I've been lurking on this thread since it started and think its one of the best threads on letsrun in quite some time, so I'll jump in late and hopefully post some training updates. While I won't be attempting sub 2:30 at Boston, I ran 2:39 last year and am hoping to be a bit faster in what will hopefully be better conditions. Sub 2:30 is in my head as a long term goal. I'm on Garmin Connect but maybe this will motivate me to import everything to Strava and share.
PRs of 15:18 and 32:19 as a freshman in college, but was never able to stay healthy enough to PR again. Graduated in 2008 and raced bikes through 2010 when I grew up and got a real job. Life and work got the best of my fitness and I was pushing 200 lbs in 2014, I probably averaged less than 10 miles per week for 6 years (although was fit from cycling for the first part of that) and got sucked in to doing Portland with 12 weeks to train.
Portland 2014 - 2:57 (4 min positive split) - peak 75 mpw, 50 average for 12 weeks, long runs, tempos and fartleks
Chicago 2015 - DNF with stomach flu - peak 85 mpw, average 70 for 20 weeks, similar workouts
Des Moines 2015 (one week after Chicago) - 2:59 (11 min positive split)
Boston 2016 - 2:54:30 (9 min positive split) - peak 90 mpw, average 65 for 15 weeks, Modified Daniels Plan A (2nd ed)
Philly 2016 - 2:42:37 (even splits) - peak 100 mpw, average 75 mpw for 24 weeks, Modified Daniels Elite Plan
Boston 2017 - 2:39:32 (3 min positive split) - peak 95 mpw, average 80 for 18 weeks, Modified Daniels Elite Plan, was running workouts 20 seconds faster than before Philly and felt 2:34 was in reach on a perfect day, went out a bit easy with reduced expectations in heat but not quite enough and faded after 20.
I bought a house that needed a lot of work and skipped a fall marathon to dedicate my time to the house, I'm definitely a bit behind where I was a year ago but seem to be catching up quickly. I tried to start rebuilding the base I lost over the summer in October but have had multiple sicknesses including pneumonia that have set me back. I got my mileage up before thanksgiving and in early december but had to take time off both times. Fortunately I've been able to hover around 90 for close to 4 weeks in singles. I'm starting to catch up to where I was a year ago fitness wise.
26 weeks out - 25
25wo - 53
24wo - 65
23wo - 75
22wo - 59 (sick)
21wo - 29 (sick)
20wo - 57
19wo - 59 (sick)
18wo - 31 (sick)
17wo - 83
16wo - 91
15wo - 90
14wo - 48 through 4 days
Key workouts so far (I'm at 5400 feet):
12/9 - 17 easy hilly @8000 feet
12/16 - 20 easy (bonked pretty hard)
12/20 - 8x800 with 2' rest, first workout since Boston '17, rough, averaged 2:56
12/21 - 17 easy
12/23 - 23 easy (loop I like a lot that has 1000 ft of elevation change with a big climb at about 15 miles followed by a multiple mile screaming descent.)
12/26 - 18 easy
12/28 - 8x800 (2' rest) averaged 2:46
12/30 - 19 with 13 marathon pace and 2 threshold pace mixed in (Daniels MTMTM), averaged 6:35 on hilly dirt course
1/2 - 17 easy
1/4 - 4 x 2 mile at threshold (2' rest) on rolling dirt, averaged 6:07
1/7 - 22 with 3 threshold early and 3 late, bonked on 2nd threshold averaged 6:10s for threshold miles
1/9 - 18 easy
1/11 - 6 x 1000 (2' rest), 4 x 400 (400 jog rest), averaged 3:25 for ks and 77 for 400s
I'm a fan of Daniels training paces. I recognize that the adaptations can come between these defined paces but one of the benefits I find of the set R, I, T, M paces is that they quickly expose which systems are lagging. Having studied Daniels a ton, I think of I/VO2 Max as being 10 minute or close to 3k pace, T/Lactate Threshold as being 60 minute or close to 15k pace. Could I benefit from doing work at 10k pace, absolutely, but if I struggle, I dont know if thats because Im lacking at VO2 Max or Lactate threshold. I also recognize that the T and I paces may be a bit off from their true physiological target, but theyre close enough to create the right adaptations and pinpoint systematic weakness.
I'm all about current fitness when it comes to paces. I might run workouts at a 60 vdot now and at a 65 in March. The term "goal pace" isnt in my vocabulary when it comes to training, its just current R, I, T, M paces.
I like front loading some VO2 work early in the cycle because it seems to bring my fitness up so that I can do a lot of M and T work in the last 10-12 weeks at a much higher level.
The biggest change Ive made this cycle is to try and consolidate some of my easy mileage into a medium long day. I'm liking it so far as it takes a lot of the pressure off to get 12-13 mile runs in throughout the week by getting 18 in on Tuesday.
I've incorporated more and more hills in my workouts since Boston '16 at the expense of hitting defined paces with a lot of success. Similar to what Sage was suggesting, I'm planning to do some steep uphill VO2 work, gradual downhill marathon pace work and probably some threshold runs up Lookout Mountain.
Keep up the good training and discussion, looking forward to seeing how everyones training plays out.