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 18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:10 pm 

It's 18 weeks until the Boston Marathon, and my training program begins tomorrow. Luckily the first day is a rest day!

Anyone else kicking off a Boston training program?


sully

Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 2

Re: 18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:29 am 

Good luck with your training. I'm also beginning an 18 week training program (Pfitzinger) for Boston. It has been very cold and snowy here in the northeast of late-requiring a lot of treadmill work.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:20 pm 

Good luck to you as well! I'm doing the Pfitzinger 18 week 55 mpw plan, although I may bump up the mileage a little bit if things go well. The last few marathons I trained for were using semi-custom training programs, which I don't think worked so well. Time to return to Pfitz.

Stay warm!


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:29 pm 

Go git 'em, Rickshaw, and have a blast training!

sully

Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 2

Re: 18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:28 am 

I'm using the up to 70 mpw plan. I find the toughest parts of the program are the 14-15 milers during mid-week. This will be the 3rd time I've used Pfitzinger. The first time I used the 24 week up to 70 mpw program when training for the 2004 Twin Cities. I believe I may have overtrained my old (age 51) body as I pulled a calf muscle 12 days before the event. The 2nd time I used the 18 week up to 70 mpw while training for the 2005 Avenue of the Giants Marathon where I got my BQ. The shorter schedule seemed to work well. For my first two marathons (Richmond 2003 and Shamrock 2004), I used Hal Higdon's plans which were OK but I really think that Pfitzinger's lactate threshold and VO2 max speed sessions are better than Higdon's speed work.

Stay healthy!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 18 weeks to Boston - training begins tomorrow Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:12 pm 

Ah, good stuff. I would definitely encourage you to stick with the 70 mpw plan, even if you think the mileage is pounding your body too much. You'll probably grow used to it eventually, and the extra training vs the 55 mpw plan will likely make a significant difference for you on race day. I'm going with the 55 mpw plan because I think it's the most I can stay motivated to do now, and anyway I haven't built the necessary base to tackle the 70 mpw plan this year. I've had some problems keeping my interest level high when running higher mileage. Last year I peaked at about 75 mpw, which may have been too much, because I got sick of running for a while afterwards.

I've never tried the Higdon plans, but they seem pretty well respected. Last year I trained for two marathons using plans from Daniel's Running Formula. I like the book, but those plans didn't seem to work quite so well for me. They incorporated a lot of interesting stuff, though, like tempo intervals in the middle of 20 mile runs.

I do like the Pfitzinger plans, they're pretty simple to follow and they seem to work well. I do have a couple of gripes, though. Some of the planned runs don't really make sense if you're not a speedster. He calls for "lactate threshold" runs at roughly your half-marathon race pace, but that will be too slow unless you run a 1:00 half-marathon.

He also calls for runs of up to 7 miles at threshold pace, which seems like too much to me. I believe lactate threshold pace is roughly your race pace for a race lasting 1 hour. So for someone whose threshold pace is less than 7 miles per hour (about a 8:30 mile), a 7 mile threshold run is actually ABOVE their race pace for that distance. In other words, they can't actually sustain threshold pace for 7 miles, and trying it would be exhausting.

Similarly for the VO2 intervals: the stated rest periods between intervals don't make as much sense for slower runners. For example 4 x 1200m @ 5K race pace, jog 2 min between. If I recall from Daniels, the rest period between intervals should ideally be proportional to the length of time it took to run each interval. So specifiying an interval distance along with a rest duration only makes sense over a certain range of speeds.

Also, in weeks that call for tune-up races, the sum of the workouts for the week is not equal to the weekly mileage listed in the table. I think he got km confused with miles.

Clearly I must have spent a lot of time poring over Pfitzinger's plans to come up with this list of grievances, so I obviously still find them of some value. :-) I guess I just like to gripe.


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