On 11/11, Roman tackled his last major specific workout before the CIM marathon on 12/8.
Prescribed workout: 18 miles continuous. First 10-12 at conservative marathon, 6-8 at goal.
This is about as difficult of a workout as I’d ask for a marathoner to do. He’s built up to this by a series of similar runs. Early season threshold work turned into long tempo runs at marathon effort. Those 10-14 mile tempo runs progressed mostly through volume, then by pace. In my head, what someone can do for 18 miles in practice, can do for 26.2 miles in a race. For me, 18 miles is as much specificity as I’d ask. I know plenty of coaches and athletes who never run more than 14 miles at marathon effort. I know a few athletes and coaches who will do more than 18 miles at their goal effort. 18 miles for me is the right number when considering a race specific workout, with relevance to recovery time. It was convenient that this fell in line with Roman’s training, as the X’s and O’s always need to be written with in mind to the specific athlete.
After Roman has run a number of long tempo runs, we progressed to the following:
3-4 x 3-4 miles with a mile easy between. 16-18 mile runs with a conservative start, then progressing. There are two main reasons for the progression and conservative beginning.
1) Respect for the marathon distance.
2) This is Roman’s first real crack at the distance.
Roman has run one marathon before, and that was not an honest attempt at running to his potential. CIM will be different. He has had a true build-up. He’s healthy, and as fit as he has ever been.
Roman is training the way he will race: Get through 20 miles well, then race. I hope that Roman will feel good come race day, but whether he does or doesn’t is only so much within our control. The real goal is to give Roman the confidence and training to run well regardless of how he feels.
Now is the time for recovery. When he feels good again, he will hit a workout. The last few weeks his mileage will stay similar – a slight drop in volume – but the “intensity” mostly the same. No more huge workouts. Just keeping the engine revved, before taking the last few days quite light.