Sunday, May 22, 2011

Adrian's Summer Running 2011: Week 3.1 (Marathon Training)

Week 3 is over and I had another interesting running revelation.  Last week we had a potluck dinner at Meg's house (she was leaving for good; it was very sad).  I talked with Ashley D'Antonio and told her about this weird study I was partaking in and also told her that I was signed up for the Top of Utah Half Marathon at the end of August.  She had told me that she was planning on running the Top of Utah Marathon (full marathon) on September 17th.  I don't know why but the idea was really intriguing to me.

I went home and looked up training plans on and thought it wouldn't be too bad.  I feel that I could easily do a 12 week half marathon program and the full marathon was only an 18 week program.  I mean, there were some obvious greater distances with full training versus half but I still thought it was doable.  So I half-heartedly committed to doing the training.  ...oh and it just so happened that the marathon is 18 weeks away from yesterday (which means that week 2 of my training starts today).

On Hal Higdon's website, he has a lot of free training plans to use.  For the marathon, he has 6 specific plans: Novice 1 and 2, Intermediate 1 and 2, and Advanced 1 and 2.  I decided to attempt the Novice 1 plan since it was the "easiest" and seemed to be the most doable.  The most you would have to run would be 20 miles one time which was 3 weeks before the marathon.  But you would build up to the point and then taper down.  Nearly everywhere else in the country has their races on Sunday but in Utah, they're all on Saturday.

So I created a little spreadsheet that adjusted the training to a Saturday race day and put the date of each Saturday in the spreadsheet.

Now comes the next dilemma, RaceRx study.  This study specifically says that I have to run the times that are listed by my study sheets and nothing else.  So, I asked Matt Rhea (director of RaceRx) about it, but I just asked about training for a half marathon since that was the one that I was fully committed for (paid for).  Matt said that this study that I was participating in is very well suited to get me ready for the half marathon and 99% of the runners preparing for these events run many more miles than they need to.  Although a month prior to the race he would suggest adding 1 or 2 extra runs of 6 to 8 miles per week.

So I replied to him about wanting to run a full marathon and he reiterated that people run more than they need to.  He said that I shouldn't be having "long runs" 18 weeks before the race and that I can't add much running because it would mess up the study.  But again he said that a month (or 2) before the race I can add an additional long run or 2.

So I was a little torn on this and considered quitting the study so I could do the Hal Higdon training.  I wasn't sure what was the "right" training method to believe.  Therefore I decided to consult  On this thread: some people said they had heard of people doing the heart rate training and it working for them but no one had any real or direct comparisons, so I was still torn...

Next, I decided to ask the guy at work who announced this study since I assumed he ran marathons, etc.  He didn't run long distance but his wife and brother-in-law did and used Matt's program so he got me in touch with them.  The bro-in-law said he absolutely swore by Matt's training and suggested anyone do it.  He said it helped him qualify for the Boston Marathon, so that encouraged me some more to stick with the RaceRx study.  Though, I still had thoughts in my head of doing the long runs earlier than 2 months before the marathon because I wanted the mileage and wanted to do a long easy run as opposed to the strenuous varying heart rate runs.

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