Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Short training schedule

I have been on a short training schedule for the Christchurch Marathon. We went to Nepal to trek and when we came back there was an announcement on the marathon’s web site that the course had been relocated from the central business district to Lincoln University and the race is on despite the earthquake damage in Christchurch.

That gave me only 8 weeks to train. I had been running 8 miles on my long runs and had not run at all in Nepal. I wasn’t lazy in Nepal as we trekked through the mountains. But my training base was not as good as it normally is and my long run was not nearly as long as it is when I start training. Last week Andrea and I went to Hong Kong and I did not run a step which meant I missed last week’s long run. I planned it that way and it was totally worth it. My training schedule for a marathon is typically 18 weeks. I have done it on as short as 12 weeks with a really good base.

My long runs this time have been 12, 15, 17, 17 (supposed to be 19 but I cut it short), off, 20 (supposed to be 22 but that was too ambitious), 12, 8, marathon.

I have asked Jakeb more than once if he wants to drop down to the half marathon. He has been studying for and taking exams since we got back from Nepal and his training has not been any better than mine. But he is adamant that we run the marathon.

So on Sunday we took off together at 5:30 am to run 20 miles – our longest long run. At the beginning I tried to keep it slow but I felt too good. Jakeb and I ran ten together. We ran from home to MacRitchie, around the trails at the lake and at ten miles he took off to finish his last ten faster than me. I ran my last ten alone with some walking thrown in. It was not my best long run by far but I was a little surprised that it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

Still, the Christchurch Marathon is going to be tough. And we would like to be able to run in other parts of New Zealand. We want to run at Mount Cook. We want to run/hike up Ben Lomond in Queenstown. I am sure there will be other places to run too.

Jakeb came to me with a plan. He said we should run the marathon slow at a conversational pace where we will have something left to run the Hooker Glacier Trail at Mount Cook the next morning. I am all for running slow. That was my plan all along. But running slow I still may not be able to run the next morning. I may set a reverse PR for my slowest marathon yet. We will see.

Now it’s time for the taper.