Two months done in my Dublin Marathon 2014 training, and you’ll be sickened to read that so far everything has gone well.
Using the Pfitzinger and Douglas 18-55 marathon training plan, I’ve gone over 50 miles per week in each of the last two weeks. This is something of a departure for me; after overtraining for the 2011 Dublin Marathon I kept my weekly mileage to a maximum of around 42 miles in subsequent years.
The increase in distance has been incremental as the weeks have gone by, which means that I haven’t run myself into a serious injury. A visit to a physical therapist a couple of weeks ago helped to relieve some minor tightness in the muscles of my left foot which I had initially feared was the onset of plantar fasciitis, but aside from that all parts have been working smoothly. I’m writing at the end of a 54-mile week, and I feel quite fresh in my legs.
Along with more miles, the second phase of the Pf. and D. plan has pushed up the lactate threshold work. Looking back through my training log, I’m heartened to see my progress; four weeks ago I struggled through a session with 4 miles at faster than race pace, but this week I sailed through a similar 6-mile session and felt fine afterwards.
I had started using threshold runs in my training last year, but this year I’ve been more structured about it, thanks to following Pfitzinger and Douglas. If you want to run faster marathons, you need to be doing lactate threshold runs in your training.
Another innovation in this last month of training has been my introduction to the world of Pilates. After years of hearing physios recommend it to me, I finally had the chance to join a local class. Just as I expected, it was bloody hard – two days after my first class, my abdomen still felt like a small child was jumping up and down on it. That said, I really enjoy Pilates so far; it’s satisfying to get a good hard workout in muscles that I never usually exercise. I intend to keep up the Pilates – although I had similar good intentions with the swimming lessons I started in March but let drop recently.
No training plan is impervious to the demands of real life, including holidays. During the last month I spent a long weekend in Copenhagen, and so I took the opportunity of taking a run in the Danish capital. Having chosen my route in advance from looking at a map, I ended up with some great straight miles of tarmac paths through a rather desolate and run-down park called Amagerfaelled which reminded me of the notoriously seedy Bois de Boulogne to the west of Paris. Still, it was a good run.
I haven’t had any races or parkruns in the last month, but as the Dublin Marathon gets nearer I’ll be fitting in some preparatory races. Next Saturday I’ll do the Frank Duffy 10 Mile in the Phoenix Park in Dublin – it’ll be my first race in six weeks, and so I’ll get a better idea of my form and my marathon potential.
The Dublin Marathon definitely feels closer now, but these last two months of training have given me some substantial evidence-based confidence in how I’ll fare on the big day. Before then, though, I have ten more weeks of Pfitzinger and Douglas training to do, and anything could happen!