The spreadsheet says less than 4 weeks until Houston

Last year I was blogging about every week of my 16-week buildup to Houston. It all was derailed when my dad passed away and I canceled my TX trip and I have rescheduled that race for 2007… sorta felt like I needed to finish something I started.

So what’s that 16 week thing all about ? Zappoman emailed me and asked for a copy of the Excel spreadsheet I built to track my progress and anyone else is welcome to a copy on request. I took the Runner’s World Intermediate marathon training plan and made a few adjustments over the last couple of years (removed “tempo runs” – added Yasso 800 repeats), but the idea reamins the same. If you want to do well in something – real and sustained preparation is essential. I decided that it would be more fruitful to work with the accumulated wisdom of those who ran 26.2 before me rather than take years to learn myself (Imagine the headline… “Rankin re-invents the wheel !”).

I made the spreadsheet as a result of consulting work I had done in the company over the last few years. I was already convinced of the truth of such simple maxims as “What gets measured, gets done” and “Improve based on facts and data” so made a tool to help me stay on course.

Early races’ relatively poor results and long recovery correlate closely with buildups that were less than they should have been. Missed runs, running intesity low when it should have been high, etc. With something to keep the progress (or lack of) in front of me – graphically as well as numerically – I have a better chance of staying true to the plan. It looks to me that the more disciplined my adherence to that schedule, the better my results. In addition, I know that recovery from those runs is very much improved. As I look at each one, it helps me make better decisions as to what I will change for the next time. The goal is to improve through some reasoned analysis and not through blind change…

Your plan might be different – advanced instead of intermediate. It may be that you are a beginner to the 26.2 thing. What I advocate is to at least have one and find a method that helps you take advantage of the steady improvement it is intended to bring out in your running. A tool to help you maintain that discipline is also what many of us also need:

  • start a running log book (check the running store or Runner’s World)
  • use a spreadsheet (my homegrown on)
  • install one of the many training programs for Palm Pilot PDAs (e.g Running Log 1.2)
  • Subscribe to an online training log (e.g Cool Running Log)

Hey, you could also Blog your training (like this). If people are reading about your promises/plans/goals, than making that public statement means you are probably more likely to stick to it and do it.


~ by John Rankin on Dec 18, 2006.

3 Responses to “The spreadsheet says less than 4 weeks until Houston”

  1. I too find that it really helps me if I blog about my running…keeps me honest and motivated! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! I noticed the Scottish flag…I have one of those on the back of my car because I LOVED the week I spent there last year!

  2. […] If you haven’t already planned your 2007 season, now is the perfect time to do so. Take some time away from the crazy schedule of the holidays and sit back and think about your goals for next year. What do you want to accomplish? How much time do you want to commit? What areas would you like to improve? While tag surfing today, I found this great post by Ray Britt about his tips on planning a season. I also recently ran into John Rankin’s mention of his personalized Marathon Training Tool and asked him to send it to me. He posted about the tool earlier today on his blog. In the past I’ve used is Joe Friel’s The Triathlete’s Training Bible. It makes several of the same suggestions that Ray does and has a number of tools to help you break down your training into bite sized chunks designed to achieve different goals. […]

  3. I guess you’re about a week away from the Houston Marathon. We haven’t heard from you in a couple weeks. Just wondering how your marathon training is coming and if your excitement is mounting?

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