Monday, January 21, 2013

5 Weeks Down, 11 More To Go - Training Update

I can't believe how fast time flies. Seems just like yesterday I started my training plan for the 2013 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. Yet, here I am with five weeks under my belt already.

Thus far, I am feeling good about things. My approach this time is more focused as I'm looking to find ways to improve my performance, and more importantly to me, my endurance.

Above everything, I want to be able to remain strong throughout the race. This takes place planning, focus and practice. Slowly but surely, I'm coming to understand it is OK to have a slower, consistent pace at the beginning of a run/race in order to have more in the tank at the end of the run/race.

This is not an easy concept for me to put into practice. Being a bit Type A, I want to go all out from the get go. And this approach wears me out, forcing me to take more and more walk breaks during the final stages of the run/race.

To help build my strength and endurance, I've added more cardio and core work to my regiment. I still need to incorporate more strength work, and as my work schedule evens back out, I should be able to.

My workout yesterday - 6-mile run, 8.6-mile spin, 4-mile
run and a 1:16 plank
The spin bike has been my go-to exercise for more cardio work. I really enjoy a spin workout as it stretches out my legs without tiring them out like a run does. Meanwhile, I feel stronger on my runs because of the time I've been spending on the bike. I don't understand the science or logic behind that, but I'll take it!

Since beginning my training on Dec. 17, I have tallied 108.1 miles on the spin bike with 78.3 coming since Jan. 1.

It's been interesting examining my running totals during the first five weeks. It's tough starting a training plan during the holiday season. You want consistency to help give you a solid base, but sometimes life makes that difficult.

That all said, I'm pleased with my mileage thus far. Here is a breakdown of my weekly mileage.

Week 1 - 31.1 miles (long run of 10.3 miles)
Week 2 - 36.6 miles (long run of 11.2 miles)
Week 3 - 30.6 miles (long run of 14.1 miles)
Week 4 - 36.0 miles (long run of 13.2 miles)
Week 5 - 38.4 miles (long run of 15 miles)

Total miles running is 172.7. Add the 108.1 miles on the bike, and I've amassed 280.8 total miles.

As part of my training, a hill workout is included each week. During the first four weeks, the hill workout was 6-7.5 miles in length. This past week, I was afraid I would not get any hill work in due to traveling for work. But my local running group had a nice 12-mile run lined up for Saturday along one of the hilliest areas locally. So I did that and tacked on three more miles just for fun.

Last year, I felt I did alright managing the hills in the Knoxville Marathon. But those are some tough hills. With this more intense focus on hill work, I can not only climb those hills this year but conquer them.

Yes, I posted these goals when I announced I was running this race, but I want to reiterate my commitment to them.

  1. Finish - always the top priority;
  2. A sub-5 hour time;
  3. A PR - my current PR is 4:58:43 at last year's Knoxville Marathon;
  4. A sub-4:45 time - ultimate goal is a sub-4:30, but this is a process. One step at a time.
So, how is your training going? What's on your race calendar and what goals are you aiming for?

Happy running!


  1. Great progression and consistency. Well done! Be sure to throw in an active recovery week every 4-5 weeks to allow proper rebuild. Without this you will find you begin to plateau out shortly after. A good active recovery is to drop to around half the distance and only doing sessions at light effort. Mix in plenty more cross training such as swimming or cycling.

    You're on target for a great PR there mate.

    Keep it up!

    1. Thanks, Matt! Appreciate the encouragment.