Monday, January 1, 2007

Why Saturdays are Mondays

I've never been one for making New Year's resolutions. I always figured that if I really wanted to do something, there was no need to wait till Jan 1st to get started. Nevertheless, the first week in January marks the beginning of my "official" training for 2007. That has less to do with the fact that it's the first week of the year than with the fact that 15 weeks till the Boston Marathon, which is my first race of the year. Those who've followed this blog (see below) know that I don't take a significant break in training at the end of the season but, instead, still maintain a fairly structured, albeit lessened, training regimen. Since the Philly marathon in mid-November, I've cut my running back to approx three 5 mile runs per week. This week that has started to change.
You would think that since today, Jan 1st, is a Monday, that today would be my first longer run. You would be wrong. I've always started my "training weeks" on Saturday, even though every race training plan I've ever seen in a magazine or on-line always shows training weeks as running from Monday through Sunday. My rationale for starting my training weeks on Saturday is that I usually use the weekend days for at least one of my long, endurance workouts. If something happens that causes me to miss one of these workouts, I still like to have the rest of the training week to try to make adjustments in order to get the workout in. If Saturday and Sunday are the last two days in your training week, you have no opportunity to "recover" a dropped workout from those two days. At any rate, my 2007 training year actually started on Saturday, December 30th. That's the day that I did a 20 mile bike ride followed by a 90 minute run. I was surprised at how sore the run made me, especially since I had kept running during the "off season." Oh well, the muscles will come around.
Speaking of magazine training plans, last night I was reading the Feb 2007 issue of Triathlete and was scrutinizing the Half-Ironman training plan by Matt Fitzgerald (starts on p 80). I'm always surprised by the volumes prescribed by these sorts of plans on the "endurance days". For example, the first few "endurance runs" in the plan are for 45 and 50 minutes (the volume for less serious triathletes is 30 and 35 minutes). These seem like very low volumes to me but, as stated below, I don't drop my off-season volumes as low as most others apparently do. Oh well, to each his own. I know that these plans work well for a lot of folks or they wouldn't be publishing them - so that's a good thing.
Happy New Year, and good luck with your 2007 training.