A brief history
I started off my running career a little over a year ago training for the Nike+ Human Race 2008. This was a 10K "virtual race" that peaked my interest by using the Nike+iPod technology to track my progress in running. I ran this race in 00:54:02 - not impressive, but solid. I signed up for the half-marathon in the 2008 Baltimore Running Festival and did okay with a 1:51:57. My next race was the Jug Bay 10K in November 2008 where I posted a 00:46:21, which was good enough in that small race to garner a second place finish in the 30 - 35 age group though technically the first and second overall for men were in this group so I was really fourth.
My first marathon
For my first marathon, the Frederick Running Festival, I somewhat religiously followed Hal Higdon's Novice 1 training program. I finished that marathon in 4:03:27 after running a race where I felt incredibly strong for 16 miles and proceeded to fall apart for the next 10 miles.
My goal marathon
I took a few weeks off, then slowly got back into running in order to prepare for my goal marathon, the Baltimore Running Festival, in October. I started off just putting together a Summer training program from Active.com and then went back to Higgy using the second half of his Novice Supreme plan. I started at week 11 of this plan and this week would've been in week 23 of this 30 week plan. However, I recently decided to change plans. Here's why.
I have been piling on the miles in this running plan, but rarely have been feeling fast. Strong, yes, but fast no. I ran a test mile of 6:22 in the middle of a 3 mile run and a 46:54 in a 10K (really 6.22 miles) which left me encouraged because I had plenty in the tank in both cases. Yet, I have been uncomfortably mediocre since. Fact is, I haven't tested myself and haven't pushed my efforts. Since July I have been averaging 32 miles per week so my base is up - its time for some speedwork.
The new plan
I am switching over from Higgy's Novice Supreme to a plan customized to my inputs on Runner's World's Smart Coach. This plan has me running one less day a week and emphasizes two easy runs and one long run per week. What attracted me was the once a week tempo run or speedwork session. I am going to run the same type of mileage per week, but I will give my body a little more time to recover. This is important because I am feeling some pain in the high ankle area and I think this is due to overdoing it just a touch with long runs on Saturday and Sunday. Plus I am starting flag football and the end of the month.
The following is a snapshot of the plan.
I also need to treat this training seriously, which would involve sleeping earlier, eating well, and being careful what I put in my body. We'll see if I can do that. I'll try to keep posting. Stay tuned...