If I am going to qualify for the 2010 Boston Marathon by running a sub-3.30 marathon this year, I have to make sure I follow a serious training plan. It won't be easy as 2007 when I ran 3.27.40 because I am not willing to go off Creatine in order to get my weight back down to 170. I know I can qualify at 180 if I train smart. But what does that mean?
1) Don't run more than 8 miles more than once a week. In the past I have gotten too hyped up about long runs and have done several 10+ mile runs in a week. This pushes me closer to getting injured and ends up killing me mentally. Even though it's only 16 minutes longer than an 8 mile run, 10 is much tougher and slowly eats away at my motivation if I do too many of them.
2) I must do at least a 10 mile run every week, even if it means before work. Just as too many 10 milers is brain numbing, not enough can kill me too. The benefits are more for my mental stability because if I have done a 10 miler the previous week, a 16 or 18 miler won't seem that much longer.
3) Do some speed work at least once every two weeks. As I get older, I am still running sub 8 minute miles on all my runs but it seems harder. This doesn't mean I have to go to the track and rip of 20 quartes at 65 seconds. I just need to get to the point that I can consistently rip off a 5 or 6 miler at 7 minute pace, which will make 8 minute pace a walk in the park. There are 10k races in the Bay area almost every weekend. I also need to do several Yasso's at 7 minute pace just to be one of the cool kids.
4) I need to make sure I have some balance. One of the main reasons I am not doing triathlons anymore is I wanted to make sure I had some semblance of a life, and when I trained for the Ironman I let it take over my life. Training for a marathon takes half the time if not less as training for an Ironman - lots of time for a life.
5) Fitness needs to be more than just the marathon. One of the goals of working out is to qualify but I also can't be afraid to test myself physically in other areas like Cross Fit or long bike rides. One of the reasons I don't want to go off Creatine is I like feeling strong and fit, but I am still tending to demonstrate that just by lifting and runnning. It's time to incorporate Angie, Barbara and Chelsea.
6) Have a goal post Boston. Once I do qualify for Boston, what I am I going to have left as a goal. One of the reasons I stopped doing triathlons shortly after the 2006 Lake Placid Ironman is I didn't feel like doing another one would be motivating unless I had a big goal out there like going sub 12 hours. I don't think I am prepared to do the hard training needed to go much faster than 3 hours 30 minutes, but will I be happy trying to qualify for Boston a second time?