The taper madness has set in and instead of doubting my training this time around, I'm feeling confident.
Example 1: Speed Work
I did a lot of mile repeats, progression runs, and tempo runs in the past few months but I feel like the biggest improvement I've made in my speed work was in my 800 repeats.
I completed three 800 repeat workouts this training cycle:
May 28: 4 x 800 (3:22, 3:23, 3:22, 3:20)
August 8: 6 x 800 (3:22, 3:18, 3:14, 3:15, 3:15, 3:16)
September 23: 4 x 800 (3:06, 3:06, 3:07, 3:08)
I'd say that's a pretty good improvement! The difference between my slowest 800 (3:23) and fastest 800 (3:06) over the course of a few months is 17 seconds which is a lot considering it's only a half mile that I was running.
Example 2: Long Runs
Number of long runs (13+ mi) this training cycling compared to last year for the Columbus Marathon:
2011: 6 long runs (13.1, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21)
2012: 10 long runs (13, 13, 13.1, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 21)
Not only did I do more long runs but they were at a faster pace that actually felt comfortable.
Example 3: Total Mileage
Total mileage this training cycling compared to last year for the Columbus Marathon:
2011: 357 mi (highest weekly mileage: 42 mi)
2012: 464 mi (highest weekly mileage: 53 mi)
I've finally found a good weekly mileage that works for me without getting injured. I never ran more than 5 days/week either (although every once in awhile I did run 2x on one day).
The nerves are already kicking in but I feel faster & in better shape than I've been in years. My goal is to break 3:30 on Saturday in Akron so I can enjoy running the NYC Marathon in November.