Earlier this week I looked at the marathon training plan from Smart Marathon Training: Run Your Best Without Running Yourself Ragged (1st Edition) and balked when I saw a mid-week speed workout that added up to 18.25 miles. That’s a lot of miles for any speed workout, much less one scheduled for 10 days before race day. I questioned whether that was accurate and even went so far as to email the author, Jeff Horowitz, to see if it was a typo. To his credit, Coach Jeff replied very quickly to say that I had indeed discovered a previously undiscovered typo in the first edition of the book. Unfortunately, my Gmail account had been hacked and his reply went directly to the trash, where I found it today. Lesson learned: trust your instincts, and don’t be a slave to the plan and run 18.25 miles when you should be tapering. The workout was only supposed to be 10 miles long, and I ran an extra 8.25 miles. Oops. Big oops. The fact remains that I kicked that workout’s behind, and now all I can do with seven days until the marathon is focus on rest and recovery as best I can. Oh, and I can document the correction to the typos here. So here’s my correction, and my book review to go with it.
Please note the following correction to Speed Workout #14 on pages 177, 179, and 181 of Smart Marathon Training (1st Edition). For speed workout #14, do 1-mile warm-up, the intervals below, and 1-mile cool-down:
14. 4 x 800m
with 400m recoveries
(10K race pace)
Repeat 3 times
My book review:
This book is excellent for the intermediate to advanced runner (or triathlete) who enjoys running three days a week and cross-training on the bike another two days a week, plus strength training and drills mixed in with those workouts twice a week. I chose the intermediate marathon training plan, which had me putting in 8-10 hours a week. I enjoyed substituting some 50-60 mile bike rides for long runs — the plan called for 3 20-mile runs plus a few long bike rides. I also appreciated the emphasis on strength training, including photographs and descriptions of how to perform the exercises (note that I supplemented these with Quick Strength for Runners: 8 Weeks to a Better Runner’s Body, also by Jeff Horowitz). This plan was challenging in that it had me running 27-34 miles per week, packed into 3 runs. It takes a lot of planning to be able to do 8-10 mile runs during the week, along with 20-30 mile bike rides. Although there are varying plans for varying levels of runners, the plans are certainly a serious time commitment for a serious athlete. I’ve never felt stronger as a runner (I’ve been running for 3 years and my next race will be my fourth full marathon).
I found this book to have a philosophy similar to Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program, which I also liked. However, I prefer this one due to the aforementioned substitution of long bike rides for some of the long runs (whereas Run Less, Run Faster has plans that call for five 20-mile long runs, which bored me and burned me out a bit).