Marathon Training 2015 – Week 1

I survived week 1, although barely. Today in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, runners were struggling with the heat, even as early as 8:00am, as NYC basks in a heat wave over the next two days.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am using New York Road Runner’s (NYRR) Virtual Trainer, which I am going to review fully later. One of the good things about this plan is that after you input your current running regime, fitness and experience, it creates a plan based on that and gives you a target time for your marathon, which should be realistic. What’s a little surprising is the huge jump in mileage right from the start.

I told it I was running about 20 miles a week, and 3 runs (barely true) and had 3 years’ running experience. Most coaches and most literature tell you not to increase your mileage by more than 10% a week. Instead of suggesting I slowly increase my miles until the official training kicked in (I signed up at the start of June) it actually told me to maintain my current mileage. So imagine my surprise when week 1 is 33 miles, which is more than a 50% increase. I can tell you I felt it.

To be completely fair, the VT did actually tell me I was making a big jump and suggested I move to a more conservative plan, but even that plan starts at 31 miles, still a 50% jump on 20. It might be better if it suggested a slow increase in mileage before the 16 weeks starts.

Week 1 by the numbers

The week was 4×6 miles, at different paces, plus a long run of 9 miles for a total of 33 miles.

Day one was a regular run. My prescribed pace range is 9:05 – 9:20, but in the 77˚ heat and 81% humidity, with zero wind I wilted and only managed a 9:33 pace over 6 miles. Day 2 was an ‘as you feel’ day again over 6 miles, meaning I was supposed to run however I wanted. I ended up doing 9:22, the temperature was 79˚ but the humidity was only 58%.

Day 3 was a tempo run, with a mile warm up, 3 miles at sub-9 mins miles (8:50 – 8:55) and then a 2 mile cool down. My splits for the tempo part was an average of 8:56, although my Garmin 225 seemed to lose the per mile splits because I entered the 3-miles as a single split in the training (more on that another time). After a flex day, when I did almost nothing, I had another regular run day, 6 miles at 9:36 pace, again 75˚ with 79% humidity. So hot hot hot.

Finally today I ran 9.2 miles in what I can only describe has brutal heat and humidity and collapsed to a saunter of 10:24 per mile overall. More wrongly my heart rate went from the low 160’s to spiking at 173… and this was my ‘long run’ which is supposed to be slow, and around 60% max effort.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.44.21 PM
Slow pace but high effort is usually a worry, but the heat and humidity were a strong contributing factor. You can see the water breaks as the white lines in the ‘pace’ graph. 11:35 was my slowest pace!

So overall a inconspicuous start to my training. I get tomorrow off, but will be looking for some improvements over the next few weeks, as I feel and actually am slower than this time last year!

Week 1 – 2014 Vs 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.58.39 PM
More Miles, but Slower
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