Onto Marathon #2

Aug 07 2012

Well, when we lost saw our brave hero, he was finishing the Eastern States 20. Time to get back up to date, eh?

I’m currently in training for the Cape Code Marathon in Falmouth in late October. More on that shortly.

After Eastern States, I rested a bit, then tried to keep up the mileage in the same range I was doing. I was still having some arch pain – probably plantar fasciitis – but overall not too bad. One day in April I was rushing across the street or something and suddenly there was a very sharp pain in my left heel. It continued to hurt for a few days. Even walking was painful. So I took a few weeks off running and got myself a Strassburg Sock. You wear this sock at night while you sleep and it stretches your toes up towards your knee, stretching the problematic fibers on the bottom of your foot.

My first impression of the sock was that it would be too annoying to possibly sleep in. But I read so many rave reviews about it, I figured it was worth a try. The first night proved out my first impression. After about two hours, I was ripping it off and throwing it across the room. The second night I made it through about half the night and a bit more the following. After that, I pretty much got used to it and was able to sleep through the night.

In addition to the sock, I got a new pair of shoes. I’d been wearing Lemings, which were pretty great – comfortable as hell, and like going barefoot. But I think they are a large part of what was causing the PF. Got myself a pair of very supportive everyday shoes from New Balance. Between the sock and the shoes, and some icing and stretching, I’ve made some dramatic improvement. A bit soreness after a long run, but barely noticeable most of the time.

So, for the marathon, I’ve decided to do a bit more aggressive training program this time. I’m going with the lowest level program in Advanced Marathoning – 2nd Edition. I’d previously used Hal Higdon’s on-line programs, which were good, but I felt I really needed a bit of speed work in with the distance, not to mention a bit more distance in general. As I started reading Advanced Marathoning, the programs really resonated with me. Tons of hard workouts of all different kinds. Higdon was mostly, run x miles, with the occasional run where you’d do some fraction at marathon pace. The program I’m on now has the following:

Recovery runs
General aerobic runs
Medium long runs
Long runs
Lactate threshold runs
General aerobic and recovery with speed
Marathon pace runs
V02 runs

The LT runs are anywhere from 8 to 11 miles, with 4 to 7 miles at 15k to half marathon pace. For me that’s about 8:00 to 8:10 per mile.

The runs with “speed” consist of general aerobic or recovery runs with 7 to 10 100 meter strides with 100 meters rest between.

Marathon pace runs are part of long runs, where you do a big chunk of the run at marathon pace.

And V02 runs are intervals of 400 to 1200 meters at 5k pace.

The schedule is broken down into a few “mesocycles”: endurance, lactate threshold + endurance, race preparation, and taper. I’m just through the first mesocycle, which was 6 weeks. I’ve already had to cut back on a few recovery runs – and by “cut back” I mean “skip”. But last week was a recovery week and I’m going into this week feeling strong. I did a 10 mile run with 5 miles LT. 4 miles tomorrow, then an 11 mile medium long run on Thursday. Saturday is 7 miles with 7 strides, and Sunday is 18 miles. Weeee! That will be my highest mileage week ever, considering I make it through. July was my second highest mileage ever. Would have been highest if not for those dropped runs. At any rate, August will undoubtedly break the record for me, and September will blow that away – assuming I don’t fall apart. So far so good.

Anyway, that’s where things stand. I just may try blogging a bit more often here, but no promises.

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