Friday, June 6, 2014

15K Training Plan

My training and subsequent racing hasn't been a dominant part of my life this year. I did the Swim Across America 5K swim in May. That was a totally new experience. It was lots of fun - without all the worry about where I might place. I placed 3rd to last although the results show I finished second to last behind someone that took almost twice as long.  That was obviously an error and I saw two swimmers with my own two eyes exit the water after me.  Just sayin'

Now it's on to running, my supposed strength.  Running helped me perform well before and it will do so again, I hope.  I had my best run finish during the 2010 Augusta Ironman 70.3 triathlon (race report).  That half-marathon helped make up the deficit I created during my mediocre swim and bike segments of the race.

I'm going back to square-one with hopes of qualifying for Kona in 2016.  That's after I change age-groups.   My path to Kona starts with foot races and my sights are on the Lake Spivey Road Race on Saturday, November 8th. It's a small race by anyone's standards.  There might be 100 runners participating in the 15K race. Working in my favor is my knowledge of the course.  A course that is quite challenging as it is extremely hilly.

I've written the two training plans below for myself and others to use.  I've categorized the first as an intermediate plan.  With a total of about 518 miles in 20 weeks, it's not for the faint of heart or weak of marriage.  The plan, just like my triathlon plans, steps up in volume as the training progresses with periods of rest, recovery weeks.  The last three weeks are taper weeks where the training volume drops precipitously.

20 Week Intermediate 15K Training Plan
Both plans include speed work.  The mileage for the 440s and 880s were a guestimate.  I did the math for (6 x 440) / 5280 but it was too confusing.  Just plan on running from between 4 and 8 440s or 880s.  Hills are a given.  Everyday I run there are hills.  If I were to take my plan as it's written I'd find a good long hill and run repeats - up the hill, down the hill, up the hill...  Fartleks are the easiest to do.  As the legend below states, a fartlek (Wikipedia definition for fartlek) is running with intervals of fast and slow paces.  The reason for speed work is to get your body used to running at a faster pace.

The chart below shows the increase in weekly running volume.

Intermediate Plan Weekly Mileage Totals
The advanced training plan includes between 25% and 33% more weekly mileage.   In total the plan calls for 709 miles in 20 weeks.

20 Week Advanced 15K Training Plan

Advanced Plan Weekly Mileage Totals
Either of these plans would be a good start to get ready for the race in November.  Unfortunately, my work schedule, takes precedence over my training schedule.  With new systems coming on-line it's looking like my work schedule is gonna be tough this year.  I'll do what I can.  I'll switch long run days around and off days too.  Hopefully, when it's all said and done I'll be somewhere near my goal weight and performance level.  It's a given that the weather will also be a factor.

Along the way I should be able to lose weight.  I'll do some races along the way as well.  The Peachtree City Classic 15K would be a great race to do because it's only a few weeks before the lake Spivey race.

I've also got some new shoes on order.  A pair of blue and yellow New Balance 890s are waiting for me at Big Peach Running Company.  They're size 4E wide so I had to order them.  I can't wait to try them on.

I suppose I should also mention that the last two times I swam I could hardly keep up with the ladies I was swimming with.  I used to stop and look back to see if they were okay and now they're looking back for me.  Both of them are in the last few weeks of their 70.3 training so I suppose that could account for something.  It sucks getting old!

One final word.  If either of these plans is too tough, just reduce it.  Cut it in half.  You'll still probably be able to complete the 15K faster than any of your friends.  And isn't that what life is all about - showing your wives, kids and grand-kids that Pop has still got it!

Thanks for reading.