Pf**king with the Pfitzinger and Douglas pformula

"Pf**k your formula, pops!" (Photo: IMDB)

“Pf**k your pformula, pops!” (Photo: IMDB)

After yesterday’s pfalse dawn, my Pfitzinger and Douglas marathon training plan began in earnest today. I had a steady 10-mile run in the window between this evening’s World Cup matches.

Scholars of Pf. and D. are probably shouting “Aha!” at their computers right now. Yes, “Aha!” because the first run in the 18-week, up-to-55-mile programme isn’t a steady 10-mile run at all – it’s an 8-mile run with the middle 4 miles at half-marathon race pace.

I beg your forbearance, Pf. and D. pedants, but already I’ve been obliged to pf**k with the pformula.

On Saturday I’ll be doing the Irish Runner 5 Mile race in Dublin. So, I’ve taken the executive decision to use that as my speed work for this week – 5 miles at something close to my 5k pace instead of 4 at the slower pace of a half-marathon.

Also, to give myself some sort of taper ahead of the race, I’ve juggled this week’s mileage. The plan for this week calls for an 8 mile threshold run on Tuesday, 9 regular miles on Thursday, 4 recovery miles on Saturday and a 12-miler on Sunday. Instead, though, I’ve done 10 miles today, I’ll do 4 miles on Thursday, a one-mile pre-race leg-stretcher on Friday morning, the 5-mile race on Saturday and then an easy 13-miles on Sunday. That will see me hit this week’s total of 33 miles.

In truth, I fully expect to pfiddle some more with Pf. and D.’s plan over the coming weeks – and that’s how it should be. Training plans aren’t there to be followed slavishly. Work, family and especially World Cup matches place other demands on your time. Better to be flexible and enjoy your run conveniently rather than run stressed because you’re cramming it into a too-small window.

Also, most training plans don’t factor in shorter races or parkruns that you’ll want to do, and which will require some juggling. These races are just as important as your training runs – you’ll get a feel for the preparations and buzz of the big day, and a race is an opportunity to see how your training has progressed.

The main thing is to make sure you keep the key elements of the prescribed training week – the long run, the speed or threshold workout, the recovery runs and recovery non-runs, and as much of the mileage as you can fit in. (Be warned, though – trying to fit in 20 of next week’s miles into this week’s running is A Bad Idea, unless you’re looking for a pretext to visit your physio.)

Keep pf**king up the pformula, baby!

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