I am an avid reader. This may be surprising given how busy my life is but I have a life-long love of books. An overly enthusiastic elementary school librarian instilled in me an awe of books to the point that I cannot write in books. Crazy, right? My usual repertoire of reading ranges from epic fantasy to chick lite to Young Adult friction with a smattering of literature and best sellers in the mix. Recently, though, I’ve become an avid reader of running books.
Besides reading and re-reading Jeff Galloway’s Training book and my obsession with Born to Run, I recently started reading Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training. I’m on the Runner’s World email list so I’ve received countless emails trying to sell me this book. I held off until I noticed a Twitter sale – a discount code for Twitter followers. I wasn’t ready to read it – yet – but it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
This week I found time to start reading. Although I still have several chapters to go, I’m really enjoying it. I was worried that the book’s philosophy would run counter to Jeff Galloway’s training philosophy (pun intended) but I haven’t found is to be an issue. While I certainly know I can finish a half marathon without being able to run 7 continuous miles (I probably could but have no reason to try), I’m still learning a lot of useful tidbits. And I enjoy reading the little snapshots about other runners.
I’m not going to change my training program based on this book. After all Jeff Galloway has quickly become my running hero! And I’m obsessed with The Extra Mile Podcast (I was even in Episode 103!) with so many other Galloway devotees. But I’m learning some basic concepts in training which are helping me understand the why even if it doesn’t change the how.
One of the most fascinating topics has been the Yasso 800’s. In his training Mr. Yasso started doing 800m repeats (1/2 mile repeats). He would run a set of 10 half mile repeats with a 400m break in between. Averaging the time of these repeats predicted marathon finish time. For example, if my average 1/2 mile repeat is 5 minutes I can expect a 5 hour marathon. I found this whole thing intriguing! On Tuesdays I do 1/2 mile repeats. I had been doing 3 but now that I’m getting faster I did 4 today. My times were 4:59, 5:07, 5:11, 5:09. I’m not up to doing 10 yet (or maybe ever!) but I’m curious if the marathon time holds true. My super secret time goal is 5:30 but my 1/2 mile repeats (and Magic Mile) predict a faster time. Only time will tell and Marathon Day is still over 3 months away.
And, of course, none of the models take into account the Half Marathon one day prior….