The Method to the Madness

Since the beginning of the 9th grade (2009), I’ve documented every workout (runs, mainly) in paperback training journals. It’s become a tradition for me. Some of the best moments each year come when I sit down with a calculator and a pencil and sketch out my training regimen for the upcoming season, outlining mileage, workouts, races, etc. If I am to hold myself accountable, things NEED to be in written form, neatly and with a purpose. I consider my training an extension of the work day. It IS the work day. If I cannot complete my training session, the day is a waste.

Over the years, I’ve been influenced by a number of coaches, scientists, writers, athletes, mentors, etc. Through research and inspiration, then trial and error (backed by some science), I’ve found what works best for me. VARITETY and CREATIVITY. Each season, however, the details continue to evolve, yet, the structure is mainly the same. HARD WORK. I love this variety and I think, along with an utterly dedicated soul, it’s what separates me from my competition. I believe there are no limits to what I can do with my body and, come Hell or high water, I will never stop my search to find out.

All in all, I guess I’m just a big dreamer and meticulous preparer. I apply a surplus of training methods to my regimen, approaching training and racing like a profession. Below, I share my structure and creativity, a “rulebook” that I often refer to:

Structure

I’m no robot. However, I try to follow this pattern as I prepare for any non-track/road race:

  • Start Week
    • M: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • W: L (Steady), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • F: H (Reps w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h, P90X
  • Rise
    • M: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • W: L (Steady), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • F: H (Reps w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h15m, P90X
  • Peak
    • M: T (Cruise Intervals: 6 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Tu: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
    • W: L (Adventure), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
    • F: H (Mountain w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, P90X
    • Su: 1.5h, P90X
  • Peak
    • M: T (Double Tempo Run w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Tu: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
    • W: L (Race-Specific), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
    • F: H (Mountain w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, P90X
    • Su: 1.5h, P90X
  • Fall
    • M: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • W: L (R-XT-R), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • F: H (Cycle w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h, P90X
  • Peak
  • Peak
  • Fall
  • Peak
  • Peak
  • Fall
  • Pre-Race Week
    • M: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • W: L (Steady), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • F: H (Reps w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h15m, P90X
  • Race Week
    • M: 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: T (Cruise Intervals: 4 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • W: 45min – 1h, P90X
    • Th: 45min, P90X
    • F: 30-45min, 6s
    • Sa: RACE
    • Su: OFF

For post-race recovery, I follow this general rule:

  • >4h = 5 days OFF running
  • 1h – 4h = 3 days OFF running
  • 1mi – 1h = none

Sessions

L = Long

  • Steady: 2-3h
  • Adventure
  • Race-Specific
  • R (1h) – XT (1h) – R (1h)

H = Hills

  • Reps: 12x1min w/rec. jog (downhill)
  • Cycle: 6x1mi Loop (nonstop, negative splits necessary)
  • Mountain: hard (to and from a summit)

T = Tempo

  • Cruise Intervals: 4 or 6x (5min ON : 1min OFF)
  • Double Tempo Run: 3mi, 5min, 3mi

R = Race

Here are a few sessions that are in the playbook, but not always used:

  • Treadmill: 6x3min @8% (9-10.5mph, increasing each rep by 0.3mph) w/2:30 jog @0% (7mph)
  • Steady Tempo Run

Notes

On Race Week, give three days of rest before Race, doing a Cruise Interval workout early in the week.

Sometimes, life gets in the way of training and forces adaptation. That’s natural. That’s life. Adjust, and move on.

Unstructured Structured Training

Sometimes, my body gets “burnt out” from doing consistent focused run sessions. Usually, it’s because my training block is too long, my next race is many months away, or I’m just tired. During these times, I’ll trade in my go-to structured sessions for general “run by feel” runs, measured only by duration. Below, I outline these specifics:

“Short” = 30min – 1h

“Medium” = 1 – 2h

“Long” = 2h+

XT = 30min+

Marathon Training

(2Q: 18-week Training Program by Jack Daniels):

6x20sec strides = 2x per week

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