For someone who is used to running high-mileage in marathon training. Running 50 miles a week hardly takes a thought. I run about an hour a day with a 2 hour plus run on the weekend – this is the default. However, with 15 weeks until my pre-Boston, marathon outing in Sacramento, the moment has come to either train seriously, forget about it or suffer in the final miles of the race.
So, I’m formulating my plan and the mileage build will go like this 57 miles this week, 61 miles next week and 57 miles the following week (including a rare day off for travel). I like to do 2-3 solid weeks of building miles and then take an easier week. Fortunately, this easy week will coincide with a trip to Germany. My long run will increase from 12-15 miles to 17, 18 and up to 22 miles.
In addition to the increased mileage I have to start speedwork. I’ve committed to hitting the track with a group. For the past two years I’ve been taking evening courses, this year I will go to track school. I’m excited about running on the new Varsity stadium track. The very scene of my first marathon finish. The coach, Paul Osland is a former Olympian who is now whipping a group of motivated masters into tip top shape. I’m apprehensive about the return to the intensity of speed work. My fast running for the past two years has gone something like this . . . run fast when I feel like it for 30 – 120 seconds. Take as much rest as I need.
From what I can tell, the plan for Thursday is to run 150 meters at a very fast pace, 18 times and the do it again for a total of 36 fast repeats. Then we are to bound up stairs, 2 steps at a time, 5 times and then repeat. I’ve never done circuit training, of which we are to do 4 laps. Hmm . . .
This could be painful. Given that most of these runners will be peaking in the early fall, and my timing of a December marathon is unusual, I hope to get some sort of just-starting-out dispensation. I’m reminded of how once, when in top form I remarked to another runner as we readied ourselves for a grueling session a la Zeba Crook that his workouts were effective because they helped us to increase our pain threshold. The runner turned to me and said, “but that is not what I signed up for”. No doubt . . . I’ll soon have a tale to tell.
Gulp . . .