Monday, November 21, 2005

The Plan

Running season is almost over. There are a few more scheduled until mid-December but the major ones are done.

2006 looks promising for my running career. My performance this year has been awesome. I’ve broken my records in New Balance Power Race, Milo National Marathon, Adidas King of the Road and to top it all, a new personal best time in the just concluded ANIMO!RUN. What’s so amazing is that I kept breaking barriers. Each run was almost an improvement from the previous one. I’m overwhelmed by the positive results given proper training and diet.

This early, my focus is on the Pasig Heritage Run – a 42K full marathon that starts in the historic Intramuros then steers through the streets of Manila, Pasay, Makati, Pasig and finally Fort Bonifacio in Taguig.

I’ve searched the web and read through countless magazines, journals and books on full marathon training. I found an interesting plan from Runner’s World and I’m particularly keen on it.

It’s a bit sadistic, to put it bluntly, for someone who has no interest in running. However, it’s heaven-sent for really serious runners. I’ll share it for the sheer pleasure of sharing something that matters to me. It’s called Marathon Training for Serious Runners. It says that “If you're accustomed to running 35-40 miles a week and are looking to qualify for the Boston marathon, this is the training plan for you.” What??? THE BOSTON MARATHON??? It’s the granddaddy of all running events… Now, this is interesting!

The training plan spans 16 weeks with the running distance varying each week. On the 1st week, it’s 40 miles (yes, that’s about 64 kilometers). Sounds really extreme and that’s just the start. The distance gradually increases until the 3rd week where you’re expected to run 77 kilometers. Wow, truly remarkable! So how does it work? The plan requires you to run 6 days a week, 5 mid-range runs with distances ranging from 5 miles to 7 miles. One day allotted for rest and the 6th training day would be a major one at 11 miles or more.

Fret not for the total distance on the 4th week tapers to 40 miles, back to where you started. You are given a week to relax because the next 3 weeks is hell. Sweet!!! Hahaha. The succeeding weeks will have you running between 45 to 57 miles – that’s anywhere between 72 to 91 kilometers. And to add sugar to a now more sweetened pie, the 10th to 13th week will have you grasping for breath as it requires you to run 60 miles (96 kilometers). The running distance narrows into the 14th week. From there the training takes on a relaxed (read humane) mode until you reach the final week where the distance is just a mere 15 miles.

So what do I think of this particular training??? Well, it’s uhhh…crazy??? Seriously, I find it really exciting, challenging and TOTALLY EXTREME! This is what I call taking the road less traveled. Will I ever get there? We’ll see…


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