Category Archives: FIRST Training Program

A Week in Review

What a great week for training! I am making a concentrated effort to drop another 15-20 pounds by April 20th for my next full marathon. So far so good as I am down ~6 pounds since my initial weigh-in 2 weeks ago. Here is an update on my training from this week culminating in my long run today!

A Week in Review:
  • Monday: Cycled at the gym for 10.25 miles for high RPMs to work on foot turnover
  • Tuesday: Interval training.  6 x 800m at an 8:44 pace
  • Wednesday: 2 miles walking
  • Thursday: Tempo run for 6 miles + 2 miles warm-up & cool down.
  • Friday: Insanity Workout – Insane Abs
  • Saturday: 13.1 miles at MP+15sec
  • Sunday: Rest

Hard to believe I completed the Goofy Challenge (Unofficial) just five weeks ago and now I’m back into full marathon training for April. I love running!

Happy Training!

Brian

Finally…a plan!

After too many weeks of “training by feel” I have finally written down an eight week training plan for the remaining time approaching the Indianapolis Mini Marathon the first weekend in May. I am excited to be tracking results as I have in the past! I’m using the FIRST training program again since I had good results from it last time. I bought the book some time ago and I still use it regularly. It was probably one of the best purchases I’ve made for training.

Here’s the outline. I have more details on my version as to specific pace, distance, etc.

  • Sunday: Long Run
  • Monday: Bike (Recovery Ride)
  • Tuesday: Weights and Intervals
  • Wednesday: Weights and Bike
  • Thursday: Tempo Run
  • Friday: Bike
  • Saturday: Rest Day

I of course adapted the program slightly for my own needs and from reading about tips from elite runners. It’s amazing what you can pick up for advice by reading blogs and Runner’s World Magazine! I’m going to return to doing a post run ice bath once my mileage climbs a little higher and I’m lifting weights before a couple of my run days so my recovery days and rest days are truly for rest and recovery.

Overall my knee is still feeling well though I can tell from a little stiffness that taking it easy and continuing to work into the harder stuff is a wise decision. This morning I did intervals after weights and pushed the 2peed a bit on 1200m sprints. My knee was feeling a bit, but felt good afterwards.

Last week I added my first long slow distance run (LSD) of the season and it felt good to get out there on the trail for an hour or so. This coming weekend looks to be a 12-miler on Saturday. I fully plan to have some fun on St. Patrick’s Day so I’m switching my rest day to Sunday to accomodate the change in schedule. As I’ve said before, it’s important to schedule some celebration days into your program so you don’t go crazy!

Happy Training!

Brian

You can follow me on Twitter @TheRunningman23

Planning

What did most of the people do on the plane ride from Orlando to Indianapolis the Monday after the Disney World Marathon Weekend & Goofy Challenge?

Answer: They slept.

What did I do?

Answer: I planned out my training program to get me a PR finishing time at the Indianapolis Mini Marathon on Saturday May 6th.

The Goofy Challenge proved to me that I have a bit of endurance in me. I felt better after three days of running a total of 42.4 miles than I did the previous year after my first full marathon. While I know an extra year of training and the post race recovery methods I employed were much of the difference from year to year I can’t help but want to change focus from distance to speed.  They say speed comes with time. Great! I’ve been training for over two years now so I’m going to focus more on the speed and less on going a “further than last weekend’s” long run of 26.2 miles.

My most ambitious goal would be to try for a sub 2-hour time. My previous year’s mini marathon time was just under 02:06:00. Shaving off nearly 6 minutes from my run would take a lot of dedication but more accurately some very smart and specific traini especially considering I just got over fighting off a rhino virus which quite foolishly wandered too near my immune system…silly rhino virus.

My first order of business is to fully recover from my 42.4-mile journey (and the stupid cold), which I have done over the last 2 weeks. In the interim, I focused on biking, some elliptical work and lifting weights while also getting plenty of sleep. That time period not only refueled the body but also the mind and spirit after a long distance fight in which I’ve come a long way.

While I have mapped out a 14-week training program the intensity does not ramp up until next week. Monday I’ll refocus on my previous FIRST training regimen of three runs a week with two cross training days.  I’m going to focus on regular stationary bike and spin classes for my cross training along with resistance training thrown in to build more strength. I’ll write more on my bike focus in a later post as it involves a future goal.

Also, this is a good example of how as soon as you finish rewarding yourself for a job well done on hitting a goal you should immediately plan the next “BIG Thing.”  For me it’s relative speed in a particular race.

Churros & Dos Equis! - My Victory Dance

So look at 2011, smile at what you’ve accomplished, and look ahead to what comes next.

I’ll post my entire training program in a few weeks.  Until then…

Happy Training!

Brian

Follow me on twitter @TheRunningMan23

Dealing with “the voices” of Doubt

So there are only a few days left until the big event. You’ve trained relentlessly (at times) for your [insert your race distance here] and you are ready to go!!  ….but now come the voices of doubt.  You know them all too well and they can strike at any time including both before and during a race. You’ve even heard them before while training. The voices are fueled by self doubt, lack of confidence, good old fashioned worry, and a host of other things that may or may not be real except when those voices start whispering. They are silent at times but are always sitting there on your shoulder right or left (right for me).  They can get down right nasty at times too!  I think mine drinks.

The voices say all sorts of things about a plethora of subjects…they include your previous training, how you’re feeling right now, “Is your knee feeling ok?” “Did you taper too soon?…not soon enough?” “Is that sneeze from the pepper on the potatoes or are you getting sick? You don’t have time to get sick!”  “Did you hydrate enough?  You should drink another glass of water just in case…dang you have to pee again?…fourth time this hour.” “Did you do enough speed work?” “What if there are hills??  Indiana is flat!…you didn’t train for hills!!” “What if you come in last?” “Was that 20 miler long enough for the longest long run?” ” What if the “lagin wagon” catches you??” “How can THAT GUY have passed you?? …you’re half his size?!?” “Should you use the GU now or wait until the time dictated on the package?? You could use one now, right?!?” “Will 10 GUs be enough for the full-marathon?” “Should you wear your iPod on the right or left?” “Do your shoes have too many miles on them for this event?…not enough miles??”  “Will you have enough time to stop for pictures AND maintain the minimum pace? You have to pee yet again???  You shouldn’t have had that 6th glass of water.”

I realized some time ago that the voices never go away…they just get a tad bit quieter over time.  I’ve also compiled tips for combating these infernal conveyors of bad tidings.

I call it “My Ten Tips for Combating the Infernal Conveyors of Bad Tidings.” Catchy title right?

  • Train regularly. Have a plan and stick to it!
    • The plan should be written down…in pencil. If you can’t get your scheduled 5 miler in then do a 1 miler…
  • Keep track of your numbers so you can celebrate every victory no matter how small.
    • Weight, speed, distance, time, heart rate, eating breakfast every day…whatever you want to track!
  • Plan your training to be a part of your life not a temporary substitute for it.
    • My day includes training. Doesn’t feel right without it!
  • Practice smiling while you train. <– This one small act may be the most important.
    • Do this especially when you’re having a rough go of it during a training session.
    • I always smile any time I run over 10 miles…can’t help it.
  • Tell people about what you’ve got planned.
    • It’s amazing what you can do when you’re accountable to others.
  • Positive self-talk.
    • This is an actual technique used by professional athletes. Tell yourself how awesome you are…try it now.  Feels good doesn’t it!?!?
  • Visualize your Win.
    • This is another technique used by professional athletes. See yourself crossing the finish line.
  • Have multiple goals for an event.
    • A PR is nice, but won’t happen every time. Enjoyment CAN and SHOULD be a goal. Consistency can be another. If you run a half or 5K at the same speed two years in a row then you’ve maintained a good level of fitness so congrats!!
  • Have a planned routine for race day.  I call it my “pre-game”.  Stick to it!
    • I even bring my own cereal with me to overnight events so as to have my pre-game breakfast
  • Relax.
    • There are 20,000 other runners who are also in no danger of winning the race. We all get the same medal and nearly every one of those 20K will say, “congrats” when they see it hanging around your neck. I will. You do the same!

Bonus Tip!

This one is a little strange. At some point the voices will come calling…they always do. My advice is to have a reply ready. Mental preparedness goes a long way to putting a muzzle on self doubt.

Examples:

The Voices: “It’s too cold out here.”  The reply: “Better get running to warm up then.”

The Voices: “The knee is feeling stiff today.”  The reply: “I’ll take a little longer warm up and it’ll loosen up. Give it time.”

The Voices: “You’re not ready for this race.” The reply: “I’ve trained for this day. Worst case, I just cross the finish line and I’m OK with that.”

The Voices: “You need another 10-miler before the race next week.” The reply: “It’s taper time now so I’m sticking to the plan. Better to be over rested than over trained.”

I hope these tips help you when the voices just won’t do the right thing and shut-up.  😉

Happy Training!

Brian

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

-Marianne Williamson

FIRST day back…pun intended

After two weeks off from running I hit the treadmill this morning at 5:00am for my 1st FIRST Key Workout in what seemed like a lot longer than 2 weeks! Key Workout #1 each week is Interval Training and today called for 1-kilometer repeats (x5) at an approximate 8:10/mile pace.  For those who can’t do kilometer to mile conversions in their head… 1 kilometer = .62 miles.

The first three intervals were good, but I could tell I had lost a little speed over the last couple weeks. The last two were a bit more brutal. I was toggling between 7.4 and 7.3 mph on the TM for the last two intervals. I also slowed down a bit more for the 400m RIs for the last to Rest Intervals to 5.0mph.

Tomorrow is a cross training and lifting day. I plan to take a step back on the cross training intensity so I can focus more on the Key Running Workouts.  The cross training days will be for recovery from here on out!

Happy Training!

-Brian