I don't know if this is healthy or not - but, I've been obsessed lately with looking at my training schedule for the marathon. I've been trying to predict how certain training is going to make me feel based off past experiences. There is enough new training that I've never done before that it makes me a little nervous - but, I think I need to make these changes in my training to improve my time.
And yes, this means I have all of my daily runs planned out until Boston - I know it's a little sick.
What kind of changes?
1) More runs over 20 miles. Leading up to NYC in 2007 I had one run >= 20 miles. Now to be fair - I had 14 runs between 16-19 miles, but I don't think that was enough. For Boston I'm going to be running 9 runs 20-24 miles plus 12 runs between 16-19 miles.
2) More mid-week runs of 12-15 miles. I had about 4 of these in training for NYC. These are easy runs that aren't the long run of the week. I'll be doing 25 of these during training for Boston - so, some weeks I'll have 2 of these. What this means is that I'll have a lot days where I'll be beat up from hard/long running and trying to get out the door for 85+ min.
3) More marathon or faster training within runs >=16 miles. I did 3-4 of these in prep for NYC - I am planning on running 7 of these this winter/spring.
4) Less racing early on in training. During all of my training for NYC I never went more than 4 weeks without racing. For Boston I'm going to go about 13 weeks before the first time I toe the line in any race. What I'm worried about is boredom more than anything. The point is to put down a strong base of training without stressing my body too much early on, so that I can be stronger for the last few months before the marathon. I guess that's part of the reason for this blog - so that I have a reason to stay psychologically focused during this period.
5) Related to #4 is the transition time between my current training (my last race of the "season" is on 10/11) and Boston marathon training (the first relatively challenging week is the second week of December). It's a real trick to find out the best way to give one's body rest without losing too much fitness. I also tend to gain weight when I'm running low mileage - which can make coming back to training a rather miserable experience. So, I need to concentrate on nutrition and cross training while april will feel like a long ways away.
6) February 17-April 4: This might be the hardest 7 weeks of training that I've ever attempted. I'll be running an average of ~89 miles per week, with 5 runs over 20 miles, a half marathon, 9 threshold/marathon pace runs and no days off. This is why those 8 weeks between 10/11-12/7 are so important. I need to be both rested and have a decent base - so that I can handle the training and not get injured.