To Infinity and Beyond - Becoming a Better DopeyBadger (Comments Welcome)

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
If you want it, PROVE IT, by doing what is necessary to get it!

Introduction
1922 days, 100 pounds, 8511 miles, 180 minutes and it all started with a single step…

102 Goals

Nutrition
Transformation of my diet from 2012-2016
Pre-Run and Post-Run Nutrition Recommendation
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Protein Bars
Diet change in March 2017 to prepare for sub 3
Brief update on diet from October 2017 to January 2018

Training Theories
Eureka! The Quintessential Running Post
Train slow to race fast: Why running more slowly and capping the long run at 2.5 hours may dramatically improve your performance
Why am I doing this run? The question every runner should be asking themselves.
Glycogen Supercompensation (AKA Carb Loading)

My thoughts on warming up before a race. How to do it? And when is it a good idea to not?
Psychobiological Model of Endurance Running
Brief statement on VO2max
Pre-Hanson's Training Plans I used in 2015
Speed vs Endurance
Heavy Info Post: Treadmills, Balance in training, liquids and the "wall"

Advice on Hansons Training
Lactate Threshold: Post 1
Lactate Threshold: Post 2
Boston Qualifying Times: History, Who's time is more difficult, Rationale, and the future!
The Long Run Mindset: How to train at 16 miles but run a 26.2 mile race
Pac-Man Theory: Start slow and chomp, chomp, chomp the ghosts to the finish line!
Training in the cold, but racing in the heat: The need for heat acclimation
The Marathon is 99% Aerobic (and 95% for HM and so on): So how to train for it!
Two kinds of impressive: The person who finishes first may not be the most impressive, it could be who finished last.
My Thoughts on the Use of Recovery Methods
A New Race Predictor developed by Vickers: My analysis of the paper
Got a Heart Rate Monitor? Check out my method of using the data to create your own personal race predicting calculator and to see your progress over time
Humidity vs Temp (and Sunshine): What time of day should I run?
What do you use for your running fuel? Carbs, yum, yum, yum! My scientific strategy!
I only run 3 days a week and never as slow as marathon pace. How can I apply slowing down into my schedule and benefit? With only 3 days, I've gone with quality over quantity on my runs.
How long does it take for me to recover from a marathon?
Some science for run/walk methodology
The return to running and determining current fitness after an extended break
Ian Williams: An Updated Race Equivalency Calculator Attempt
Cadence, Stride Length, Gait and Pace: The Great Debate

Training Load

-A longer thread from earlier in 2018: The Beginner's Guide to Stravistix or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the TRIMP (started by @kleph)
-An explantation of the terminology and whether "Fitness" = Pace: "Fitness" and "Fatigue"
-More isn't always better
-Finally figured out how to apply the mathematical formula of Stress Score, "Fitness" and "Fatigue"

Now the parts that will be more interesting.

Training Load Calculations on Different Training Plans for Different Fitness Profiles
-Covers the following scenarios.
--4 hour runner vs 6 hour runner using traditional Galloway Advanced Marathon
--4 hour runner choosing between traditional Galloway Advanced Marathon and a hybrid with 4 days per week but minimized long run
--6 hour runner choosing between traditional Galloway Advanced Marathon and a hybrid with 4 days per week but minimized long run
--4 hour runner vs 5 hour runner using Hansons Advanced
--4 hour runner vs 5 hour runner using Hansons Advanced; Determining appropriate Base training
--4 hour runner vs 5 hour runner using Hansons Advanced; A Secondary method to make Hansons Advanced appropriate for 5 hr runner

Training Load Calculations on Different Training Plans for Different Fitness Profiles: Part 2
--Covers the following scenarios.
--4 hour runner choosing between Hansons Advanced and Higdon Advanced 2
--4 hour runner missing the last long run in Hansons Advanced: What truly happens to training load when you miss the last big training day???
--4 hour runner missing the entire peak week in Hansons Advanced: What truly happens to training load when you miss the entire peak week???
--4 hour runner who chooses to increase the long run in Hansons Advanced because 16 is just too short

4 hour marathon runner choosing between Hansons Advanced and Hansons Beginner

Training Load Calculations (What happens when the next cycle starts?): Part 3
--Runner decides to follow up 18 week Hansons Advanced with another 18 week Hansons Advanced starting right after the Marathon ends
--Runner decides to follow up 18 week Hansons Advanced with another 18 week Hansons Advanced starting 2 weeks after the Marathon ends and takes some time off
--Runner decides to follow up 18 week Hansons Advanced with 12 week Hansons Advanced starting 2 weeks after the Marathon ends and takes some time off
--Runner decides to follow up 18 week Hansons Advanced with 10 week Hansons Advanced starting 2 weeks after the Marathon ends and takes some time off
--Runner decides to follow up 18 week Hansons Advanced with 12 week Hansons Advanced starting right after the Marathon ends

2019 Training: A Macro View


Coach's Corner

How I write a custom training plan

Testimonials
2018 Disney Marathon Weekend
2018 Winter/Spring

Race Recaps: Training, Nutrition, Strategy, and Races

2016 Dopey Challenge - a Brief Race Recap

2016 Wisconsin Marathon
-Training Plan
-Nutrition Plan
-Training Summary
-Race Recap


2016 Hot2Trot 10K
-Race Recap

2016 Lakefront Marathon
-Training Plan
-Nutrition Plan
-Training Summary
-Race Recap


2017 Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge
-Training and Nutrition Plan
-Training Summary
-Trip Report and Race Recaps


2017 Winter/Spring Training Cycle - Jack Daniels 10k Training
-Training Plan
-Bunny Head 5k Time Trial Recap
-Bunny Head 5k Time Trial #2 Recap
-Brat Fest 5k Recap
-Hot2Trot 10k Recap
-Jack Daniels Training Summary


2017 Lakefront Marathon - Sub-3 and BQ Attempt
-Training Plan
-Training Summary
-Race Strategy
-Race Recap


2018 Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge
-Training Plan
-Training Summary
-Trip Report, Race Recaps, and Coaching Recap


2018 Winter/Spring Training Cycle - Jack Daniels HM Training
-Training Plan *Didn't happen due to Stress Fracture in Fibula...
-Return to Running Plan v1

-How DopeyBadger plans to get his groove back
-Training Plan (#2!)
-HOT2Trot HM Recap


2018 Chicago Marathon
-Training Plan
-Training Summary
-Race Strategy
-Race Recap

2019 Winter/Spring Training Cycle - 21DF + 80DO + Cycling + Run
-Training Plan - Phase 2
-Training Plan - Phase 3
-Brat Fest 5k Recap

-Training Summary

2020 Walt Disney World Marathon - TrainerRoad Ironman High Volume (Run+Cycle+80DO)
-Training Plan
-Training Summary
-Trip Report, Race Recap, and Coaching Recap
 
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DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
My hope is that my journal can serve as an inspiration to others and to show you the pathway to how I've gotten to where I am. And going into the future what I'm trying to do to become the best runner I can become. But to know more about who I am now, you have to know about who I was.

I struggled with my weight during most of my childhood. I am average height (6'0") but have a small frame, but in April 2009 when I was at my heaviest (255 lbs) I was also about 35% body fat. I started losing weight for my wedding scheduled for June 2010. I was able to get down to 215 by wedding day. But alas, happy wife, happy life, led to happy eating and things bounced back. It was in January 2012 that I got another swift kick in the butt.

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I did an annual physical exam in January 2012 and had a pivotal moment in my life. My doctor was concerned with my weight and lifestyle. He asked me if I wanted to have kids, and stated to me that the path I'm on would lead me to an early grave and I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy my future children's lives. I decided it was time to take my life in my own hands and make some changes. In April 2012, I decided to sign-up for MyFitness Pal. I did all of my weight loss from April to June using a new diet. I started to plateau and wasn't losing anymore weight and decided I needed to try and add exercise into my routine. I could barely run a single mile. I took multiple walking breaks because I was so fatigued and out of breath. By August, I was up to 3 miles in a single day. One of my wife's friends had recently completed a marathon, and was looking at signing up for a Halloween themed run. She said she was signing up for the half (and I thought I could do that too), and I said why not do the full its only $10 more. She didn't think I could do a full. I'm not one to take kindly to being told that someone thinks I can't do something. So I set out to run a marathon from 3 miles in 8 weeks of training. I set three lifetime goals.

1) Finish a marathon
2) Sub-4 hour marathon
3) Qualify for the Boston Marathon by time

It was a stupid decision. I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't know what I had gotten myself into. I crossed the finish line of a marathon (4:50) without ever having run a 10K or half in my life. When I crossed the finish line I said to my wife, this was a one and done and I would never run another marathon. Not too long after this, Disney announced the Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles in 4 days). I thought well I enjoyed the marathon so much I might as well do other races before it too. :P

I trained for Dopey 2014 using the Galloway method. I followed the mileage but not the run/walk recommendations. My motto at the time was to run every training run to the max. I tried to PR everyday. I was so emotional when I crossed the finish line of my 1st Dopey challenge.

I used the FIRST training plan for my 3rd marathon in November 2014. I did alright but fell short of my goal (sub 4 hour) running a 4:20. I fell apart at mile 14 and blamed it on the weather (cold/wind).

I used the FIRST training plan for my 2nd Dopey in Jan 2015. I was happy with my finish, but still felt I could have done better.

I used the FIRST training plan for my 5th marathon in May 2015. I crashed hard at mile 15 and suffered with many many walking breaks (4:58 final time). I again blamed it on the weather.

I started to wonder whether I would ever be able to meet a sub 4 hour marathon let alone qualify for Boston. I started to do some serious research on running. I am a scientist by occupation so learning the why to everything helps me make sense of what I'm doing. I read several books (Hansons, Pfitzinger, Jack Daniels, Matt Fitzgerald) and many scientific journal articles. I started to realize that maybe I was approaching my training all wrong. I talked with my wife and she gave me the thumbs up to try training 6 days a week.

I decided to use the Hansons plan but made a hybrid of the Beginner and Advanced Plan. I was leery of only running a max of 16 miles, but also said to myself if I am willing to listen to those that say I have to do 20 miles, then why not give these guys a try too. I also changed my diet by adding in more whole foods, more protein, and less sugar. After a few weeks on the Hansons plan I ran a half marathon and blew away my PR with a 1:46. I could start to feel a difference during the training as I became stronger, but I also noticed I was losing more body fat. When I ran the Lakefront Marathon in October 2015 my expectation was to break 4 hours. I started that run easily and it went well. When I hit mile 10, I said alright now the real run starts. I've done 16 miles in training, now its time for 16 miles to end the race. I kept getting stronger. I finished the marathon in 3:38:53. But what blew me away is that I set a new 5K PR, a new 10K PR, and a new half PR all in the second half of the marathon. The marathon felt so easy I knew I was onto something.

I set out on Dopey 2016 with the goal of breaking 7 hours total time. I knew it would be ambitious but I thought it was within reach.

I entered Dopey 2016 week at my lightest I've been since probably sophomore year of high school (nearly 15 years ago) at 165 pounds. It's been a long journey to this point, but through hard work, perseverance, and an unbreakable will I have been able to lose 90 pounds and meet two of my lifetime running goals. From this point forward, my remaining running goal remains qualifying for the Boston Marathon by time.

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EDIT TO ADD: On 2/13/17, I decided to add the data from my very first run on 6/27/12. Keep in mind that the app I used (Runtastic) was off by about 5%. So the total mileage was more likely 2.56 miles with a pace of an 11:36 min/mile average (10:13, 11:30, 13:16). This was an all-out effort. And judging by the pace graph, I had to take a walking break about 15-20 times during it.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 11.48.22 AM.png

I did this to illustrate that we all start somewhere. No way on that day in June 2012 did I think I would be where I am today. So when you look at your own paces, distances, goals, etc. remember that they very well may be achievable one day.

I'll also add my updated race progress chart with my career times for the HM, M, and Dopey (cumulative).

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 2.07.44 PM.png

In addition, here is my current race history.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 2.02.25 PM.png

EDIT TO ADD: On 10/3/2017, I came up with my list of 102 goals. Here they are:

Goals completed: 6/102

1. Qualify for the Boston Marathon
2. Run a sub-3 hour Marathon
3. Run the Boston Marathon
4. Run a 5k or longer with my daughter, Gigi
5. Complete all six of the current World Marathon Major Marathons (Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Berlin, and Tokyo).
6. Run a World Marathon Major Marathon under 3 hours
7. Run a marathon on every continent
8. Win the Walt Disney World Marathon
9. Win the Dopey Challenge by cumulative time at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
10. Complete the Sextuple PR Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend by PR’ing all 4 distances (5k, 10k, HM, and M) and the two associated challenges: Goofy (HM +M) and Dopey (5k+10k+HM+M).
11. Run a NYQ (New York Qualifying Race Standard). Currently as a Male 34 or less that is a 2:53 marathon or 1:21 half marathon
12. Age group award at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Marathon
13. Age group award at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Half Marathon
14. Age group award at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 10k
15. Place Top 10 in the Dopey Challenge by cumulative time at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
16a. Write a training plan that causes someone to Boston Qualify - Completed with @garneska on 10/7/2018 at the Chicago Marathon!
16b. Write a training plan and coach them actively through it that causes someone to Boston Qualify - Completed with @dis_or_dat on 3/31/2019 at the Modesto Marathon!

17. Pace someone I know to their first Boston Qualifying standard
18. Pace someone I know to a PR at the marathon distance
19. Pace someone I know to a PR at the half marathon distance
20. Pace someone I know to a PR at the 10k distance - Completed with @roxymama on 10/15/2017 at the Milwaukee Marathon Weekend 10k!
21. Pace someone I know to their first marathon finish
22. Pace someone I know to their first half marathon finish
23. Write a training plan that causes someone to run their first sub-3 marathon - Completed 5/18/19 by writing @canglim52 's training plan for the Fargo Marathon. A 2:55 marathon finish! Congrats!
24. Win the Middleton Haunted Hustle Marathon (my 1st marathon) OR the half marathon distance if the marathon is not offered
25. Win a marathon with at least 500 finishers
26. Win a half marathon with at least 500 finishers
27. Win a 10k with at least 200 finishers
28. Win a 5k with at least 200 finishers
29. Run a sub-3 at the Walt Disney World Marathon (my 2nd marathon)
30. Run a sub-3 at the Madison Marathon (my 3rd marathon)
31. Run a sub-3 at the Wisconsin Marathon (my 5th marathon)
32. Run the London Marathon
33. Run the New York Marathon
34. Run the Tokyo Marathon
35. Run the Berlin Marathon
36. Run the Chicago Marathon
37. Run a marathon in South America
38. Run a marathon in Europe
39. Run a marathon in Africa
40. Run a marathon in Asia
41. Run a marathon in Australia
42. Run a marathon in Antarctica
43. Win a marathon
44. Win a half marathon
45. Win a 10k
46. Win a 5k
47. Win a local race of any distance in the city I live
48. Run the Eugene Marathon
49. Run the Marine Corps Marathon
50. Run the Paris Marathon
51. Win the MadCity 50k
52. Complete a 100 miler in 17:19:17 (10:24 min/mile) or less (McMillan 3 hour marathon race equivalent)
53. Complete a 100k in 8:46:10 (8:28 min/mile) or less (McMillan 3 hour marathon race equivalent)
54. Complete a 50 miler in 6:39:21 (7:59 min/mile) or less (McMillan 3 hour marathon race equivalent)
55. Complete a 50k in 3:38:21 (7:02 min/mile) or less (McMillan 3 hour marathon race equivalent)
56. Complete a 100 miler
57. Complete a 100k
58. Complete a 50 miler
59. Complete a 50k
60. Run a sub 2:30 marathon
61. Run a sub 2:35 marathon
62. Run a sub 2:40 marathon
63. Run a sub 2:45 marathon
64. Run a sub 2:50 marathon
65. Run a sub 2:55 marathon
66. Run a sub 1:10 half marathon
67. Run a sub 1:15 half marathon
68. Run a sub 1:20 half marathon
69. Run a sub 1:25 half marathon
70. Run a sub 1:30 half marathon
71. Run a sub 36 minute 10k
72. Run a sub 38 minute 10k
73. Run a sub 40 minute 10k - Completed 1/5/2018 in the Walt Disney World 10k (39:54)
74. Run a sub 17 minute 5k
75. Run a sub 18 minute 5k
76. Run a sub 19 minute 5k
77. Run a sub 20 minute 5k (in a race) - Completed 1/5/2018 in the Walt Disney World 10k (5k split of 19:36, Strava of 19:27, and total time of 39:54 for 10k)
78. Run a sub 5 minute mile
79. Run a sub 6 minute mile
80. Write 1000 training plans
81. Write 500 training plans
82. Write 200 training plans - Completed 5/1/2018 by writing @roxymama 's first marathon plan for the Chicago Marathon! Fun fact, @roxymama was also Training Plan #3 way back in January 2016 for an 8k.
83. Write a book about running
84. Become a certified running coach
85. Coach high school running sports
86. Make a scientific discovery about running
87. Organize my own race
88. Open my own running store centered around learning, merchandise, coffee and alcohol
89. Open my own high-tech training center for multi-sports and athletes of all abilities
90. Run 50,000 career miles
91. Run 40,000 career miles
92. Run 30,000 career miles
93. Run 25,000 career miles
94. Run 20,000 career miles
95. Run 15,000 career miles
96. Run 10,000 career miles
97. Complete 50 marathons
98. Complete 40 marathons
99. Complete 30 marathons
100. Complete 20 marathons
101. Complete a transcontinental run from San Francisco, CA to New York City, NY
102. Complete the World Marathon Challenge – 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents
 
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DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Dopey 2016 Race Report

This was our first time staying at Animal Kingdom lodge. I knew Monday (the day we flew in) would be an off day for me for running. When Tuesday rolled around I had 5 miles at an easy pace scheduled. I got all my stuff on and headed out the door. I started to look around for a good path and came to realize there really wasn't anywhere good for me to do some outside running. I headed back inside frustrated but convinced myself that after two consecutive months of 230+ miles a couple more off days (Tuesday/Wednesday) wouldn't ruin my race efforts.

Wednesday - Expo day
The expo went as expected. I feel this being my 3rd Dopey I've kind of got the routine down and it was easy to pick up the packet and check out the race merchandise. I wasn't too caught up in any of the Dopey merch (really like last year's jacket over this year's) so I was content with the magnet and I did it shirt.

Thursday - 5K day
I tried to do a little extra warm-up before the 5K but without losing my place at the front of the corral. I waited until 1 hour before the race was to start and then started my warm-up routine. Got in a few minutes of a slow jog and then headed back into my position at the front. Had a fun conversation with a few other runners (Georgette). Right before the gun went off they let some lady in at the front of the corral, and I was like ugh not cool. Who does she think she is that she can just cut us all like that? Then I realized who she was, it was Paula Radcliff. As in women's marathon world record holder Paula Radcliff. Yea, pretty cool. I was really happy to leave her in my dust (I'll leave out the part about her running with her little girl, LOL!). I did have a few new pains crop up that had me worried. It just didn't feel right. Overall, I was thrilled with my performance. I went in hoping for a 23:00 min 5K, and finished in 21:49. Part of my philosophy on running is to not pay attention to my time during the run. Start the garmin and then run by effort. This method has served me well the last couple of race and helps alleviate my self-doubt.

Friday - 10K day and Kids Race day
Boo rain! I preplanned by having two garbage bags. One I wore over my torso. But the other I placed around my feet as to keep my shoes dry. It worked quite well because before the start of the race my feet/shoes were still dry. Struck up conversation with another Dopey challenger in corral A, Brad. I didn't see Paula get led to the beginning of the line so I figured she was somewhere else in corral A. At about 1 mile into the race, a blur ran by. Ahh, there's Paula. Her running form was magnificent and looked effortless. I was happy with my performance. I almost bit the dust on the boardwalk from running too quickly around a curve. My goal was 47:00 and I ran a 44:57. Thankfully, those odd pains from the 5K never reappeared.

My daughter was running the 100 meter dash. We had been working on running all year after her 3 meter diaper dash last year. All year she seemed really excited to run. But the terrible rain sucked all the fun out of the race. It was raining so much I think she didn't really enjoy it. My wife and I are considering buying both the Thursday and Friday Kids race next year and just going to the one with the better weather (diaper dash in 2015 was freezing). She finished in 1:25 seconds.

Saturday - Half day
I was feeling good and strong. My wife and mother were running the half as well. I was happy to be able to run out of corral C this year. Less people in front of me means, more open roads. Thankfully, the roads were almost never congested and I was able to run a nice clean race. I crossed the finish line in 1:43:09, my goal was a 1:44. I waited around for my wife and mother to finish. I was also attempting a new carb loading procedure, the Western Australian Protocol. My goal was to consume 8g carbs per kg body weight or roughly 600 g carbs with 500 g carbs in liquid form. I generally use e-gel gels during my runs, so I decided to use the e-fuel powder for the liquid carb loading. It went well. After my 27th 8oz bottle of carb drink I was about done with it. It started to make me feel sick drinking that much liquid and I kept thinking this better be worth it.

Sunday - Marathon day
All month leading up to the marathon, the big question was what will the weather be like. At no point, did it look like based on the weather forecast we would have 65/68 and near 100% humidity but that's what we got. Oh well. I felt really sore the morning of the marathon, but maybe less sore than the past two years. I went into the run with the same plan, just let my body do what it wants. I ran the first couple miles easy and was settling into a nice pace. I knew based on my goal (sub 7 hr Dopey) and my previous three race times I needed a 4:09 in the marathon. I started to get stronger around mile 10 and put in some strong miles (as low as 8:10). However, around mile 19 I was starting to feel the fatigue of the other days. My pace started to slip, but I decided to just ignore it and keep letting my effort dictate my pace. As long as I didn't start walking I knew I should finish below 4:09 and get that sub-7. I crossed the line in 3:55:35 and started crying. Months of hard work paid off and I finished Dopey 2016 in 6:45:30. It looks like I came in 160th place out of 6323 finishers. I'm very happy with this performance. As for the changes to the race course, I enjoyed doing the extra mileage in MK. I was indifferent to the added out/back before Animal Kingdom. Although, I didn't like the added mileage in Animal Kingdom because I'm not a fan of the terrain (intentionally pitted road with uneven surfaces).

Now that Dopey is over I can take 2 weeks off from running and get back into family mode. In two weeks, I'll start training again using the Hansons method for my May marathon (a re-do of the same marathon that gave me my worst finish 4:58). My true focus for 2016 though is Chicago. I ran Lakefront in 2015 and Chicago in 2016 with the hope to choose whichever course I like better for my first BQ attempt in Fall 2017. Based on an improvement of about 5-10% every 18 week training cycle I should be around a 3:00 marathon in Fall 2017. Could plateau before that, but I'm feeling more confident it will be possible.
 
  • BikeFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 12, 2003
    Inspiring story. I too started running to lose weight (208 was my peak, but I'm also a few inches shorter than you), and I've been surprised and thrilled with my progress in the last 5 years or so. I've dropped about 50 pounds or so, and I've run times I never would've thought I could ever manage, including qualifying for Boston twice. I've also had success with Hanson's Advanced training plans, but I think what has helped me most in my races of all distances is building a solid base. I ran 2100+ miles last year, about 40/week, year-round. Most of it was at easy pace, and I took time off if I was recovering from a race or dealing with an injury, but having a solid base will help you get closer to your BQ time and make post-race recovery a lot quicker.

    Best of luck to you!
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Thank you for the response. I've only recently started to do higher mileage training (started Hansons in June 2015) so my expectations are that I should see a steady increase over the next few years. Below are my yearly mileage totals...

    2012 - 335
    2013 - 780
    2014 - 1092
    2015 - 1916

    I agree with all of your other points. Easy pacing, mindful of recovery, and a solid base are all very important factors in building a good training plan.
     

    BikeFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 12, 2003
    What's your BQ time? (And I presume you know about the 'age on race day' rule for Boston - you have to qualify for the age group you will be on race day, not the age group you currently are in).

    With a solid base, you may see even greater improvement than 5-10% per cycle. I went from 3:56 to 3:19 in exactly one year, due to building up my base mileage into the 40mpw area, plus a cycle of Hanson's Advanced. Even without doing a dedicated training cycle, I've run sub-3:30 twice just entering marathons on a whim. The base miles really lead to long-term gains. Hope you get to Boston!
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    My BQ is 3:05 minus whatever the cutoff would be. I am hoping to get a sub-3 hour. I won't be in the 35-39 age group until the 2021 Boston Marathon. I am eyeing the 2019 Boston Marathon based on my October 2017 marathon plan.
     
  • BikeFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 12, 2003
    My BQ is 3:05 minus whatever the cutoff would be. I am hoping to get a sub-3 hour. I won't be in the 35-39 age group until the 2021 Boston Marathon. I am eyeing the 2019 Boston Marathon based on my October 2017 marathon plan.
    That's a heck of a goal. Best of luck achieving it! I've got one running buddy who's run sub 3:00. He's done it twice, with a best of 2:47(!), and he's in his late 40's (48?), with his sub-3:00s very recently. Two things stand out about his training - he runs a TON of miles (peaks at 90+ during a marathon cycle), and he runs super-easy on non-workout days, with most miles at 8:00+. That's practically crawling for a guy with his speed.
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    That's a heck of a goal. Best of luck achieving it! I've got one running buddy who's run sub 3:00. He's done it twice, with a best of 2:47(!), and he's in his late 40's (48?), with his sub-3:00s very recently. Two things stand out about his training - he runs a TON of miles (peaks at 90+ during a marathon cycle), and he runs super-easy on non-workout days, with most miles at 8:00+. That's practically crawling for a guy with his speed.
    Thanks, boy do I know it. Up until very recently, I had never run a single mile at 6:52 let alone believe I could do it for 26.2. But, I do believe it is slightly possible after running a few miles under 7:00 minutes because I at least know what that feels like now. I also realize that a sub-3:00 is near the maximal limit of my body. My current VO2max by resting heart rate and by my chest strap garmin 620 (although its broken now) is 56.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 2.50.06 PM.png

    Based on my research, the VO2max value can be used as a guideline to where a person's racing performance can fall. It's a wide spectrum, which then is dictated by other factors. My current VO2max of 56 places me in a normal marathon zone of 3:32-4:07, with my goal falling in the elite zone at 82% current VO2max. This means that it is cardiovascularly possible for me to run a sub-3 but that many other factors need to be maximized to reach it (carb loading procedure, weather, fat burning utilization, and running efficiency). Since my VO2max value is likely not to increase much more beyond its current value (I've already seen about a 20% increase in the last year which is near the maximal increase expected), I will use the next few years to hone my skills in the other factors. It's one of the reasons I used the Disney marathon as a practice for my Western Australian carb loading procedure and plan to do the same this spring in my May marathon.

    Enjoyed the read @DopeyBadger thanks for sharing with us. You've come a long way the last few years, big props to you! Keep up the hard work and you can get the last goal checked off too, I have no doubt about that :)
    Thanks I appreciate it. I don't count myself as a naturally gifted athlete, but I do know that my will power and desire are near the upper echelon and I'll do everything in my power to maximize my potential.
     

    flvy

    Keep moving forward.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2015
    Your intro post was great and I love the honesty in it. I love that you're digging into the science of running which is something I've looked into, but haven't really explored. I can't wait to see that you've qualified for Boston because you're too focused and driven not to!

    Any more thoughts on Hansons training? It seems to really focus on quality over quantity which seems to be where a lot of training plans are going.
     
  • DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Custom Training Plan

    The following is an explanation of how I create my custom training plans for marathons. I am a big believer that a custom training plan is the best choice for everyone because it can emphasize your strengths and improve your weaknesses.

    Step 1 - Determine pacing for training runs

    I believe no individual factor of training is the gold standard of a good training plan, but I do believe that the pacing while training is probably one of the most important. To determine the correct training pacing, I like to use a recent racing performance. I first choose my best racing performance from my last training cycle. If I failed to set a new PR, but believe that the lack of a new PR was due to circumstances outside my control I will use the same training paces as the last training cycle.

    During my last training cycle I set a half marathon PR at 1:38:49 (7:32 min/mile). The training paces for the upcoming cycle should be set by my current fitness level, and not where I want to be at the end. Thus, my half marathon tempo training pace should be a 7:32 min/mile.

    Next I use the Hansons training paces table to determine all of the different training paces. I've broken down their training paces in their book into a calculator so that I can get a more specific set of training paces. Below is the multiplication factor for different fitness levels.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.13.38 AM.png

    Since my half marathon PR is around 1:38:00, I used that row for my multiplication factors. Thus, my training paces for the upcoming training cycle are in the last row, "UNKNOWN". A boost of confidence is to see that my 5K and 10K PRs are very close to the training paces that I will be using in this upcoming cycle. This means that my marathon goal for the next race is 3:26:14.

    My goal during any of my training runs is to have each mile or interval to fall within +/- 10 seconds of the desired pace (exception for speed which is +/- 5 sec). I believe it is more important to have 10 intervals at the correct pace, then to have 5 intervals 30 sec too fast and 5 intervals 30 sec too slow (both would be the same average pace for the entire duration). It comes down to making sure we are working on the correct physical benefits during any specific run.

    Step 2 - Setting up the mileage and types of runs in the training cycle

    I've used Hansons twice now, and made slight adjustments to fit my schedule and desires. Below is a rough outline of the Hanson Advanced training plan.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.24.52 AM.png

    One of the things I like about the Hanson plan is that it follows many of the guidelines I like to look for in a training plan.

    1) It uses Arthur Lydiard's principle of specialization. In the beginning of the training plan, you want your training to be on the two ends of your fitness level spectrum (speed and slow). As you get closer to your event the paces start to converge closer to one training pace. As you can see in Hansons the speed section is in the beginning of the training plan. The speed section is devoted on teaching your body to run longer at a fast pace. The pace is something that you can do at these distances because it is done at 5K race pace. Hansons does state in their blog that if you are struggling to maintain the speed throughout all of the intervals that you can use the 10K race pace for speed instead. As you move closer to race day you move into the Strength section which is 10 sec faster than marathon pace.

    2) 80% Easy / 20 % Hard. After reviewing many of the training plans of the elites, reading exerts from Matt Fitzgeralds 80/20 Book, and reading the research from Seiler's 2009 basis for Fitzgerald's book (http://www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.htm), I realized that prior to Hansons I was focusing too much on getting faster and not enough improving all aspects of running. The Hansons plan follows the principle of 80/20 without ever coming out and saying it. The hard days of the Hansons are Tuesday (Speed/Strength) and Thursday (Tempo) with Sunday (Long Run) on the threshold of Hard/Easy. The rest of the days should be considered easy based on your fitness level.

    3) Warm up and Cool Down - Any runs that are faster than Long Run pace require a warm up and cool down. The warm up's purpose is ensuring that the correct benefits are being received from the workout. There are two distinct energy systems: Aerobic and Anaerobic. The aerobic system is more efficient at creating energy based on the consumed products, but is slower in nature. The anaerobic system is faster, but less efficient at creating energy. The two energy systems exist in harmony as a spectrum. Neither system is being used solely without the other, however the aerobic system is used more during slower pacing, and anaerobic during faster pacing. The interesting quirk with these systems though is that it takes approximately 6 minutes for the aerobic system to start working. This is why a warm up is necessary. During the first 6 minutes of the workout, you are primarily only using the anaerobic (faster but inefficient and burns through your available energy faster (because inefficient)). By doing a warm up of at least 6 minutes, you can ensure you are not starting your workout in a deficit but instead work appropriately. The cool down is to teach the body to run on dead legs and push though pain.


    You should note while doing the training plan that you end every workout feeling like you can have done one more mile or one more interval. If you feel like you couldn't, then you likely are training too hard.

    It's necessary to adjust the 18 week schedule to meet my remaining time to my marathon. There are 15 weeks from 1/25/16 (when I resume running) until my marathon during the week of 5/2/16. I like to cut the speed section down and remove a few of the 6 mile Tempo weeks to make it meet my needs.

    Monday = Easy A
    Tuesday = Speed/Strength with Recovery Intervals at Warm up
    Thursday = Tempo
    Friday = Easy A
    Saturday = Easy B
    Sunday = Long Run

    Step 3 - Determining the length of time spent training

    I believe an important factor in training is to take the training paces prescribed and to calculate the length of time training on each day. I believe there is a golden range of training which exists between 60-90 min for endurance training. The 90 minute training period is an important threshold. At around 90 minutes is when the body starts to run low on glycogen reserves and starts needing outside sources of energy and requires more time for recovery (to replenish glycogen back to normal levels). After a 90 minute workout your glycogen levels can return to normals levels within 24 hours as to not effect the following workout and your ability to hit your paces.

    To confirm my feelings on this, I evaluated Luke Humphrey's training plan at the back of the Hansons book. He did several weeks of 130 miles, but I believed this was a function of his fitness level. His slow runs are at a 6:30 min/mile which is near my 5K pace. So for him to run 90 minutes he would need to cover more distance than if I were to run 90 minutes. If both of us run 90 minutes at 50% VO2max, I believe that we would both receive the same physical benefits, yet he will need to cover 14 miles whereas I'd cover 8 miles. Thus our total time spent training each week is similar. Luke does complete 7 days a week, and several double days but removing these gives me a backbone idea of a similar training load. I potentially consider double days or 7 days a week during my Chicago cycle.

    The other important training period of time is the maximum. Hansons state in their book this level is around 2:30-3:00 hours. Jack Daniels states it is 2:30 hours. I agree with Jack Daniels on this end. The theory behind this value is that after 2:30 hours any benefit of training is outweighed by the damage and negative repercussions of training for that long (including longer recovery for muscles, mitochondria loss, and glycogen replacement). I will state that if you follow a run/walk, Jack Daniels specifically mentions in his book that the 2:30 hour limit can be extended to 4:00-5:00 hours.

    So my goal in creating my training plan is to get as many of the runs to fall between 60-90 minutes and a one/two workouts per week to exceed the 90 minutes threshold but not the 150 minute threshold. So to do this I use the training paces from Step 1 and mileage from Step 2 to see how close these parameters fit my desires.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.53.38 AM.png

    Once I multiply out the training mileage and pacing, I adjust any of the days that fall short of my timing. On Sundays, the prescribed 10 miles was falling short of the 90 minute threshold and the 16 mile runs were less than 150 minutes. Thus, I changed them to 11 and 17 miles. I've decided for the upcoming cycle to allow the 6 mile runs to fall just short of the 60 min threshold and will consider bumping it up in the Chicago cycle in June. During the week of 3/28/16 there is a half marathon (South Shore) I may or may not do. It's only $18 so its hard to pass up.

    Something I always try to do during training is to memorize the effort level to complete each run. By memorizing effort with the feedback of my garmin, I can start to formulate an idea what it will be like to run different race distances. This is important for me because during racing I try to not focus on my pacing but rather my effort. This helps account for outside factors (like weather) which may dictate a slower than desired pacing.

    Step 4 - Adaptations

    There are different adaptations that you can add to workouts to amplify the benefits received. For all of my runs I use my Nathans Mercury 3 belt. It has 3 10oz water bottles on it. I try to make sure to consume 5oz of water after every mile whether its a slow run or fast run. Another added benefit of using the belt is the added weight. For racing I use a Nathan Quickshot Plus (10oz handheld).

    I have 3 different types of shoes in rotation. I use my heavier more cushioned shoe (Saucony Triumph ISO) for my Long Runs and Easy Runs (Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday). I use my medium cushioned shoes (Saucony Ride 8) for my Tempo workouts. Lastly, I use my light racing shoe for my Speed/Strength Runs and Racing (Saucony Kinvara 5).

    Use of carbohydrates during training. I'm a big believer that using any carbohydrates during training runs less than 90 minutes is a dampener of adaptations. By not using carbohydrates in runs less than 90 minutes, you're teaching your body to use fat as a fuel source. Runs that last longer than 90 minutes (usually around 100 minutes) is when I start using carbohydrates while running. I use E-Gel because it is double carb sourced (82% maltodrextin and 18% fructose), larger carb source than competitors per package (37g), thin consistency, good flavors, higher sodium and potassium content than competitors, amino acids for improved recovery, and no caffeine (which gives me headaches). I've found E-gel works really well for me. Ideally, you want a carb source from two sources of carbs (maltodrextin, fructose, sucrose, etc.) as this allows the body to absorb a higher concentration of carbs per hour.

    Lastly, I use chocolate milk (nesquik powder and not syrup to reduce high fructose corn syrup) as a recovery drink within 15 minutes of finishing my run. By consuming carbs and protein at a ratio of 4:1 within 15 minutes you are replenishing your glycogen stores so that the following workout can be done near maximal capacity. The milk and chocolate also contain amino acids which aid in repairing the muscles between workouts. Commercial products on the market (like Endurorox) have been shown to be better than chocolate milk, but cost near double per serving. I'll go with the slightly cheaper option.

    Step 5 - Cross Training

    I follow the Hanson philosophy on cross training. If you have to choose between running and cross training, then choose running. I've used that idea during the last two Hanson cycles. Previous to Hansons, I used a medicine ball routine from the UNC basketball team (http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/the-ultimate-medicine-ball-workout). It's a relatively quick workout (usually takes about 10-15 minutes) but it works really well. I plan to do it on Wednesday and Saturdays. However, if I feel like it is negatively impacting my running, then I'll drop it.

    Step 6 - Final Plan

    So here it is. The final custom training plan based on this step by step process is below. *Speed is at 6:56 min/mile not 7:30 as it is listed below.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 11.30.39 AM.png
     
    Last edited:

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Your intro post was great and I love the honesty in it. I love that you're digging into the science of running which is something I've looked into, but haven't really explored. I can't wait to see that you've qualified for Boston because you're too focused and driven not to!

    Any more thoughts on Hansons training? It seems to really focus on quality over quantity which seems to be where a lot of training plans are going.
    Thanks! I really do love science and have enjoyed learning the why behind what I'm doing. Check out "The Science of Running" by Steve Magness (http://www.amazon.com/The-Science-Running-maximize-performance/dp/0615942946). It is deep and thick but gives a lot of great information. Let me know if my post above sufficiently answers your Hansons questions.
     

    flvy

    Keep moving forward.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2015
    I'm at work so I just skimmed the training plan post but what I see is great. Thank you for taking the time to post that. It looks like a great guideline. I'm going to go over it more once I'm at home later.
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Diet

    During the first couple years of racing my philosophy on food was that it was to be minimized to maximize my weight loss. As I started to transition into running for racing, I kept the same mindset. When I started Hansons in June 2015 I decided to also change my diet. I believe now that running training is only part of the process and that the food I eat plays a major role in my abilities. I try to imagine my body as an engine and try to put in the highest grade fuel I can when I can. Prior to June 2015 my diet was the following...

    Breakfast
    Special K Oats and Honey (4 servings or ~3 cups)
    Milk

    Lunch
    Whole Wheat Bread
    Skippy Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter (6 tablespoons, that's a lot... I love peanut butter!)
    Baby Carrots
    Yoplait Fat Free Yogurt

    Dinner
    Chicken/Turkey/Ground Beef/Ground Turkey/Pork
    Grain
    Vegetable

    After June 2015 I decided to try and eat more whole foods and cut out some of the added sugar in my diet. I also thought because protein is the building block of the muscles I probably needed to increase my intake. My overall goal was to reduce fat intake, keep carb intake the same, and increase protein intake. I also decided I shouldn't limit my food consumption as much and to put the bulk of my eating during breakfast. Below is my current diet I've been using since June 2015.

    Breakfast
    Eggland Best Cage Free Eggs (3 eggs)
    Salsa with whole tomatoes and onions
    Siracha
    Whole grain oatmeal (1 cup)
    Cherries (2 servings)
    Canadian Bacon (lean, no added nitrates) (4 slices)

    Lunch
    Whole Wheat Bread
    Turkey (lean, no added nitrates)
    Mustard
    Halo oranges (2)
    Pink Lady Apple (1)
    Banana (2)
    Baby Carrots

    Dinner
    Chicken/Turkey/Ground Turkey/Pork
    Grain
    Vegetable

    I don't drink anything other than water or milk (exception for carb drinks). I've never been a fan of alcohol. I generally eat a small chocolate each night, but don't feel the need to most nights. Since switching to this diet in June 2015, I've dropped another 10 pounds and lost an estimated 4-6% body fat. I estimate my body fat to be around 15% now, which is ideal for a male athlete.

    One thing I'd like to also share is a recipe for Coconut Banana Protein Bars. They are delicious and are a good choice in the latter phases of my training as a boost.

    Cooking spray
    2 cups egg whites
    2 bananas, mashed
    2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    3 cups quick oats
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
    2 tablespoons coconut flakes
    1 teaspoon coconut extract

    Preheat oven to 375.
    Cooking spray on a cookie sheet with high edges
    Mix egg whites, mashed banana, coconut oil, and coconut extract
    Mix oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and whey protein
    Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients
    Spread onto cookie sheet
    Add coconut flakes on top
    Bake for 16-18 minutes (look for browning on flakes)
    Best stored in fridge to keep fresh

    Makes 8 servings
    Per serving: 308 calories, 6g fat, 51g carbs, 4g dietary fiber, and 17g protein

    *Recipe from Racing Weight Cookbook by Matt Fitzgerald (a must cookbook for athletes, haven't found many recipes I don't like).
     

    RunDisneyDad

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2015
    Joining in...I didn't realize you had lost nearly 100 pounds. I love stories like that!...you are obviously a determined guy and no doubt will get that BQ. Thanks for sharing your journey.
     

    LSUlakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2015
    My BQ is 3:05 minus whatever the cutoff would be. I am hoping to get a sub-3 hour. I won't be in the 35-39 age group until the 2021 Boston Marathon. I am eyeing the 2019 Boston Marathon based on my October 2017 marathon plan.
    2019 Sounds like a good year! 2019 is also the first time the marathon falls on the 15th since 2013. That year could draw a lot of folks, because runners are attracted to numbers with meaning for some reason. Hope to be there and sorry about the many edits.
     
    Last edited:

    acefields23

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2012
    Great thread, really interesting your science-based regimen... I'll be looking to cobble together a Dopey training plan for the 2018 race - right now it's half ironmans for me, so hopefully once I transition to running-only, I can apply the principles I've learned through triathlon endurance and come up with a strong running-only course of action...

    As I do more research on diet, and more experimentation, I wonder if you'd give us a report on how effective the changes to your diet have been, and although that's a great basis for what you're doing, are you including between-meal healthy snacks at all? What about pre-run and post-run nutrition? Or is it really just those three meals + in-traning carbs? Super interesting stuff, looking forward to your response!
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Joining in...I didn't realize you had lost nearly 100 pounds. I love stories like that!...you are obviously a determined guy and no doubt will get that BQ. Thanks for sharing your journey.
    Thanks! It's been a long journey, and one in which I wasn't sure would ever be possible.

    2019 Sounds like a good year! 2019 is also the first time the marathon falls on the 15th since 2013. That year could draw a lot of folks, because runners are attracted to numbers with meaning for some reason. Hope to be there and sorry about the many edits.
    Interesting. Is it because it's 4/15/19, which is 4 + 15 = 19? Maybe it will end up being both of our debut Boston qualifier races!

    Great thread, really interesting your science-based regimen... I'll be looking to cobble together a Dopey training plan for the 2018 race - right now it's half ironmans for me, so hopefully once I transition to running-only, I can apply the principles I've learned through triathlon endurance and come up with a strong running-only course of action...

    As I do more research on diet, and more experimentation, I wonder if you'd give us a report on how effective the changes to your diet have been, and although that's a great basis for what you're doing, are you including between-meal healthy snacks at all? What about pre-run and post-run nutrition? Or is it really just those three meals + in-traning carbs? Super interesting stuff, looking forward to your response!
    Thanks! Big props to those who can do ironmans.

    Great questions. I am big into science and delving into not just books, popular magazines, but also the research articles in scientific journals. It's always interesting to me to see what sticks in the popular magazines versus articles that just don't get the press.

    During my last scientific research binge, I came upon the Western Australia Carbohydrate loading procedure. It was an interesting process by which the authors claimed you could carb load the day before the event. Just a 130% VO2max workout (super fast for anyone) for about 3 minutes and then carb load. What was most interesting to me is not this paper, which is widely cited, but the follow-up article that came shortly after from the same group. They demonstrated the 130% workout wasn't necessary and you could do their plan without it. However, whenever you read about the Western Australia method you almost never read about not having to do the 130% workout these days.

    The diet change from June 2015 to now allowed me to lose 10 pounds, but more importantly has helped transform my fat into muscle. It's hard to draw a straight line between the diet and physical changes because it also coincided with me starting Hansons which jumped my weekly mileage from an average of 23 mpw (peak 32) to 45 mow (peak 63). But the two together have made a drastic change and I believe both were necessary changes to get me where I am today. I've oscillated around 175-190 for several years since losing the initial weight (190 at Dopey 2015). I feel that those days of the high 170s are behind me with the new diet and believe it's helped make me significantly faster.

    I don't generally snack. I'm usually not that hungry in between these meals (breakfast is very filling). Probably the only thing I would snack on would be pretzel thins (no fat) and the coconut banana protein bars. If I had more time in the day for meals, I'd probably break my current meals into five-six different meals than three big ones. I'm trying to approach my diet from a sort of european standpoint where breakfast is the biggest meal, then lunch, and then dinner is the smallest. It's suppose to help minimize food transitioning into fat because of the extended time to digest each meal. Seems reasonable but I'm less sure of the science behind it. BTW, I tend to save the coconut banana protein bars to the end of the training cycle because I do tend to gain a bit of weight with them, but they make me feel much faster and stronger (probably a by-product of the whey protein and its high bioavailability during the protein rebuilding phase of the training cycle).

    Pre-run nutrition - If its a weekday, usually nothing as I try to start running soon after getting home prior to dinner. If it's a weekend, I usually have a white bagel, peanut butter, honey, and a banana. I haven't planned any depletion training runs (teach the body to burn fat) for this segment because of the reduced timeframe between now and race. My Chicago plan will have 2 or 3 depletion runs near the beginning of the training cycle.
    Post-run nutrition - 8oz to 16oz of chocolate milk made with Nesquik powder. The size is whether it's an easy day or hard day. I also try and eat dinner/breakfast as soon as possible after finishing.
     


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