I've been frustrated with the status of my running for a while now what with the injuries, a good performance followed by a bad performance, and generally chaos when it comes to having a plan. I think the thing that pushed me over the edge (besides my current recovery from sore knees) were comments on Todd Braje's Blog about "a last long run to lay down capillary beds" and "one long tempo workout to get in". These comments gave me the definite feeling that I was clueless. So I got out my Gordon Pirie paper and my Daniels Running Formula book which I had never studied very hard. Gordon Pirie tends to rage against convention which is my tendency as well but I feel like this attitude hasn't done me any good and now that I'm 53, maybe I shouldn't keep experimenting. So I started reading the Daniels Running Formula and charting out a course for the next races. I know that I still have plenty to learn but here are some of the things I get so far.
- Don't add more than 10 miles per week.
- The standard (marathon) plan takes you through 4 different phases of adaptation for 6 weeks each.
- The workouts of one phase should not allow the benefits of previous phases to be lost.
- Take a break after each cycle.
Furthermore, I'm going to set a guideline that the maximum weekly mileage in the base period is the maximum weekly mileage (100%) for the training period. At least with this first cycle, I'm going to refrain from any fast races during the base period. I do plan a 6 hour run at the end of the base period as a tune-up. Also, as far as exceptions are concerned, cutting a cycle down to 3 phases is probably ok as long as I don't omit the taper. I think I'll be running some of the same workouts as in the past but this time I'll have a plan on how often, how fast and for what purpose I'm running these workouts.
So far for building my base, I started out with a more or less 40 mile week, followed by a 50 mile week, and then this week which should be 60 miles (58 as I write). I'll post my workouts after I get in the 2 miles later today. The plan is to have 90 miles in the final week of the base period including a plan for 36 miles at the 6 hour run.
In the foreword, Joan Benoit-Samuelson mentions ten steps easy, ten steps hard, etc. I have yet to understand that although it sounds like fartleks. So more studying is in order.