Halfway through the program is a great point to take stick and make sure things are going well. Do you have any little injuries that refuse to go away? If so, how are you managing them? Do you feel weak in a particular phase of racing, maybe in the hills or the last mile? Don’t get me wrong – you can take stock on a daily basis, it’s just that after two months you actually have some data to work from: two races, 16 total quality sessions, and eight long runs. Not bad.
This month, we’re going to extend the intervals to 1200s (3/4 of mile), while tempo runs will stay pretty constant and long runs will lengthen slightly. Some might wonder why I’ve structured the program in such a rote fashion, and the answer is brilliance in the basics. The workouts are repetitive so you can 1) build a sense of pacing and 2) easily track your progress and 3) remember your workout even if you only have 40 minutes on a lunch break to sneak it in. This program isn’t quite the lipstick and eyeshadow of Jogger’s World (“train for your marathon on ten minutes a week!”) but it also isn’t Jack Daniels (some of his marathon workouts have left me in an existential crisis).
1) 1200m Intervals. The pacing is going to be weird the first time, but you’ll get used to it. Once again the track is preferable but a verified distance of flat ground also works. Week 1: 3-4 x 1200m at 5k pace with 2:00 rest. Add one more repeat each week until you have a max total of 4 miles in total interval distance.
2) Tempo Runs. Continue with a weekly 20-30 minute tempo with the pace changes as noted last month.
3) Long Runs. Week 1: 65 minutes. Week 2: 80 minutes. Week 3: 85 minutes. Week 4: 85 minutes.
4) Racing. If you haven’t raced yet for whatever reason, now would be a really good time to log a 5k race and see where your fitness resides.