stockholm half marathon (and actually maintained this until km 8), and ran my fastest half marathon in Chicago beating my Stockholm time with 9 seconds maintaining a 3:15 marathon pace. So I have been improving somewhat. I am a long way from my dream of running a sub 3h marathon though. I am 57 now, and I can’t withstand too much high intensity training and at the same time adding to milage. I have come to the conclusion that milage alone will not take me there. I need more speed!
During the past weeks training I started following Hanson’s advance marathon plan which focuses a lot on quality and less on extreme long runs. On Tuesdays one does speed sessions and on Thursdays one does marathon pace runs. Last week I realized that I could not keep up the marathon pace run at 4:15 min/km (6:50 min/mile) because my legs were too exhausted from the Tuesday speed session. I need to adapt the program for my means.
This is what I shall do in short:
Keep the Tuesday speed session according to Hanson.
Do a HIIT session on Thursdays. 5 to10x30 seconds with 2 min easy jog in between.
Do Marathon Pace within the long runs every other Saturday.
Every other Saturday do 10 x 10-20 seconds hills. HIIT.
Keep on doing a daily Seven (7 minute HIIT workout) for strength.
Do running form drills and minimalist transition exercises from Runners Connect’s Improve Running Form 6 week course.
All this should probably lead to more strength, better form and faster pace.The HIIT sessions helped me a lot to run the 3:04 in North Carolina in October last year, so I think this will be crucial to getting me closer to my goal. But I also need to get endurance, so I shall plan for 3x32k long runs in the remaining 12 weeks to Miami Marathon on Jan 28, but I won’t sweat it to run a lot miles apart from this. I am doing a lot of my daily work on the computer as I walk on a treadmill, and this shall give some general fitness too with very low impact.
Leading up to this race there are very few tune-up races I can fit in. Tomorrow, I have a 10K race for which I merely hope I can hold the sub 3H marathon pace of 4:15 min/km and an end time of below 42:30. Anything better than this is an improvement.
In a month there is another 10K race in Lima with a week of traveling to South Korea and the Asian Bird Fair in between. Hopefully, this 10K will keep me motivated to get my runs and strength training done even when traveling.
I shall post some progress here, and also give tips on training and nutrition along the way. Looking forward to your comments.