This year’s “A” race was the Avenue of the Giants Marathon in Myers Flat, a small town in the Coastal Redwoods of Northern California.
For my training this year I tried something a little different. Instead of running 5-6 times during the week, I did only 3 Quality runs per week. The 3 Quality runs are the Maintenance/Pace Day, Speed Day, and the Long Distance Day.
The maintenance/pace run are short-mid distance runs with a little fartlek style pace work included. The speed/interval day are fast, sprint style repeats on the track if possible. The long distance runs are done slightly slower than your goal marathon pace varying from goal pace to your goal pace plus 1:30. Reducing the amount of times running and being a little more focused on the 3 quality runs will lessen the wear and tear on the joints typical of a regular training program.
I also seemed to enjoy the training more without having so much mileage hanging over my head every week…that also allowed my body to recover better and I seemed to get a little more out of each run. I know when you start to get into weeks 12, 13, etc the mileage and the training gets to be challenging both mentally and physically. This new structure should help curtail that a little.
So, if you’re planning on doing any of the upcoming events in the area; The Annapolis Ten Miler this month, the Metric Marathon in October, or the Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k maybe try the 3 Quality Run program. I believe this program mixed with a day or two of weights and/or cross-training should be perfect for all racers whether just trying to finish or trying to win an age group.