Sunday, June 3, 2012

Start of FM training for the new season

The new running season,at least in South India, usually starts with the 10K race organised in Bangalore by Procam  in late May/end June. See here for the 2012 India running calendar. This year's TCS open 10K event happened last Sunday on 27th May. Since my main focus is marathon training and I had planned a short vacation just prior to this race I set myself a modest goal of 48:30 for this event. I fell well short of this goal - see my next post for more details.

In the 9 weeks since I started training after a 7 weeks break I have built a reasonable foundation to launch the formal training for my next marathon - Mohawk Hudson River marathon on 7th October- one of two Full Marathons I plan to race in the 2012-13 season(the other being SCMM 2013). I have done a few weeks of 40K to 50K weekly mileage including my first 30K+ run of the season. With two easy  weekday runs and the weekend long run my mileage build up has been as follows:

2/4  25K
9/4 35K
16/4 35K
23/4 40K
30/4 41K
7/5  50K
14/5 40K
21/5 25K
28/5 45K

During this time I  signed up for runyourbq - a website focused on helping runners run their fastest marathon and qualify for Boston. While there is lot of useful information on the website, the training plans there have me confused. Like many other marathon training plans available on the net their training plans advocate 5 days of running per week and high weekly mileage of between 40 and 55 miles per week. This is quite in contrast with the 'Run Less, Run Faster' program from FIRST where the max weekly mileage is about 35 miles consisting of 3 runs per week - an interval run, a temp run and a long run. Of course, the 3 runs need to be complimented with 2 intense cross-training workouts per week.

At least for now I plan to stay with the FIRST program. I plan to do a practice interval training run and tempo run next week and  start the formal 16 weeks marathon training program the week of 11th June. Given that my next race is in the US I have changed the setting on  my Garmin  to show the distance and pace in miles rather than Kms. I plan to have a trial of  this as well next week. I will have a buffer of a week at the end as well - that is, it is exactly 18 weeks to the Mohawk Hudson River marathon. Incidentally this marathon got sold out on 12th May - nearly 5 months before the race!

The training plan is for a target FM time of 3:38 at an average pace of 5:11 per Km or 8:19 per mile. This target time/pace assumes that I can do a HM in about 1:44 - which I did at the Mysore Half marathon in October 2011. Since then I have put on some weight and have had some major issues on my left side - glutes, calf and numbness in the toes. After consulting with a couple of different sports medicine professionals I have realised that probably the only way to get over this issue is continued focus on strengthening and  stretching. I have been doing strengthening since February and plan to continue this through the year. I have not given sufficient importance to stretching after a training session - I plan to address this now on. This might mean spending longer hours on my weekday training session as well -something that is going to be a challenge to achieve with my current work schedule.  I also need to manage my weight and bring it down by a couple of Kgs to under 60 - for this I need to manage my diet better which is another challenge.  In order to test my progress with train I would like to run a fast HM in the July timeframe(I have a  13 miler scheduled on 29th July). There is no race scheduled in the area during that time - so this will have to be a training run on a flat course. Or I have to look at a event in the US in late August/early September (I will be in the NY area starting 22nd August till the race date) but that would be too close to the FM date.

As mentioned in my previous post my goal is try and BQ between September 2012 and September 2013. I am looking at a maximum of 3 attempts for this - Mohawk Hudson River marathon in October 2012, SCMM in January 2013 and possibly another race in the US in 2nd half of 2013!

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