Plane tickets have been booked for the flight out to Abbotsford and Victoria for the beginning of April. That means I’ve committed to running this marathon and it’s no longer just an idea. That also means I shouldn’t be writing a blog about buying plane tickets, I should be outside running.
This will be my first marathon. I’m training based on a modified version of the Furman Institute’s marathon training guide. It of course doesn’t expect that you spend 3 days per week in the pool, commute everywhere by bike and do a fair amount of cycling on the side. I’m not hoping to slaughter a 3 hour time or anything spectacular so I’m leaving out a lot of running speed work in favour of doing my very high aerobic intensity work in other sports and focusing on strength (hills!) as endurance with my runs which are aiming for 4 or more each week. If you think that all translates into not actually following a FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) Plan you’re probably mostly correct. I am doing my long runs according to their guidelines of distance and pace. Pace is what the program has it’s reputation for, you can’t dawdle on the long runs, a long run should be a run! The long run get’s it’s own day of the week (mine moves around… not FIRST) and I’m hitting the longer version of the tempo run each week as well. The short speedwork is mostly being skipped and I do a short run of hills instead most weeks. Like I said though, I’m getting high aerobic demands in what FIRST would consider my cross training, I still work hard in the pool and speedwork on the road can’t get me that many gains. I don’t hope to run terribly fast, I want to finish well and begin the triathlon season without a running deficit from the winter. I’ve also drawn upon Gordo Byrn’s training philosophy quite a bit in developing my training plan and the two most specific rules I’m trying to follow with regards to his running advice are:
- Don’t sacrifice tomorrow’s training by overdoing it today.
- Try to maximize your ten year mileage.
The race for those of you who are interested is called the Yakima River Canyon Marathon. It follows the yakima river between Ellensburg and Selah Washington. This is part of one of the rides from the Sea to Sea tour this summer. My blog post on the day’s ride is available here and it is entitled “A Big Ring Day” as I rode the whole day in my 53 tooth ring. That’s because we had a tailwind and it was slightly downhill for most of the day. The marathon course does go generally downhill but not by much and there’s a big hill that comes at 21 miles in. It’s not going to be a walk in the park but how could I not go back there when the scenery is so great. Here’s a photo from this summer: