Monday, July 19, 2010

Beset by Banjo, Beer and a Bonk

I headed into the weekend right on target for my training. By the time I got to Sunday night, my mileage was 15 miles short of my goal for the week.

My Saturday started at 5:30 a.m., when I dragged the Enthusiast and Dobson out of bed and drove down to southern Ohio for a banjo lesson with master old-time musician Dan Levenson.

After eight hours of driving and three hours of talking about music and getting some pointers on my banjo technique, I felt drained by the time we got home. Instead of running nine miles that evening, I decided to pick up a sixer of Thirsty Dog Labrador Lager.

Sunday evening arrived with the promise of a hot and sticky 18-miler. I headed to the Towpath for an out-and-back. My pace was dreadful. Halfway through, I was running close to 11-minute miles. Approaching 12 miles, the sky turned black and thunder started to roll through. I made the call. I was done.

For the second time in a row, my long run was well short of my planned mileage. Something ain't right.

Akron Marathon Training Week 7:
  • Monday's shortened makeup long run (11:26 pace) for Week 6 set me way off schedule.
  • Wednesday, I felt the effects of the time crunch with a two-a-day, a four-mile recovery run (10:19 pace) in the morning and a three-mile slog (9:25 pace) on the R.I.P. Hill on Memorial Parkway.
  • Thursday was a harder-than-it-should-have-been marathon race pace run (8:58 pace) for seven miles.
  • Saturday's nine-miler? See above.
  • Sunday's planned 18-miler was a bonked 12 miles (11:34 pace).
My weekly total was 26 miles, well short of the 41 miles on my schedule. However, from Monday to Sunday, I ran 40 miles. It seems obvious that the delayed long run crashed my party. My schedule has gotten knocked out of whack. Now I'm wondering what to do.

If Monday's run counts for last week, that makes Week 6 a 35-mile week, when it was supposed to be 37. Week 7, then, is a dreadful 15 miles off target. Otherwise, I was only off by one mile last week, but my long runs the past two weeks progressed from 14 miles to 12 miles, when they were supposed to be 16 to 18.

What is more important, the weekly mileage or the long run progression?

Though weekly mileage is important, I think the long runs hold more sway. This week was supposed to be a rest week with a 12-mile long run. Since I just did 12 last night, I think I will repeat the plan for Week 6, follow week 7, and then jump to Week 10.

My altered plan would mean a long run progression of 14, 14, 12, 16, 18, then 20 miles, including the last three weeks (instead of 14, 14, 12, 18, 20). A little more tweaking to the weekly mileage, and I'll go from 34, 35, 26, 40, 44, to 48 miles. The only thing I skip is an extra 18-miler. What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

A tough question to be sure. From the standpoint of my psychi, I would prefer to complete the weekly long run. That gives me more confidence than meeting my weekly mileage goal. I am sure there will be others who disagree, but that's running for you.

Mike Antonucci said...

The long run is more important. For example, you could run five 10-milers in a week to fill your mileage quota, but you wouldn't be ready for a marathon.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Long run completion is critical. Weekly mileage is third. Holding second in order of importance is quality of and variety in shorter runs. It might be possible that your energy beverage of choice is a negative influence.

BrianFlash said...

I'm a long run proponent. Especially after talking to Bart Yasso while he was training for Comrades. Because of his Lyme disease, the only run he did each week was the marathon he was attending - all other training was on the bike.

And he finished Comrades with 30 minutes to spare!

chia said...

Thought #1: Too much math.

Thought #2: See aforementioned thought on maths.

Sorry your trots was cut short by malicious old mother nature. You'll kick buttski this week on those fresh legs!

Jess said...

The long run is definitely more important than the weekly mileage. That being said, though, a good rule of thumb to abide by to avoid injury is that the long run's mileage should not exceed the week's runs total mileage.

Junk Miler said...

I thought I'd wait to read what everyone else suggested and just agree with them. Your body doesn't care about seven-day cycles. Get the long runs in, skip the rest if you have to.