TITLE: Preparing for a Fall Marathon AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 30, 2007 2:01 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I haven't written about running in a while, but there hasn't been much to say. I've been building my mileage back up to a respectable weekly average (in the mid 30s), with an eye toward being ready for marathon training. My last few weeks have been interrupted by only one mishap, a double-hamstring injury brought on not by running but by an intense day of landscaping. Last week, I managed 38 miles with two rest days, which puts me in good shape to begin training. At the end of October, I'll be running the Marine Corps Marathon, my first "destination" marathon. It's also the latest in the year I will have run a marathon, with my previous four all coming in the first half of October. As a result, this is the latest I have ever started my official training plan for a marathon. This affects training in two ways: more of my mileage will come after the hottest part of the summer, and more of my mileage will come during the academic year. For a university prof or student, this means spending more hours on the road, away from work, and being more tired when doing CS. I think I will have to get to bed earlier most nights and so change some of my routine. I am again using a 12-week plan for "advanced" runners that I read about in Runners' World, designed by running coach Bob Williams. Via Google, I found a 16-week plan by Williams, but it's much more complicated than the plan I am using; I prefer workouts that don't require a lot of switching gears. The plan I am using puts me on the track twice most weeks, once doing long repeats (≥ 800m) to build long speed and once doing shorter repeats (< 800m) to increase leg turnover, improve form and efficiency, and build strength for longer speed. Last year, I customized this plan quite a bit, spreading it over 14 weeks and adding a lot of miles. This year, I am sticking to the plan even closer than last year, not just the speed workouts but also the off-day workouts, the order and length of the long runs, and the weekly mileage recommendations. I suppose that having run several hundred miles fewer this year than last has me feeling a bit less cocky, and I also think it's time to let the expert guide me. My only customization this year is to stick in an extra week next week, between Weeks 1 and 2, while I am on the road to Indiana and southern California for a reunion and a little R&R before the school year -- and heavy training -- commence. Next week, I'll just work on my aerobic base with some mixed-speed road running. Wish me luck. -----