Thursday, February 18, 2010


Disclaimer: I google image searched "Benchmark" and this was the first picture on the list. Sorry, I just couldn't resist!

For the last few months I’ve been strictly focused on base building (read: squeezing in whatever miles my body/motivation would allow). Starting in March I begin my aggressive half-marathon\pre-marathon training schedule. As for now I’m in the process of transitioning from my haphazard free-for-all winter training to my militarily structured, no-nonsense spring/summer training.

I’ve started this transition process by beginning to loosely structure my week into various types of training days. For the last few weeks Monday’s have been long runs, Wednesdays have been speedier runs, and Friday’s are an off day. Everything else is still open for interpretation.

On one hand this reintroduction to structure in my running plan has been nice; the quality of my runs is definitely improving and as quality improves so does my mileage and motivation. On the other hand the sudden resurgence of structure is causing me some confusion as I realize that I have no clear picture of where my fitness level currently stands.

During last years training cycle I was spoiled by months of Garmin supplied data mapping out my course, distance, elevations, heartrate, pace, external temperature etc, which I could use to analyze and plot my progress as a runner. When winter hit I packed away the Garmin and hit the indoor track and treadmill. Suddenly all the self-recording data and numbers I had so heavily relied on were no longer being supplied. Now I’m feeling a little bit lost. I’m benchmarkless.

How fast should my speedwork be? What’s my current marathon pace? How slow should I do my recovery runs? What’s general aerobic pace?

Lucky for me I have plenty of months of good training ahead of me to find out… however, for now the anticipation is killing me!

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