Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Not-Quite Quarter Marathon

File this under "thank you Captain Obvious," but training for a 10K (6.2 miles) is much different than training for a marathon (26.2 miles). While distant training always improves my endurance, which helps for shorter distances, it does present a challenge when trying to come up with a race plan for shorter distances.

In attempting to race the Mountain Man Memorial 10K I found myself conserving far too late in the race. Partially because of the crazy steep terrain, but also because I taught myself all winter how to start incredibly slow the early miles. "Early" in my marathon mind is the first hour. After all, that first hour I wouldn't even covered a quarter of my distance yet.

This past week, I started speed work in an effort to get faster before my goal race. I've got the next 5 weeks to get in the 10K mindset. The first hour isn't for warming up, its for racing. My current PR is 55:19, so come Expo 10,000 I hope I'm already at the bagel table when the clock hits 1 hour.

As we do every summer, my training partner and I are debating the merits of the weights class we take. Muscular endurance is all well and good while we are building stamina, but during our speed focused training we just aren't sure how much it would benefit. Currently on the table are the possibilities of returning to swimming and/or cycling for cross train activities.

My current plan is the Hal Hidgon Intermediate 10K. I'm not incredibly happy with it, but his advanced plan has 6/7 days a week of running. I just don't run that much. The intermediate plan calls for lots of easy miles and only 1 day of speed work per week. The challenge, however, is to actually follow the plan.

I never follow training plans. Typically I'll look at one, decide its not practical and make up my own thing as I go. A fine approach if I were using research to back it up, or if I were okay with sloppy, thrown together result - neither of which is the case.

Its time (past time really) for me to try the revolutionary new training method called stick to the plan stupid! Its sister plan slow down stupid worked marvelously for my marathon.

The part where I ask for advice:
How do I keep the easy runs from becoming boring and monotonous? How do I set a goal, when I believe I can do so much better than a new PR? How do I mentally get it through my head to start fast and get faster?


  1. I also have a hard time with negative splits. Yuck! It helps me when I remember faster doesn't mean 2 minutes faster, it's only seconds faster. I set my marathon goal based on Hanson's Marathon Method and my tempo runs. Also have used the McMillan race calculator.
    I use sermon podcats or books for easy runs rather than music, seems to keep me more in a slow mode. Also inviting along a slower runner on easy days and carrying on a conversation.
    Past that I have no other words of wisdom. I haven't run a marathon yet(just 5 and 10K) so my credibility is iffy! Ha! 3 weeks and i'll be smarter! (-;

  2. I have no idea... but what are you doing for speed training? I've decided I'm done with distance for a while and want to focus on my 5k time (it's too hot for long runs during the summer!). I just don't know where to start...