Sunday, November 12, 2006

So . . . what's next?

I counted up the weeks and if I'm going to do a spring marathon, it's time to start training already!

Here are some of the short list contenders:
I'm inclined towards the National Marathon in DC, since that will involve the least travel for me. But that race has qualifying standards, and I just barely qualify based on not-so-recent 5K and 10K times. I'd be way at the back of the pack even if I ran a PR. And an 18-week training program would have to start . . . next Saturday. But the challenging goals have always held more appeal to me.

I've received a very kind offer of coaching expertise to work towards a spring marathon, but I'm still not sure that I'll be able to maintain anything like a consistent running training schedule on weekdays. It will have to consist mostly of long runs on weekends or with the single baby jogger while Elisabeth is in school, which may get a bit dicey in the winter months. Plus I'm not very amenable to being told what to do, and I don't want to be making a long series of "explanations" to anyone (aka excuses) about why I didn't complete the scheduled runs.

I like the Hal Higdon long run schedule, but I don't believe that I'll be able to do nearly so many shorter runs on weekdays. We'll see what I can cobble together. Maybe that means I should do something closer to Higdon's novice schedule. Combined with my bike and swim stuff.

The main target races through the spring are still the standard ones that I've done for the last two years, and I have to reserve some time for that bike and swim training through the winter, too:
Yeah, most people would take more time off after an Ironman attempt. So maybe it's good, in one sense, that I was a DNF at Ironman Florida - I didn't bring back any laurels to rest on! I don't feel like I've "earned" an extended vacation, nor do I feel like I psychologically need a long break. I took off the last entire week from workouts, and it seems like it's time to get back to it. I don't feel like I have the luxury of an "off-season" if I'm going to continue to improve my fitness - why stagnate and slip backwards (and gain weight) for several weeks? What purpose would that serve?


IMmike said...


not taking time off after an im is a very bad idea. Your rush to return to training seems like an emotional response to your dnf. So while you may want to return to training, you're body absolutely needs time to recover and "stagnation" from time off is not how endurance bases are built.

In your previous posts you have made comments about "faster people" not necessarily understanding how to train. I would strongly suggest that you look into periodization theory before you make any further training plans.

I'm not trying to sound harsh or like a jerk, but this is a terrible idea.

nancytoby said...

I understand what you're saying and I understand about periodization. I didn't say I was going to start hitting 20+-hour weeks, did I? I think there's a happy middle ground in between "zero" and "build phase 4" training.

IMO, most of it depends on mental attitude, not physical issues. Since I was sick I didn't get in a real heavy peak workload before IMFL anyway.

nancytoby said...

I should perhaps add that I physically feel quite recovered after a full week off! And recall I only ran about 8 or so miles during IMFL. I can't jump right back in yet anyway right now because of child care issues and some other things I have to do, so it's going to be nearly another full week before I can do much of a workout that outside of my living room.

nancytoby said...

And what I said was this, btw: "Just because someone is faster than you doesn't mean they know very much factual information about nutrition or physiology or biomechanics...."

I definitely didn't say faster people didn't understand how to train! The proof is in the pudding!

Geek Girl said...

I likewise am getting pretty excited while planning my 2007 season. I'm using a marathon training plan that includes runs on Tuesday, thursday, Saturdays, and Sundays - that way, I'm never running more than 2 days in a row. I need lots of recovery time. Are you going to try to run it the whole way or take walk breaks?

nancytoby said...

Yeah, I'm all about planning!

I'll plan to try to jog the whole thing except for walking the water stops. I do like taking walk breaks, but my walking pace is pretty slow and they do slow me down a lot.

That said, I'd be pretty amazed if I didn't end up walking a ways after the 20 mile marker! It would be a first not to!

TriBoomer said...


Your plan sounds reasonable to me. You'll know when you're body is overloaded.

I've heard good things about the Eagleman. Perhaps I'll race it in '08.

Stay tuned...

Charles said...


It's all about knowing your body. There is a such thing as overtraining, but if you are careful and pay attention, then the symptons are obvious and easy to treat with rest.

Planning the next season is always my favorite time of the year! Expectations for better times and a whole offseason to train for it :-) Good Luck and thanks for the help on linking the post!

Steve J said...


First, I enjoy your blog. I'm a runner friend of Clydesdale Ashley...

If your body feels good, why not get back to training? Just ease back into it (I'm sure you will).

My only suggestion would be to consider a HM instead of the full. Especially since you think you may not get a lot of miles in this winter. You won't need as much of a build for the half - less injury risk. Also, you won't have to interrupt your Tri-training with the longer taper and longer post-race rest of a full. And finally, why break down your body on such a long run (I assume you will be out there 5hrs?) if you don't need to. Still need a challenge? Set a fast time goal for your HM and really go for it.

As an engineer, I think the HM is a potentially more practical choice. (but don't quote me, ha ha ha).

Good luck with whatever you decide!

nancytoby said...

I may just do that, SteveJ. The National Marathon has a half with a nice course and their enlightened race management allows transfers between races pretty late. I have to sit down with an '07 calendar and see what I can work up for a training schedule!

WADDLER26.2 said...

I love planning ahead. It's a perfect time to start training for spring. Hal Higson does have a great program except it is hard for me to get a long midweek run in. Good Luck!

jbmmommy said...

I certainly keep yourself busy! I know nothing about proper training, just want to wish you good luck deciding which event you'll train for. It may not fit with your organized personality, but maybe you should decide the date/event after you've started running again to see how you're feeling? Happy running.

jbmmommy said...

Meant to say YOU keep yourself busy. Duh.

Comm's said...

YOur a long time marathoner, so I am a bit surprised your debating on which run schedule to use.

I perfer Hal's plans to others. The important thing I would personally inject is that if nothing else you reach your weekly long run and your 'half the distance' mid week run. the rest is filler.