Fun day sort of. We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground this morning so the roads were unplowed (being Sunday) when we left for the race. We showed up as the runners were starting.. so I ran in and picked up our race numbers and made it back just in time to start with the walkers and my wife's librarian team. Ben seemed unimpressed and fell asleep immediately.. but we had a blast. I hate walking because I'm so impatient.
To answer a few comments/ questions:
Ironboom asks: How does your running volume now (80-100mpw) compare with your running volume when you were doing IM? If possible to generalize, what is different about your training philosophy for marathon only versus IM? For example, do you do the same level of tempo, speed work, etc.? Thanks.
Good question! First, I have had 120 mile weeks while training for Ironman and I was frequently near 80 mile/ weeks in my base training for Ironman. The big difference between the two is that my goal race pace for Ironman was always ~6:30 pace and the objective was never to really run fast but rather run strong. Training for just a marathon involves much faster running which is where the stimulus comes from. Intensity is higher but fatigue is about half as much as Ironman. My biggest week of cycling 3 years ago was 35 hours... but I also ran 40 miles that week and swam 18,000 yards. Ironman is far more difficult both physically and mentally.
One big difference that I have found/ discovered is that my aerobic threshold is much higher for the marathon. At Ironman my goal race HR was always ~MAF (HR 155) At Kona in 2000 I averaged 161 HR on my way to a 2:56 marathon.. for the marathon it is AeT (2.0 mmol lactate) which for me is a HR of ~165-170 and 5:30 pace. At Denver I averaged 165 HR for my 2:30 marathon. (Note: I had hypothermia and saw my HR plummet from my goal HR of 170 down to 155 for the middle 10 miles). These two HR's are comparable in effort because of the fatigue incurred on the swim and the bike, and I will tell you that running a 2:56 marathon at Kona is FAR harder than a 2:30 in Denver! In training, the Ironman run is hinged on your strength and fitness on the bike and the Ironman marathon is not run "fast". Tempo work and track work for an Ironman run is not crucial to performance. It may help some people but long hill runs and bricks are better. For the marathon it is important to elevate your LT and also improve your ability to run longer periods of time at a higher percentage of your LT. Tempo runs and hard efforts are needed. Does that answer your questions?
Jason asks: I've been wondering about your height and weight. At 6'4", 225 lbs., I don't think your methods are going to be directly applicable to me. I found that I can do one-legged jumps relatively easily on my right leg, but I can't do my left at all; I just couldn't get it off the ground, which was a real eye-opener. Any thoughts on what would cause that? Is it just a muscular thing?
Jason- I am 5'10" and ~150 on most days. I try to get my weight down to ~140 for my marathons. I always raced my best Ironmans at 155 due to added strength..
I think my training philosophy applies very directly to you. The Lydiard/ Maffetone methodology allows you to train at your optimal intensity to improve your fitness level. The HR values are specific to you and will allow you more consistent training over a longer period of time because you will not break down by training too hard. I will say this though, the Maffetone HR values that I use for myself have been proven to be ideal for me based on results of diagnostic testing for my LT. I have found that for the marathon I need to bump my MAF HR by ~10 beats.. for Ironman the MAF equation was spot on. If you have a low Lactate Threshold, and you know this from lab results, then I would recommend you start out at ~15-20 beats below LT for your base training HR's and stick to that number for as long as you possibly can, the only limit to the length of your base period is the point at which you stop improving your pace at goal HR.
Note: I am coaching a guy now who's LT HR on the bike 163 (he's 35 years old).. MAF equation is not appropriate for him.
There are books written on this subject and what I have described is a loose version.
Your jump rope has revealed a great thing!! You have a strength/ muscle imbalance, and because it is now revealed you can change it. This is an opportunity for you to improve. What I would do, and this may not be the best for you, would be to start doing single leg lifts in the gym. Leg curls, calf raises, leg extensions all done as single legs. Some single leg cycling drills would be great. Single leg jump rope will help. You basically need to strengthen the weak leg.. this doesn't mean lifting with just the weak leg, rather it means you should be doing exercises that isolate each leg. Running hills may be good too.