Welp, it’s officially week 4 of marathon training with Potomac River Running Distance Training Program (PR DTP for short). If you’re not one of my besties or my husband, you may not remember that I am running the Victoria Marathon on October 12th in Victoria, British Columbia with Shannon. WOOOT.
While I get my act together writing the recaps for the remainder of our honeymoon in Europe (read all about Amsterdam here!) I thought I would update y’all on how the running is going these days and give an overview of my impression of the PR DTP so far.
Just another day at the track
Potomac River Running Distance Training Program – Fall 2014:
Full Disclaimer: Technically, I missed the first week of training as I was super sick coming back from our trip for a solid week. I did run a few times, but I didn’t make it to the first track workout or the first long run. Womp womp womp.
But despite the late start, I am really loving training with PR DTP so far. It has been great to meet some new running people in the DC area AND have something to keep me accountable for those early morning long runs on Sundays!
At the beginning of June, we all received our training materials via email which included:
- 2014 Stretch Worksheet for Runners
- Basic Running Mechanics Drills
- Core Workout for Runners
- DTP Overview
- Endurance Training Checklist: The things you NEED for distance training and the things you may WANT
- Half Marathon/10 Miler Training Plan – Beginner
- Half Marathon/10 Miler Training Plan – Advanced
- Marathon Training Plan – Beginner
- Marathon Training Plan – Advanced
- PR Training Contact Info
- PR Training FAQ
- PR Training Flexibility Overview
So basically, anything and everything you may need to train for a distance race! At first I was a little overwhelmed with all the info that we were given, and it took me a while to read through (most) everything and get a handle on the 20-week plans they gave us. But I really liked having two plans to choose from when deciding how much mileage I could handle upfront.
PR DTP offers two group runs per week with a coach (DC & Arlington get the awesome Coach T): One track workout, and one long run on either Saturday or Sunday depending on which location you choose. They offer their distance training programs in six different locations around the DC Metro area: Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, DC, Reston and Rockville. I am running with the DC group, but can always run with another group one week if my schedule is wonky or whatever. They also do free group runs open to anyone at most of their area stores a few times per week, but I haven’t ran with any of those yet.
Training Plans: Initially, I started out following the Beginner Marathon Plan. Even though this will be my 5th marathon, I haven’t trained for a full marathon since 2012. And last year, I did most of my running indoors with some shorter runs outside, and a good bit of yoga. So I was worried about coming in with too many miles too fast.
But over the past week I realized that I really needed to step up to the advanced plan if I had any hope to run my best full marathon yet this time around. Plus, my ego just can’t handle beginner. So over the next few weeks I will be transitioning to the higher mileage long runs required of the Advanced Marathon Plan.
Each week, they outline three workouts for you to choose from for the weekdays and one workout for the long run. They also notate how many days a week you should run total, and how long the other runs should be, with other general notes along the way.
Track Workouts: My favorite part of the program so far are the group track workouts on Thursday nights. I LOVE track workouts and have missed them since Track Tuesday’s with Katy and Sarah back in Charleston! Instead of attempting speed work on my own, it is great to have Coach T there to help us figure out how fast each repeat should be, how long we can rest in between, and what we should do to improve. It’s also always nice to have other runners there to motivate you through those tough 800′s!
Long Runs: The DC group meets Sunday morning at 6:45 at the Georgetown waterfront for the long runs. Not everyone doing the program is training for a full, so there are runners there of all ages, sizes and abilities. Each morning, you check in with Coach T to let her know you are there, she gives us a little speech about that day’s run as well as outlining our route, and off we go! There are no pace groups, everyone just settles into their groove and chats with other people along the way. I kind of like this laid back approach and everyone has been super friendly so far. While they don’t provide hydration along the route, they do have Nuun, Gatorade and/or water once we all meet back in Georgetown. Some snacks too, usually. Then we check back in so they know we didn’t get kidnapped or keel over. Bonus!
I plan on running 4-5 times a week throughout training. So for an example of what my training during a week looks like, last week, this is what I ran:
- Monday – Rest Day: Rest day after long run on Sunday.
- Tuesday – Run Day: Hill repeats! Warmed up for a mile, then did 6 repeats up/down the hill in front of our house. Was about 35 seconds up each time. Plan called for 45 seconds, but I did what I could! Cooled down before heading to work with a walk around the ‘hood. Total of 2.32 miles of sweaty death.
- Wednesday – Run Day: Easy 4 mile run before work around our neighborhood. (Which is very hilly so, it’s never that “easy” of a run.) Eventually, this will turn into my mid-week longer run day. (5-9 miles)
- Thursday – Track Day: This week, we did 6x800m. I was averaging around 3:46 for each 800 (our track is a little short so it’s not quite 800m.) Total of 4.13 miles including warm up and cool down.
- Friday – Cross Train or Rest: Rest day as I was off work for the 4th. (But will usually go to BodyPump at lunch.)
- Saturday – Cross Train or Rest: One hour and 15 minute power yoga class at Spark Yoga in Arlington.
- Sunday – Long Run Day: 8 miles on the beginners schedule. Ran the 8 with the group in 1:25 and felt pretty good despite not bringing a water bottle for the run. (Advanced called for 11-12, wish I had ran more!)
So far, marathon training this time around has been a welcome change of pace and very enjoyable. I am the type of person/runner who really does best with a goal on the horizon and a game plan. So needless to say I am happy to be back in the saddle and training again! Now, somebody remind me I said that in September?!
I think this is long enough for now, hopefully back soon with pretty pictures from Europe!