Second Plateau Progression

by Bob Grumbine

This should be of interest to all of our beginner program
graduates and a number of club members whose training isn’t
where they want it to be. It’s an outline of how to get from
the first plateau — running 30 minutes 3 days a week — to
the second — running a well-rounded week with a longest run
of 60 minutes, and 4 days a week. It totals 3 hours running
per week, doubling the first plateau.

        1:  30 minutes, 3 days a week
        2:  30 minutes, every other day
        3:  2 runs of 30 minutes, 2 of 20
            (do these on the back-to-back days)
        4:  3 runs of 30 minutes, 1 of 20
            (do this 20 the day after an easy 30)
        5:  33, 2 of 30, 20
        6:  36, 2x30, 25
        7:  39, 3x30  (so you'll have
            back-to-back 30 minute days)
        8:  42, 3x30
        9:  45, 35, 2x30
       10:  49, 35, 35, 30
       11:  54, 40, 35, 30
       12:  55, 45, 2x35
       13:  60, 45, 2x35
       14:  60, 2x45, 35

All this running is assumed to be conversational pace.
This is a somewhat conservative schedule. One principle it
embodies is to avoid increasing either the longest run or the
total weekly duration by more than 10% in any week. Some
of the weeks don’t increase, or don’t increase much, the
longest run. Some don’t change, or not much, the runs other
than the longest. Neither is an accident. The idea is
to have some portion of the running week that is relatively
familiar to your legs.

Note: If you do other aerobic exercise (spinning, swimming,
…) minutes are minutes at this point. If you do 30 minutes
of spinning at an effort level you’d feel in running, then
it counts as one of your workouts. It may be a very good
idea to use a non-running aerobic activity on the days
you’re doing your second consecutive aerobic workout.

From this plateau, you should be able to race comfortably
up to 10k. 5k will seem like a short run by the end.

Happy trails,
Bob Grumbine

Track Suggestions

by Bob Grumbine

A little late, but here’s my suggestion for track workouts
between now and January 1, when we will be doing the Great Lengths
races. The distances are tuned towards doing the 2008 Rods
race (about 10 km). But this should be a good series for anything
between 5k and 10 miles. If you want to focus on marathon, they
tend to be short, and if the mile, they’re long.

Dates are for the Tuesday of the given week

        9/17              800 m
        9/24             1600
       10/1               400
       10/8              1200
       10/15             2000
       10/22              600
       10/29             Tempo
       11/5              1200
       11/12             1600
       11/19              800
       11/26             2000
       12/3              Tempo
       12/10             1600
       12/17              800
       12/24             Dealer’s Choice
       12/31             Rest for tomorrow’s race

Tempo is a run where you go for 20-30 minutes at your 1 hour
race pace. If you run a 60 minute 10 miler, then it’s your 10 mile
race pace. If you’re closer to a 60 minute 10k, then it’s your
10k race pace. There are many other descriptions than ‘1 hour
race pace’, many of them being 10 mile race pace (perhaps 15 seconds
slower). The one hour race pace has the plus that it applies regardless
of your speed. Most of the other descriptions assume you’re towards
the 60 minute 10 miler. Your first time out, aim at the 20 minute

If you haven’t already race a hard 60 minutes, you can go by feel
somewhat. This is your ‘comfortably hard’ pace. You are breathing
too hard to want to converse, but not so hard that you can’t get words
out. You’re _not_ accumulating lactic acid (feeling ‘the burn’), but
would if you sped up a little or kept your speed on a slight uphill.

For the repeats, if they take under about 5 minutes, run them at
your 5k pace. If they’re over that, go for 10k pace. If one would
be much over 10 minutes (like the 2000m will be for many of us)
make those days 1600m days as well. If you haven’t run a 10k yet,
guess it to be 2.1 times your 5k time. (Then see my pacing web page
and make it compute your times as that pace for other distances if you
don’t want to compute it yourself.)

Happy tracks,
Bob Grumbine

Marathon Training Report Update

by Sharyn Davis-Gordon

Saturday, September 15

Hello Everyone,

Last Saturday I ran my 1st 20 mile practice run as part of my marathon
training. This distance is to be respected for it truly was a challenge and
although I was well prepared given my training to date I worked hard to
finish the run. I can’t sugar coat it, the distance was tough and besides
that running on the Mount Vernon trail presents its own set of unique
challenges. The terrain is mostly blacktop with a number of bridges along
the course, inclines, and some steep hills through the woods. The upside is
that when you coming back some of those inclines and steep hills turn into
fast down hills. Essentially what got me through the run was my training to
date, the fact that I stuck with my pace group (it paid off big), and the
fact that last Saturday was nice and cool and it stayed that way basically
for the entire run. Had it been hot and humid the outcome for me would have
been vastly different!!

We started at Belle Haven and ran all the way up to the Mount Vernon Estate
turned around and then came back to where we started. At that point we had
run about 15+ miles. Now here’s where it got difficult. To add 5 more
miles we then went back out and ran another 2.5 miles on the trail, turned
around and came back to the start point a second time. That gave us a total
distance of 20 miles. The prospect of going back out to run additional miles
after returning to the run start point was very hard-in fact it was rather
painful!!! Mentally, I just did not want to do it because in my mind I had
finished my run.but with the camaraderie of my pace group (and my hubby in
the distance directing me to go back out and finish) I stayed focused and
completed the mission. LOL

With the mission accomplished I was ecstatic! Overall I felt pretty good
although I was worried that I would be sore and stiff later that day. But
after returning home I stretched, rested a little while, and was up and out
the door to run errands by the afternoon. I kept thinking the soreness and
fatigue was going to catch up with me and hit me like a locomotive train but
it never did. I was very surprised-I guess I am getting stronger or

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to run the 20 miles in a certain time
period. Well I didn’t quite meet my goal. I think I exceeded my goal time
by 20 maybe 30 minutes. While I like to strive towards achieving my goals,
in this instance I was happy that I ran the 20 miles and walked away feeling
as good as I did. Tomorrow, Saturday, September 22, 2007 we are running 12
miles downtown on the Mall one last time before the marathon — isn’ t that
scary, our last training run on the Mall before the big event. Time is
flying-stay tuned…

Sharyn Davis-Gordon

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