August 9, 2009

Perfect Start

This marks the start of my 18-week marathon training program. It is the mid-level program from Pete Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning (86km/54mi to a peak of 113km/70mi). This will take me to the Santa Barbara Marathon on Dec. 6, where I will be aiming for a 3:04. Which is 4:22/km (7:01/mile), which is the pace upon which all the workouts are based.

Week of Aug. 3-9. Program Menu: 86km. Actual Run: 86km.

PM: 14k with 5k@5:30, 6k@4:00, 3k@5:30. (Lactate threshold, i.e. 6k@15k to half marathon pace)
AR: 14k with 5k@5:19, 6k@4:00, 3k@5:30 (6k was actually 23:58)
No problem, although I had to push to maintain the pace. The heat made it not so easy (32°/90°F in the shade).
Time: 1:00pm.
Temp: 32C/90F
Weight: 59.3kg (which is my lowest...ever).
Shoes: 240g (Nike Katana Cage 2, 10k/Half racing shoes, which I really like. I should buy another pair, if they still make them.)
Fuel: 9:30am: mug of atole and banana. Before run: 6 tspns of chia gel and mug of water. Eating like a Tarahumara.

PM: 18k@4:48-5:14. (Medium-long run)
AR: 18k@4:59 (Out 5:06, In 4:51)
Legs felt tired at first, but ok after 5k. Planned negative splits. In fact, I will probably do all the medium-long and long runs that way. Legs getting tired at the end, though.
Time: 6:00pm.
Temp: 29C/84F
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 300g Brooks Ghost (The heaviest shoes I ever wear any more, and they are not really heavy.)
Fuel: Bkfst: banana and atole. Lunch: tofu, 2 yakionigiri (small rice balls), 6tsps chia. Before run: 6 tsps chia
Also did X-trng (weights and core) at 10:30am.

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00. (Recovery)
AR: 8k@5:23
Evening at the track. Legs stiff at first, but ok after 2k.
Shoes: 270g Newton

PM: 14k@5:01-5:28 (General aerobic)
AR: 14k@5:24 (5:33/5:15)
Quads very tight at the start and stayed fairly tight the whole way (to be expected 2 days after hard runs).
Time: 1:00
Weight: 59.4kg
Shoes: 300g Ghost

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00 (Recovery)
AR: 8k@5:46
7:15pm with about 98° humidity.
Shoes: 275g Asics Gel DS Trainer

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14 (Medium-long run)
AR: 24k@5:04 (5:10/4:58) (Total time: 2:01:30)
Legs tired at first, but ok after 5k. Picked up pace coming back to 4:45, but legs tired last 5k so slowed. Short stop for water at 15k.
Time: 4:00
Temp: 29C/84F. Very humid! Rained 3 or 4 times, just because the atmosphere was saturated.
Weight: 60.1kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony
Fuel: Bkfst - 2 cups atole. Lnch: 2 bananas. Bef run: 2 cups water, 8 tsps chia gel.


So the program is off to a perfect start. But I can see that the heat and humidity in August is going to make some of the runs rather difficult. Like 26k next Saturday, with 13k at marathon race pace. Fortunately I will have three fairly easy days before it.


  1. Great start. Did you happen to see the result of the M60 Masters World Championship Marathon in Finland a few days ago? A little over 3-02.

  2. well done bob. wondering how well you like your newtons?

  3. Jon: No, I didn't see that. Interesting! I'll have to check out where it is next year. Not that I want to run a marathon in August....

    Michael: Thanks. Great picture on your latest post.
    The newtons. Well, I have decided they are good, but not necessary. Not worth the money, basically. Just wearing lightweight shoes and running with a midfoot strike seems to be good enough. As long as I have them I will wear them, but would not buy another pair.

  4. I believe they are next in Sacramento in 2011.

  5. Thanks for that about the Newtons - they're $220 down here. Sacramento is handy.

    Good start to the program. The marathon pace bits of the long runs will be interesting.

    Any reason for 3:04 as a goal? I'm thinking your 5000 time trials would seem to put 3 hours within reach.

  6. Actually, I might be able to make Sacramento, since my daughter lives in LA. But still, a marathon in California in August?
    As for 3:04, well, my last two marathons were just under 3:10 and were a real struggle, so taking off 6 minutes seems possible, but under 10 minutes would be a stretch. Also a 4:15/k pace is pretty damn fast. It actually seems a LOT faster than 4:22, at least to me.
    One more word on the Newtons: I ran 19k in them yesterday, and they didn't feel as good as my other shoes. I think they are really made for forefoot running, not midfoot. And that's too hard on the quads and achilles, so I don't want to do it. For midfoot they are...ok, but just ok.