February 2, 2008

Marathon, 11 weeks to go

April and Japan both seem so far away, but when I think of the marathon as 10 long runs away, it seems so close...

So, after last weekend's humidity lessons and after considering the running books I've read, I decided to commit to a slightly customized, but more-or-less Jeff Galloway approach for the remaining training for my 3rd marathon.

Don't get me wrong, I love Hal and he's treated me right. No injuries. A fabulous first marathon on his Novice plan (slightly modified). A 12 minute speed up for my second marathon by training somewhere between novice and his first intermediate training plan.

But, at some point, you have to ask -- which fundamental training regimen makes more sense for ME? And Jeff definitely does a few things differently. He's *religious* about walk breaks. He's big into long-long-long distance training runs (albeit slowly). And, he swears that his program pushes people to personal bests.

I think the lack of discipline I showed at Marathon #2 by going out too fast and losing 15 minutes in the last 6 miles (more than 2 minutes a mile!) was the thing that made me think that perhaps I could benefit from Jeff's approach.

So, today was long run #1 on my Jeff G. inspired plan. It was relatively short, in truth. Only 13.2 total miles including walking warm-up and cool down plus walk breaks at every mile. I ran the miles intervals at a pace between 9:13 and 8:30. I felt good. The most notable thing is that I did it all on a treadmill, in our garage, while watching Memoirs of a Geisha (stupid rain!).

And, I have to say, mile intervals with 1 minute walk breaks plus the distraction of the movie made it possible, nay, even tolerable, to do 13.2 miles on a treadmill. Given that the longest distance I've ever done on a treadmill in the past is somewhere near 8 miles and I never thought I could exceed that without dying of boredom, I consider this a victory. Plus, it was faster than I would have expected for a recovery long run after a half-marathon race weekend.

So, stay tuned. I'll let you know how my Jeff G. plan works out for me. So far, so good.

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