Healing - And a Plan! :)
Our total plan for Fargo will have a max of 120, just above the max for New York. After this week, then, I'll average 100 miles/week. Hope the weather accommodates!
Other mid-cycle goals will be to target a sub 17:20 5k. Now, that's not the speediest in the world, but I am truly NOT a greak 5ker. This will be a great goal for me to motivate me to get to the track and work on my speed, since I know in order to lower my marathon pace I simply need to become faster. My current PR is 17:27. I'd love to have a PR in the teens.
When Jerry emailed me, he first emailed with goal paces. I opened it and immediately showed Nate. Wow... Jerry thinks that the Olympic Trials A standard might be in reach for this fall. Yikes! I was content chasing a course record at Fargo (currently 2:41:52) and just snagging the standard. But, if I have learned ANYTHING through this journey and with Jerry, life and running is all about setting crazy goals. You never know what you're capable of achieving until you set yourself up for it. I never would have imagined making the '12 Trials, signing with Brooks... so a marathon sub 2:37... well, maybe?!?
Here are the things I told Jerry I think I need to work on (from my email to him), soliciting his advice for other items (if you've been reading this for a while and have other observations, let me know!):
1. Picking up the pace as the race goes on, or that long run strength in general (i.e. those 20-22 milers where there are 3 miles of Tempo at the beginning and end – I feel like right now I don’t have the strength to do the end one)
- I feel like I’ll get that long run strength back fairly quickly once a block of training starts. Getting faster through a long/hard run… will have to work on that!
2. Not pushing the pace on the days/weeks I’m feeling good. I think this put undue stress on me (on top of those high mileage weeks), broke me down more than necessary. I think it's best to stick to the paces written (+/- just a few seconds), even if I'm feeling really good – so that I can stay feeling good!
3. I think I should alter the paces on my easy days just a little bit. Some can be slog-through-the miles slow, some should be a little quicker (i.e. below 7:30s – closer to what Daniels recommends).
4. Nutrition/weight. Now I know I should target a lower race weight. I’ll hate this, but just have to get it done. I can also work on the fat burning part – so will probably take my plan and map out 4 depletion first runs and 2 more further depletion PM runs per week (per info from an elite mens marathon study on what they do nutritionally). I do so much better when things are just laid out in black and white. [long blog post to follow this week on things I've explored with a doctor friend.]
5. Ability to randomly pick up the pace. I’ve lost a little of that snappiness. Probably something as easy as striders, some plyos? Into the schedule.
6. HILLS. I think it’d be beneficial to write in a few hill workouts this winter/spring. I did more in prep for NYC, but only on my easy runs in RW (and here in NF I’d try to pick a more rolling route), but I can tell I’m not as good of a hill runner than the others around me. Maybe not the biggest issue, since Fargo will be flat… and Chicago as well (unless we decide to do TCM).
7. Assuming I can stay healthy and feel good throughout the cycle, let’s keep mileage a little higher through the taper. I’m scared to say this, but I think cutting mileage severely leaves me feeling flat. I’d likely also keep the doubles through the taper, just reduce the duration of doubles. Seems like when I start to cut those out, my body doesn’t quite know how to take it.
8. Cut out the junk in my life that doesn’t count for anything. Be efficient at work. Prioritize sleep.
9. Work on flexibility a little bit more.
10. Strength 3x/week.
So, there you have it... have to say it again, I am so excited to chase my spring and fall marathon goals. It's going to take a LOT, but I'm on board to give everything I have.
Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!
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