In two weeks time, I will be nearing the finish of the Colfax Marathon in Denver, Colorado. This will be my third marathon, and my second in less than a year. In an earlier post, I wrote about using triathlon training as preparation to "cross-train" for a Marathon. Last September, I completed the American Discovery Trail Marathon with a time of 3:59:06, setting a PR by 28+ minutes and making my goal of a sub 4:00 race. Based on those results, I did feel that the triathlon training provided me with a solid base for completing a marathon without having to log the miles usually associated with marathon training.
So this spring, I've signed up for another Marathon. This time however, I'm approaching the marathon in a different way. My theory is that by completing a spring marathon, I can use the aerobic base that I've built in training to help me prepare for a 70.3 that I will be doing in July (for a great article on base training, see this one posted on Trifuel. Therefore, in the off season, my focus has been mainly on running and building endurance in preparation for the Marathon. Here are a few things to know about how I've prepared:
|From my 1st Triathlon|
- Since December, I've been focusing on longer runs from 10 miles up to about 18 miles.
- I've continued to do some cycling and swimming, but not at the same volume and intensity as last year. I've also worked on strength training and building a stronger core.
- Since the beginning of April, I've focused primarily on the run (I did one local sprint triathlon in mid-April, but didn't focus on any specific preparation for it). I've done long runs of 12,13, 15, and 18 miles.
- Build my aerobic base by training for a marathon at low intensity.
- Complete the marathon in 5 or more hours.
These goals may look very strange at first glance because they emphasize low intensity, and a time focused goal that shoots for "over" a certain number of hours rather than "under." Goal #1 supports my desire to have a strong aerobic base for training. The focus of my running has been the long, slow run (usually between 10:30-12:00 min/ mile). Goal #2 provides an important psychological benefit in terms of being able to exercise for an extended period of time. If I can run for 5 hours, I should be able to spend a nearly equal time swimming, riding, and running. People don't always consider the importance of psychology in sport (much the way the importance of rest is underestimated), but it can have a significant impact on performance, especially when one is venturing into uncharted territory, which is exactly what I will be doing with a half-ironman distance this summer.
|Sunday, May 20th, 2012/ 6:00 a.m.|
In a couple of weeks, I will have my Marathon RR posted, and over the next two months I will have plenty of time to reflect on my training strategy and its benefits and drawbacks. I will post these of course, as my training progresses.