It is supposed to be bee-yoo-tee-full here in CilleyLand this weekend, and I'm doing a 5K race tomorrow morning, so I probably won't be on the computer much between now and Monday. And since the plan (henceforth The Plan) begins on Monday, I realized I should probably write something about the exercise part of The Plan.
I found this groovy little Smart Coach thing over at Runner's World, right on their front page. It has you input a recent race time (5K, 10K, half or marathon), the distance you are training for (5K up to a marathon), how many miles a week you train, and how hard you want to train. Then it spits out a a training plan where you can change up a few things (your long run day, the day your plan starts, and the length of your training schedule; I chose Sunday, May 10, and 16 weeks). Your plan has rest days, easy run days, speedwork and tempo days, and then a long run.
I'm not clear on what the plan is supposed to do right off the bat. Let me explain. I put in my recent 5K PR (0:37:09) and that I was training for a 5K. It came out with really slow (even to my mind) paces for all the run runs; even the speedwork seemed kind of slow. On race day, in 16 weeks, I would better my 5K PR by just over a minute.
Yeah, that seems like a lot for only a minute.
So back I went to the Smart Coach and started playing around with the numbers. When I entered in all of my own times for the 5K, 10K, half and marathon, the resulting workout either came up too slow or, in a few instances, too fast. I finally just picked a number, kind of a "this is what I'd like to run a 10K in" and ended up with something that looks doable. The easy and long runs are just a few seconds faster per mile than where I am now. The tempo runs are about a minute and a half faster per mile and the speedwork is about two minutes faster so that should be interesting. The mileage per week doesn't really kick up until after my big July 1 work deadline is over so that's good. And at the end of it? On race day I should be just under nine minutes per mile.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Sorry, let me catch my breath there. Seriously, though, it is an interesting proposition and one I am willing to work towards. I may die trying, but I'll give it a shot.
I still haven't definitively settled on what my cross training and rest days will be, but I think Week 1 of The Plan is going to look like this:
Monday: Rest. I don't want to jump right into things or anything.
Tuesday: Easy run, two miles at 11:37 minutes/mile.
Wednesday: Weights (lower body).
Thursday: Speedwork, five miles with warmup and cooldown, 3x800 in 4:28 with 400 jogs.
Friday: Weights (upper body).
Sunday: Long run, six miles at 11:37 minutes/mile.
Kind of ambitious, considering my marathon taper became a super-taper thanks to back and hip issues. I'm going to see how Week 1 goes -- particularly with the weights bracketing the speedwork days -- and tweak The Plan from there if needed.
Here's hoping you have a lovely weekend!