Monday, November 22, 2010

Promise less, deliver even less

For the fifth straight year, I find myself training for a spring marathon, and for the third straight year, it will be the Dong-A Ilbo Seoul International Marathon. The Dong-A Marathon is sponsored by the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper and starts by the paper's Gwanghwamun office, but ironically, it's the rival Chosun Ilbo's office tower that you notice at the start line.

I've run this race twice with liberal over-a-month-long stretches of absolutely no running at all, and gentle training when I was running, but this time I'm hoping that aspiring to run no more than 80k in one week and no faster than 3 hours (as opposed to that desirable 2:50) will keep me from getting bored out of my mind.

In the last four years, I've concluded that I hate long runs, so this time I will take the advice of the Hansons marathon training plan and limit my long runs to 16 miles. I don't run in miles, so I'll shorten 25.6 miles to 25k and maybe even 24k since 24k workous out to a neat 2 hours for me. The reasoning, of course, is that a 20-mile run probably hurts a 40-mile-a-week runner more than it helps. I'm not a big fan of overselling one boring, finger-numbing run, so I was easily convinced.

Doing speed early on and then strength work in the marathon-specific phase makes sense too (why blast 800s a few weeks before a marathon?), although the Hansons offer cupcake workouts for someone running 80k a week (4 x 1200?). There's nothing really novel about the plan other than shortening a 30k run to 25k, and a 10-mile tempo on Thursday followed by 7 miles easy on Friday, 10 miles easy on Saturday and 16 on Sunday is plenty of running when you look at where I am right now.

I ran a 39:31 10k last weekend, which is good enough to look forward to the spring. Here is the first week of training, capitals omitted:

november 15 - november 21

tuesday - 4k
wednesday - 7k
thursday - 7k hilly tempo
friday - 4k
saturday - 9k
sunday - son ki jung half marathon as an easy long run

54k

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