Bad Blogger, Better Runner...

As always, when there's a lot to write about, I'm too busy to write about it.

The two weeks since returning from England have been mondo-busy - work is busy, running takes time and the the wife (and kids) go back to school next week, so the little bits of free time have been full of summer shoving (getting stuff done that we intended to get done two months ago).

The marathon training has been going extremely well... 24 hours after returning from England, my buddy Dave and I did a 17 miler together, and we followed that up with our first 20 miler last weekend. In between, I had my finest marathon pace run to date, with 5 miles @ an average of 7:14/mile. The day after that one, I did take an unplanned rest day as my calf was tender, but it healed up perfectly in one day.

The marathon pace run was great for me, mentally. My tempos last summer were supposed to be faster than marathon pace, but I struggled with them big-time. I'm encouraged that I'm hitting the marathon pace so well.

Basically, I'm doing a modified Yasso plan. The Yasso has six days of running per week. 1 day is a hill course, which will progress to hill repeats and eventually into an interval workout. But unlike many plans, the fast stuff doesn't come until later, so one day per week, I'm just running a really hilly course.

Yasso also has the marathon pace run, which suits me better than the faster tempos. However, Yasso has it going up to 10 miles and I doubt I'll take it past 7, just because of time constraints.

However, I'm actually doing more on the long runs than Yasso requires. I'm following the FIRST plan for long runs, which includes five 20's. Yasso has three - though they are 3 weeks in a row. I don't like the idea of not stepping down and think I'll get more value out of five total twenties.

There is - however - one mental thing I'm dealing with. Those who've done the FIRST plan know the paces are faster, because you only run 3 days per week. Last year, I did my first 20 miler @ 8:15 pace. Last weekend, I did it @ 8:24 pace, which is well within the recommended pace by Yasso (and Fitzgerland, and Pfitz), but a bit slower than that prescribed by FIRST.

Last year, I'd only run 12 miles in the days prior to the 20. This year, I'd run 24. So, the slower pace certainly makes sense, though I'd expect other neurotic runners can appreciate why it bugs me a little.

Truth is, I do feel this plan will yield better results... I go into runs a little tired, but still run decent paces, which is essentially what happens to the body in a marathon. Moreover, I felt more "brittle" last year, like I was one workout away from hurting myself. This year, I seem to be stronger and when I am hurt - like last week - I heal quickly.

No doubt: marathon neuroses is live and well inside my skull.

Diabetes-wise, I'm still figuring out things, too. I've been testing myself every five miles on the long run. On the 17 miler, I was 69 at both the 5 and 10 mile mark. That's a long time to run with a borderline low blood sugar. I was only a little higher on the 20. I've got the pump turned way down, but will likely need to ratchet it back even further. Ideally, I'd like to run the marathon around 130, taking a gel every five miles.

Speaking of gels, I'm sick of e-Gels. They just taste... bad, and the qty of goo is too much. Now that PowerGels have electrolytes (and caffeine :)), I've moved to them.


  1. I feel your pain. I get disturbed if my pace is off a little the day after a 100-mile ride. But I am happy with my pace during my tempo runs so take comfort in that.

    I like GU and sports beans are also good. One thing about the powergels is that they have a lot of electrolytes, which is generally a good thing I think. But sometimes, especially if it's cool, I feel like they could be more than I need if I am also drinking a sports drink. Luna moons are also tasty, if you can stomach semi-solid food.

    What's your target marathon time?

  2. I feel stronger too... I always felt on the brink of injury last year. Truth be told, I actually was. Now all the bad wear and tear is in my head not as much in my body (aside of expected marathon training wear and tear).

  3. Sounds like you're strong, Marcus. Remember to be wary of over doing it. Better to be under-trained than over-trained.

  4. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I like the sound of the Yasso plan - like you, I tend to prefer longer marathon pace runs to the shorter, faster tempo runs. On the other hand, maybe the short tempos are what I need because they're so hard for me?

  5. Anne - I'm doing all of my training based on 7:14/mile marathon pace - a 3:09:31 time.

    Last year, I trained for a 3:15 and ended up with a 3:18:57. So this year, I'm setting a stretch goal of 3:10, so that I can happily "settle" for a 3:15 and get to Boston.

    Dan - Thanks for the comment. You're right: undertrained beats over overtrained at my age. BTW - if you could, email me your massage guy's into grimm.marcus[AT]

    K - I've wondered the same thing about short tempos. :)


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