The first three weeks of the CARA summer marathon training are now in the books, and I am still trying to figure out how to best plan my running schedule. Because of schedule limitations (having three kids and a full-time job will do that), I can only really run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings by myself and Saturday mornings with the running group. In order to maximize the effects of these runs, I have started mentally adopting a "no easy runs" motto.
Intervals and Speedwork Twice a Week
Smart training plans include one or two days of speed work in a week, combined with three or four days of easy runs, in addition to a long run on the weekend. Getting from home to work can be a direct 7.5 mile run, an indirect route (east to the Lakefront Path, then south) of 10.5 miles, or really any distance longer than that. Since most speed workouts are shorter than this, I have to adapt my plans to accommodate the time I have. For example, a workout last week was:
Warmup (10 minutes or 2 miles) 2-3 sets (2x 200m + 1x 400m) @ 10k-5k pace Equal jog recovery Cooldown (10 minutes or 2 miles)
This only adds up to 5-6 miles, which means I need to add a few more miles. Instead of 200m and 400m repeats, I just did 800m repeats.
Warmup 3 x 1 mile @ Tempo 1 minute rest Cooldown
This is workout is probably also only 5-6 miles, so my warm up was much longer and my cooldown was longer.
Weekly "No Easy Runs" Plan
To build these workouts, I am using the CARA Summer Marathon Training Program Guide and taking the Monday and Wednesday speed workouts from the Advanced Training Plan. I am doing the same warmup routines, and then I am tacking on a few more miles to get.. um... really warmed up. The cooldown portion of the run I also try to maintain a slightly harder pace than I normally would.
For this upcoming week, my workouts are scheduled to be:
Tuesday: 4 miles @ Tempo pace (6:25/mile) Thursday: 6-8 Yasso 800m (3:00/800m) Saturday: 13 miles
I'll report back here with an update on how it went.