Fresh off of my Ironman recovery rant, I went into the next stage of the new adventure: moving from temporary housing to my new apartment, my next training cycle and working with a new running coach. All exciting and all a bit nerve-wracking!
I’ll breeze over the whole moving situation, but let’s just say that downgrading your life to a much smaller, one-bedroom apartment in a new neighborhood is a bit of a shock to the system. Plus, it was a real wake-up call of just how much crap one owns and how it all feels totally unnecessary. My closet literally can’t fit one more thing.
But I’ll get over my first world problem (seriously, who am I?) and get on to the exciting news.
As I transitioned from Ironman training, I knew I wanted to revisit running, build my speed and legs back up, and hopefully demolish some old running PRs. I didn’t have an intention of getting a running coach as I’ve never had one and didn’t think I would ever need a running-specific coach (it’s just one foot in front of the other, right?). Ironman? Of course…I might die if I did it wrong. Running? It didn’t seem to be worth the cost. Plus, I love, love, love my triathlon coach, and I felt like I’d be cheating or something if I went with a running-specific coach.
But as I was scanning the Internet for a plan that I could tweak, I couldn’t find anything that would leverage my Ironman base, help ease me back into running (injury free) and still prepare me for a marathon in early December. I was stuck and found myself plotting my own plan with the help of the McMillan calculator. As I was perusing the site, I noticed that McMillan offered training plans and of course, I tweeted asking if anyone had used them.
One thing led to the next and I was soon emailing back and forth with Greg McMillan himself and we developed a great little partnership as I embark on my next running goal. Full disclosure here, I paid for a training plan and Greg has generously offed to be my coach pro bono.
I’m excited to work with Greg because I’ve not only used his calculator for years, but because of his specific running focus and academic exercise physiology background; plus, being an accomplished athlete doesn’t hurt (I’m looking for a sub-3 someday, Greg. Riiiiiight).
Insert pretty Portland running photos here. Just because.
As I embarked on this new partnership, I filled out an extensive questionnaire stating my goals and what I’ve been doing thus far. Pretty simple: Run sub-3:15 for a full, break 1:30 for a half, and get my running legs back. Greg then built a custom plan for me with the following approach:
- A smart, flexible plan that progressively builds into a complete runner – ready for any distance.
- A plan that has a lot of variety in workouts within a certain energy system as well as across a training phase. Accordingly, we will add a variety of workout types – some that emphasize endurance, some stamina, some speed and some the finishing sprint. Greg says that these workouts will develop all the systems of the body resulting in faster times at all distances.
- A very conservative start just to get things going again. Thus, it will be a base, pre-marathon training and then a 9-week marathon-specific phase. To be honest, I’m quite nervous about only having 9-weeks for marathon-specific training, but Greg assures me that it will be ok in that his philosophy is to “do the training so you can do the training so you can finally do the training.”
- There are also multiple cross training sessions, which will allow me to be back on the bike or still swimming – both of which I’m thankful for.
- The training plan won’t be heart rate based, but rather perceived effort in the right range.
- I’ll also start incorporating trail running on easy or long run days – I am in Oregon after all!
As I make my way back on the running bandwagon, I’m anxious to see how my legs, speed and heart have changed post-Ironman. I’ll be sharing my training here, but let me know if you have any burning questions…or if you want to just give an Internet high five. Love those.