Posts Tagged ‘Magic Mile’

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…the Need for Speed.

The primary training tool in the marathoner’s tool box is mileage. The more miles you put in the bank, the more likely you will be able to successfully complete a marathon. Logging 60 miles a week (something I’ve never done) will force your body to adjust to the concept of 26.2 miles much more aggressively than running 20 miles a week. That’s not to say that you can’t complete a marathon on 20 miles per week training, it’s just makes the task a bit more painful.

That said, my goal really has never been to just complete a marathon.  Don’t get me wrong.  Completing a marathon is huge.  HUGE!  But from the very start, I wanted to eventually be able to call myself a Boston Qualifier.   As much as I have improved over the past 8 months, dropping 24 minutes on my marathon time, I am still 9 minutes and 12 seconds short of accomplishing that goal.

As banged up as I was at the end of both Boston and Providence, my legs recovered quickly and I was upright and walking down stairs within a day.  Fitness is not the issue.

Speed is.

I have a need and the need is speed.  At both Boston, but especially at Providence, I had opportunities late in the game to pick up the pace and finish close to 3:20.  As much as I tried, the speed just wasn’t there at the end.  I never stopped running, but in both cases, the last three miles proved to be my undoing.

Enter Yasso & Galloway.

My hopes are that this fall, Bart Yasso and Jeff Galloway will take me to the promised land.

Both are running experts and both have “discovered” certain indicators that can tell you if you are ready and able to hit your desired marathon time.

I plan on using their methods as part of my speed training this summer to help me get to where I want to be.

You can find their indicators here & here, but in a nutshell they work as follows:

Yasso 800’s: Once a week you go to the track and run a series of 800 meter intervals.  Starting with 4 intervals and adding one each week, you try to run each 800 in minutes and seconds in the time that you would like to run your marathon in hours and minutes.  I would like to run a 3 hour 20 minute marathon or better, so I will run 800 meter intervals in 3 minutes and 20 seconds or less.  In between each interval you walk the same amount of time.  Eventually you build up to 10 intervals, and if you can do that, you should be ready to run your marathon.

Galloway’s Magic Mile: Once every 2 weeks or so, you run a mile about as hard as you can.  Galloway says that at the end of the measured mile you shouldn’t be able to maintain that pace for more than another 100 yards, though he does emphasize no puking.  Over the course of you training, you do 4 magic miles, eliminate the slowest, and average the remaining 3.  From there he has a program that calculates what your magic mile average indicates.  I need to average a 5:53 mile or better to run a 3:20 marathon.

The indicators alone won’t be enough speed work by themselves, so I plan on throwing in some shorter intervals along the way (some 400’s and 200’s).  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  My goal this summer is to do Yasso 800’s once a week, running 3:20 splits or better and check my Magic Mile at least 3 times.  Hopefully come October (I’m looking at the Smuttynose Marathon on October 3rd) both of those indicators will tell me that I am more than ready to break the 3:20 barrier in the marathon.

Stay tuned!

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