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Fitz’s Training Journal: March, 2011

Every month on Strength Running I provide an overview of my training, key workouts, and any races that I run. If you want to see what my training looks like on a daily basis, you can follow me on Dailymile.

March was another great month of running with solid workouts, a near PR at the St. Patrick’s Day 8k, and a few awesome long runs. Here are the stats:

Total Mileage: 292 miles (Averaged about 66 miles per week)

Long Runs: 20 miler, 20 miler with 5 x 30″ near the end

Races: St. Patrick’s Day 8k

March Key Workouts

The first workout of the month was a 3 x 2k workout that was originally supposed to be 4x2k. I cut the run short because I was exhausted from the very beginning; a 20 miler a few days before in 2:15 will do that to you. It was still a productive workout despite feeling terrible. I split 6:41, 6:37, 6:38.

The next workout was what I like to call a “mini-workout” and was a short 2 x 1′ + 4 x 30″ at a fast clip. These short fartlek workouts are meant for turnover and to be able to change paces late in a run when you’re tired. They’re not that challenging and I look forward to stretching the legs on the shorter intervals. The best aspect of these workouts is that the pace can be adjusted based on how you feel so there’s no pressure to hit a certain time goal.

One of the hardest workouts of the month was running 4 x mile on the track, negative splitting each interval. My splits were 5:18, 5:16, 5:14, 5:09 – one of my fastest miles on the track in a long time! The rationale for the pace on these workouts is based on my A goal for this spring: the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. I was hoping to run in the low 5:20’s per mile so most workouts started around that pace and gradually got faster.

After racing the St. Patrick’s Day 8k in 26:26, I wanted to run a workout but something that wouldn’t beat me up too bad. I wasn’t sore after four days of easy running after the race, but I didn’t want to push it. I opted for a 4 loop tempo in Rock Creek Park. There’s a great loop I use just south of Military Drive that’s probably about 1.3 miles long. The four loops took me 29:47 and I felt awesome. I love it when that happens.

The day after my final 20 mile long run, I ran a 3 x 5 minute fartlek on my 10 mile trail loop. I wasn’t going too fast, but the entire run took me 65 minutes – my fastest yet over this loop.

My final workout before Cherry Blossom was a track workout: 2 miles at goal 10 mile pace, then 2 x 400m + 4 x 200m. My splits were 10:43, 72, 72, 33, 33, 34, 33. I reduced the volume of a few runs the week before because my ITB was sore, so I was well rested for this workout. I felt really great, especially after changing into my Hyper Speeds for the 200m intervals. I also ran two minutes barefoot on the infield after the workout.

End of the Training Cycle

Overall, March was a great week of training. With the St. Patrick’s Day 8k race on Sunday, March 13 I wasn’t able to do a long run – one of the reasons why the volume this month took a slight dip. The other reason is that the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was at the very beginning of April.

March marked the end of a training cycle that started in December to build my fitness for Cherry Blossom. The race wasn’t entirely successful because of lower leg pain, but overall I’m very pleased with my current fitness level.

Next up is the Delaware Marathon on May 15th. I’m not racing this at 100% but hoping to run about 6:50 pace to break 3 hours and qualify for Boston by over ten minutes. This will put me in the second registration wave which I’m confident will get me into the Boston Marathon in 2012.

April will see me return from a short break and focus on base building for 4 weeks. The lower leg pain I had during the Cherry Blossom race is still there and I’m beginning to think I have a minor strain so I’ll be proceeding with caution. If I can get in three or four 20+ mile long runs I know I’ll be fine at Delaware.

What are your running plans for the next few months? Make sure you get behind the scenes updates from Strength Running by joining the team.

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