Kelsey’s race in Houston was definitely uncharted territory. She had run NYC just 10 weeks prior and since we did a lot of marathon specific stuff in the NYC build up, we did not want to do that again…we needed to make sure that we still were training for the marathon, but needed to approach it differently with 10 more weeks to go after NYC and already establishing a base of aerobic fitness.
So, what did we do?
The first thing we did was get away from the 4-5 day cycle that we were on…typically in the heart of marathon training I prefer a long marathon type of session every 4-5 days. Those sessions are usually 18-24 miles in length and typically have a lot of marathon paced running within them.
I changed her cycle to more of a standard week setup:
M. Easy run w/ strides (two runs)
T. Quality session
W. Easy run (two runs)
T. Medium long run (14-18 miles)
F. Speed maintenance (two runs)
S. Long run / Marathon specific session
S. Easy run
This setup allowed for her to run with the team when they were on campus to finish out the spring semester and gave her some routine in her training. It was very easy for her over travel or holidays to know…Friday I need to find a track to do speed maintenance. Saturday I need to have time to get in a longer session…things like that.
The next thing we did was get away from the longer session on Tuesday. In fact, the longest session she did on Tuesday was 10,000 meters in length. Her Tuesday workouts were focused on starting around marathon pace, but usually finishing up closer to 10,000 meter pace or 5k pace…depending on the session, Or, they were just a standard tempo run with the first half at marathon pace and second half closing around half marathon pace.
Those workouts were:
20 x 200 meters on / 200 meters off
1M + 2 x (5 x 400 meters)
2 x (10 x 400 meters)
3 miles + 2 miles + 1 mile
2 x 3 miles
2 miles @ goal pace (taper session)
For her long runs on this build up we focused on not trying to hammer every long run, but to run in control and to feel good for each long run. By doing that, we got rid of any sort of pace expectation and she ended up having a lot of good long runs. Her long run progression looked like this:
18 miles w/ the last three miles @ MP
15 miles including a 5k race
22 miles w/ 16-20 @ MP
18 miles hilly
12 miles w/ last three miles @ MP
All in all, it was a very simple build up. We mixed up the Tuesday sessions to get some faster running and tempo running in throughout the 10 weeks. We were consistent with the long runs. And we just had a very good and controlled 10 weeks of training after a very long block into NYC.
There is no secret to running fast…well, there is, but it doesn’t have to do with training. It’s all about being consistent, training within yourself, and making sure that you’ve got a good attitude about it all.
2:31:53 is an awesome performance. I believe that sets her up to be the 18th fastest American heading into the trials…obviously a lot of time between now and then…but we’ll now turn our focus to some shorter racing this spring!!!