I've been on the running scene in some form or fashion for about 11 years now. Nearly half of my life. That's a long time to do something right? Exactly two weeks from today, I will have (hopefully) completed my first marathon. Not only completed the marathon but under Boston Marathon qualifying time (3:10). Not only a Boston qualifier, but sub three hours for my inaugural run. Here's the catch:
I'm only running three days a week.
Okay, I'll admit, I cram in four days every once in a blue moon. However, this style of training is nearly opposite of what I've been doing most of my life. Thanks to having a real life with real responsibilities (like a career, long distance engagement, enjoying having some social life) my running time is limited. I had always been once of those "the magic is in the miles" kind of guy. With my new lack of free time, I had to make an adjustment.
Three days. One tempo day, one workout day on the track, and a long distance day.
Well, I'll be the first to say that you don't get in shape as quickly. It's taken some patience though I am reaping some results. The benefit is that I'm fresh for nearly every workout and almost always have a good one (except for this last week). My long runs - the anchor for marathon training - have been fantastic. Once I learned the magic power of energy gels, I've not had a bad long run. I've hit 20 milers under 7 minute pace feeling comfortable and even cruised through a 24 miler just a few weeks ago at a 7:30 pace without really getting out of breath. My legs were trashed but I could at least breathe....
This new quality-over-quantity method will be put to the test soon. On 10-10-10, we will see if my new method will suffice or if I am in for an excruciating 26.2 miles. The latter will probably remain true but will I succeed?
Stay tuned in two weeks to see what happens.