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

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
25 Weeks to go - Canova Intro Phase - Week 5/10

5/16/22-5/22/22

Tues (5/17): 1.2 miles @ 30/30 w/ G+S & 5.2 miles @ Easy (8:45 min/mile, 131 bpm) & LIIFT4-Shoulders
Wed (5/18): 5.2 miles @ Easy (8:43 min/mile, 134 bpm) + LIIFT4-Legs
Thurs (5/19): 2 miles @ 30/30 w/ G+S & 5.2 miles @ Easy (8:41 min/mile, 138 bpm)
Fri (5/20): 7 miles @ Easy (8:39 min/mile, 130 bpm)
Sat (5/21): 7 miles @ Easy (8:31 min/mile, 131 bpm) + LIIFT4-Chest/Tri
Sun (5/22): 7 miles @ Moderate (7:58 min/mile, 135 bpm) + LIIFT4-Back/Biceps

Total Run Miles - 38.8 miles
Total Run Time - 5:57 hours
Total Strength Time - 2:16 hours
Total Training Time - 8:14 hours


Tuesday

Conditions - ⛅ Mostly Cloudy, Wind 4mph to 5mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 69°F + 46°F; FL - 69°F
End: Temp+Dew = 70°F + 47°F; FL - 69°F

G and Steph joined me for the first little bit. G forgot we were going running this evening and had some chicken nuggets before the run. Turns out running + chicken nuggets = side stitches. So we had to take it down a notch. She stuck with it though.

Afterwards, I did my own 5.2 miles. We had more walking then we normally do during G's run, so I took a little extra time and did the full 45 min of easy running. Nothing much to note other than that.


Wednesday

Conditions - ⛅ Mostly Cloudy, Wind 3mph to 5mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 59°F + 52°F; FL - 59°F
End: Temp+Dew = 60°F + 52°F; FL - 59°F

Decent temps today. Felt good. The LIIFT4-Legs workout was more lifting and less HIIT this time. The soreness lingered the next two days, but less than it did during the first week of LIIFT4.

Thursday

Conditions - ⛅ Partly Cloudy, Wind 13mph to 25mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 79°F + 63°F; FL - 79°F
End: Temp+Dew = 80°F + 62°F; FL - 79°F

The heat is back! Not nearly as bad as last week, but still T+D 142 is noticeable. I took G and Steph our for a nice jaunt. We didn't adjust for the temps and G was boiling. She didn't have a good time which made the run harder. We tried to build her up through positivity, but she just wasn't having it today. We did eventually make our way back home. We tried to keep her mind elsewhere by talking about the race next weekend. G and I decided we would wear matching outfits, so we were going to go shopping on the weekend.

Afterwards, I did my own run. It was toastier than it has been this week and I didn't adjust. So I paid the price.


Friday

Conditions - ☁️ Overcast, Wind 7mph to 14mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 60°F + 55°F; FL - 60°F
End: Temp+Dew = 60°F + 55°F; FL - 60°F

Temps dropped and it felt so much better.


Saturday

Conditions - ⛅ Mostly Cloudy, Wind 11mph to 16mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 53°F + 46°F; FL - 53°F
End: Temp+Dew = 55°F + 46°F; FL - 53°F

Steph and G were off to her first cast meeting for Addams Family, so I had to run a little early. Which I'm not really complaining about because it forced me out into the cooler weather. Ahh, what a dream! Like I said last week, I aim for >130 bpm at faster than 9:00 to be in a good place. This run was 131 bpm at 8:31. So I'm in a good place.

Good lifting workout.

Sunday

Conditions - ☀️ Clear, Wind 11mph to 22mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 48°F + 37°F; FL - 43°F
End: Temp+Dew = 50°F + 36°F; FL - 43°F

Temps were even cooler and it was glorious. I let the pace get away from me, but this was probably the last time I was going to get these types of temps until next Fall. So I enjoyed it. I felt strong throughout.

Afterwards, I did the LIIFT4 workout. Steph was at work, and the dog puked! So the workout ended early as I was dealing with that. I'm not crying over missing the HIIT portion of the workout.

Overall a good week! Only two more weeks, and then I'll add in strides. Then a few weeks of strides and we're into the General phase of training with real paces!

I did some photoshopping with some of the Disney prints from the last trip. I'm having them printed on metal.

Original
Disney Castle.jpg

Edit
Disney Castle3.jpg

Original
G and Dad.jpg

Edit
G and Dad2.jpg

Can you spot the differences?
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Madison Marathon 2022 Training Plan - Canova Marathon Plan

Alright, so I decided to sit down and write the Madison Marathon training plan out. I'm 25 weeks out now, and starting to get to a point where I'd need to make some decisions on which methodology I'd like to follow. To change things up a bit, I've decided I will follow the Canova style marathon training plan. I've previously detailed some of the key aspects and source material (link), but will be going into how I made the decisions I did on the types of workouts for this plan. So let's dive into the plan as it is written today.

Pacing

I'm basing the pacing of this plan off of my 2018 10k PR of 39:54, 2019 HM PR of 1:28:40, and 2020 Mile PR of 5:42. I feel comfortable saying that these are still achievable times for me.

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Canova uses a % of Marathon Tempo method for determining pacing. His calculation for % M Tempo is not how I would have intuitively calculated it. Take the min/mile M Tempo and divide by 100. That's the number of seconds per 1% difference from 100%. So my 103% is 3*(roughly 4 sec) = 13 seconds. 7:02-13 seconds = 6:49 pace.

So if you see me scheduled for 8:26 pace, then that's me doing 80% M Tempo pace. Like Hansons, Daniels, and some others, Canova follows the idea of duration * effort as being the main driver. So you doing 80% M Tempo for 120 min is roughly the same as me doing 80% M Tempo for 120 min. Regardless of our two paces.

One thing to keep in mind with the pacing per Canova, it's ok to make adjustments on the pace based on the temps and hills during the Intro, General, and Fundamental Phase. So similar to what I normally do. But Canova says that during the Specific Phase the paces scheduled are solid (more specifically on the hard days). Canova says that you can move the workout to a different day, or different time of day but you can't change the pace of the workout. If you can't move the workout, then you do the workout at the scheduled pace until you can't. So instead of doing 10 miles at a slightly slower pace, you do 8 miles at the right pace until you can't. So that's a little bit of a difference from what I've done in the recent past when it comes to pace adjustments. Thankfully, the Specific Phase for this particular training plan doesn't occur until September/October when the temps start to calm down.


Introduction Phase

The introduction phase is typically the period of time after the last marathon for a few weeks. But since I was stuck in a no man's land in terms of time between when I was ready to resume training post-Princess, and the start of the Madison M, I just decided to extend this phase of the plan. The goal here was exclusively easy running, nothing longer than an hour, and to hit the gym. The gym workouts were focused on HIIT, plyometrics, and developing some strength/resistance in the legs. So I lined up this phase of training with LIIFT4 workouts from Beachbody. Unlike previous training plans when I was in the midst of hard running workouts, this time around my running is almost all easy during this phase. Which means I can do the full LIIFT4 workouts without any modifications. Normally during the midst of a training plan with hard runs, I wouldn't do the HIIT portion of the LIIFT4 workouts, and I wouldn't do any of the "Legs" workouts. My introductory phase is going to last 10 weeks in total, with eight weeks of LIIFT4 workouts inside that period of time.

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Since I'm running six days per week at no more than one hour per day, that puts me at about six hours per week of running. Lifting wise I'm at about 2-2.5 hours. With three weeks remaining before the "General" phase begins, I'll add in some strides at the end of two easy runs per week. With strides being about 10-15 sec in duration, a general pick-up of pace, not max speed, on flat road, sufficient recovery between reps to feel fully rested, and limiting them to about 5-6 reps total.


General Phase

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The general will last four weeks. The overarching goal of this phase is to start to run longer than an hour each day, and bridge the differences between the intro phase and the fundamental phase. Everything you do as you progress through the training plan is specifically to prepare you for future workouts and ultimately for the rigors of the specifics of running a marathon.

One thing you'll notice about the training plan is touches from the previous phase reappearing in the next phase. So those three weeks of strides at the end of the Intro phase will lead into 15 sec uphill max speed sprints. Canova wants us to work on absolute max speed sprints on an uphill to recruit seldom used portions of the leg muscles that endurance runners tend to ignore. He has us do the sprints uphill to lessen the force impact of the workout. During the uphill sprints, there is a long period of rest before the next rep (2-3 minutes). The goal is to feel fully rested and prepared before doing the next rep. This type of workout is "quality over quantity". So while I have 10 reps scheduled, the real number of reps I'll do on that day is dictated by how the workout is going. If I feel the quality of the workout is falling after 6 reps, then the workout is done. If I feel good after 10 reps, then see how 11 feels. There is no "gutting it out" or "pushing through" on this type of workout. It serves a very specific purpose, and that purpose is done when the quality is done. Canova sees this uphill sprint workout as a replacement for the gym leg workout, and a more specific to running type of strength building. You're unlikely to make dramatic gains with this workout over a period of several weeks, but rather it's just something he wants us to revisit every once in a while to remind the body.

Along the same path of the strides leading to uphill sprint workouts, the HIIT in the LIIFT4 is leading into the "Circuit" workouts. Instead of doing lifting routines intermittently with the HIIT workout, now I'll be doing reps of 400m at M Tempo. So 400m M Tempo, then 30s of jumping, then 400m M Tempo, then squat jumps, etc. The idea being you're just trying to bring in muscle groups that you don't normally stress as much during the run, during a running exercise. And because the 30s HIIT moves should be somewhat similar to what you had been doing in the previous phase during your gym workouts, what this is doing is allowing you to build some time at your goal running pace. Canova recommends doing about 2400m of 400m M Tempo per rep set, and 5-6 min of rest between sets. Start at three sets and work your way up to seven sets at the most. I'm aiming for three, and then I'll see how it goes. HIIT has never been a strength for me compared to just straight running.

There are three other workout types you'll see just in the first week of the general phase. You've got your standard easy day (Canova refers to them as "regeneration") which is done at 60-70% M Tempo (so 9:09-9:51 min/mile for me). According to Canova's data, these act as active recovery workouts. He has data to show that someone's lactate levels pre-workout are higher than post-workout if the workout is done appropriately slow enough. That's to say, having done the easy workout itself is actually more advantageous to speeding up recovery than it would be to take a day completely off. This concept is not foreign to me. So I'll be mindful of being slow enough on these days. The second workout is called a "moderate run" which is done around 85% M Tempo (8:05 min/mile for me). This appear to be very similar to Hansons EB pace (a slightly quicker easy pace, but not quite a full blown long run Hansons pace). Similar to Hansons, Canova puts the duration of these in the 60-90 min range on a consistent basis. Lastly, is the long run. The goal during the General phase is mostly "time on feet". So his general phase long run pace is slower than both Daniels and Hansons in that regard. He's more concerned with just getting a good distance in. So where I would have been doing about 7:44 min/mile pace for my long runs, Canova is asking for 80% M Tempo (or 8:26 min/mile for me) during this initial period. You'll see that this is actually slower than the "moderate" runs. Since the pace is so much slower, I feel I'll be handle what appears to be a large increase in duration starting off with 14 miles (120 min). The ultimate goal with these long runs is to get up close to something around the time you plan on running the marathon in, but only for the purpose in preparing your body for the very demanding workouts found in the "specific phase". So Canova agrees with Hansons and Daniels in the respect that long runs should be limited in duration and quicker towards the end of the plan, but disagrees about the need for a longer long run based on duration with a very slow pace earlier in the plan. Where others view the potentially extra long run as detrimental (or the gains don't justify the damage), Canova thinks that these extra long runs don't support the marathon performance itself, but rather the demanding workouts that come towards the end of the training plan. Canova cares more about specificity to the marathon pace, than he does a certain distance or duration of a long run at the end of training. In the youtube video I linked earlier, he goes into a short discussion about the methodology of training in Asia with massive amounts of distance training. As much as 400km per month (250 miles) with long runs as much as 100km (62 miles) in training for the marathon. Yet in Canova's opinion, they've created very few champions and tons and tons of burnout after two years of individual work. So he's more of a proponent of specificity than he is of some set distance/duration goal for the long run when it comes to the end of the training. So like Hansons and Daniels the long run at the end of training is limited in duration, and relatively quick.

Another thing that will be noticeable during the general phase is the dropping of the strength workouts from four days per week to two days per week. I'll continue to recycle the LIIFT4 workouts, but I'll drop the HIIT portions, and the "shoulders" and "legs" workouts completely. The goal is to continue some strength, but not nearly to the same level as during the intro phase. The uphill sprints replace the need for the legs workout, and the circuit workouts replaces the need for HIIT.

As the remainder of the general phase continues, I'll introduce three other types of workouts. A LR/MT alternating workout, a Mona fartlek like workout, and a progression workout. The LR/MT workout's purpose is to continue to extend the amount of time you run at M Tempo, but keeping the workout relatively easy with the intermixing of the general phase LR pace (80% M Tempo). As the plan progresses, the goal is to be running at M Tempo for longer periods of time, and the "resting" pace that is used gets quicker. So it starts at 80% M Tempo, and towards the end it gets as fast as 97% M Tempo. The Mona fartlek is a way to incorporate the uphill sprint workouts into a M Tempo based workout. So a little M Tempo, and then a few sprints, and then repeat. The progression is pretty self-explanatory, but early on progresses from 80%->100% over the course of 40 min.

At the conclusion of the general phase, you'll have introduced M Tempo, begun to increase the duration of the long run (albeit at a slower pace), and gotten reasonably close to max mileage for the plan. So this is where I personally diverge quite a bit from Canova plans compared to my previous plans. More often than not, my max weekly mileage doesn't come until late in the plan. I'm usually limited by the number of weeks I can maintain a higher volume of work before I start to see my fitness fade based on my personal data. But there's reason to believe that it's a combination of the very tough workouts and maintaining that mileage that could have been the limiting factor for me in the past. So since these workouts in the earlier phases of Canova would be what I would personally consider on the easier side, it's entirely possible that peaking in volume a little earlier may be alright for me since the intensity is pulled back more. I liken the design of this plan to most similarly match my Lakefront 2016 and 2017s plan where I essentially hit peak mileage at 13 weeks out from race day and maintained. Albeit, the intensity of this Canova plan will build more intently over the course of the plan. It remains to be seen whether this type of training will mesh with my characteristics.


Fundamental Phase

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Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 2.45.53 PM.png

Alright, with 16 weeks to go until race day, we enter the six week long "Fundamental Phase". We start to move a little more away from the HIIT workouts and the uphill sprints, and start to pull even more on tightening the window of paces around goal M Tempo. The idea here is that as the plan progresses we're getting more and more marathon specific. So the fast paces are getting longer and slower, and the slow paces are getting shorter and faster. In some respects, this is not dissimilar from my training in the past. As the plan progresses, the paces should converge around M Tempo. I think Canova would be a fan of Hansons in some respects (M Strength intervals and M Tempo workouts of 6-10 miles continuous), but in some respects Canova diverges in that he wants the workouts harder, and the recovery between workouts longer (3-4 days between really hard bouts). So in some respects the Canova workouts are sort of like a hybrid between Daniels super hard workouts, and the specificity of Hansons.

As the uphill sprints start to fall off the plan, strides are peppered in to continue their purpose. Where we were scheduled for 10, now we'll probably only do a few uphill strides just to keep re-reminding the body. The Mona and Circuit workouts will each make a brief appearance as well.

The general phase long run (80% M Tempo) will continue to increase during the fundamental phase going from 2:30 hrs to 2:50 hrs. The goal here is to be low and slow. These are focused on duration and not a hard pace. In fact, we don't want these to be a hard pace to overall keep them easy. Even when I hit 20 miles (2:50 hrs) at the max with 12 weeks to go until race day, it still only represents 33% of the weekly mileage at 61.5 miles. So the volume of the long run is up, but it doesn't encompass a large portion of the overall mileage.

Alongside the increasing general phase long run (80% M Tempo) you can see the fundamental phase long run (90% M Tempo or 7:44 min/mile) also increasing. Not nearly at the same duration as the general phase LR workouts. The goal here is to start to get some workouts in closer and closer to M Tempo, but keeping the duration of these on the lower end as to not need a massive amount of recovery from them. Where my previous training plans would have seen me do 2:10-2:30 hrs at 7:30-7:44, in this Canova plan, the duration of paces in the 7:20-7:40 range is going to be under 120 min. And based on my past experience and data, I think that's where I've gotten myself into trouble. My long runs are fast, and I see a negative response to my overall training progression when these workouts get too long. I can do them comfortably, and I feel fine doing them, but there's just something about them that seems to mark a downward trend in fitness. Regardless, these 90% M Tempo long runs will start to increase in duration alongside the 80% M Tempo runs to better prepare me for the "specific phase". The plan will peak in duration exercise at the end of the Fundamental phase a full 12 weeks before the race occurring.

The Progression workout goes from (80% M Tempo -> 100% M Tempo) to (100% M Tempo -> 106% M Tempo). So a harder version of the same workout.

There's the introduction of HM Tempo pacing held at a continuous pace as well. Nothing special there.

Lastly, a Ladder workout that changes the duration of the workout as the paces change. The faster the shorter, and the slower the longer. The goal is to touch paces all around M Tempo.

The goal of the end of the Fundamental phase is to be capable of doing the challenging workouts that occur during the Specific Phase.


Specific Phase
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Now we're in the meat of the training. Things get ratcheted up another notch. Having flexibility in my personal/work life is what is going to make this possible. Because the plan doesn't follow a normal sequence with a set hard day every week. Rather the eye is being kept on the number of days in-between hard workouts to make sure there's an appropriate level of recovery. So where I would have normally done 1-2 days between hard workouts, now I'll be doing 3-5 days between. But make no mistake, the additional recovery is because these workouts are tough. Additionally, some of these workouts are going to demand >90 min on a weekday. So in those cases I'll plan on taking the day off from work when possible.

LIIFT4 will continue as it did during the Fundamental phase. Only on Sat/Sun, and only the arm/back lifting workouts. No HIIT and no shoulders/legs.

The first new workout is the M Alt workout. In each set there's 12 min M Tempo + 3 min 95% + 3 min 110% + 1km at 70%. The average pace during those sets including the 70% pace is 7:23 min/mile which comes out to the 95% pace. So I'm doing like 90 min of 7:23 pace broken up into intervals. That's a fairly tough workout.

The next workout is 14 miles (100 min) at M Tempo. That's tougher than any M Tempo workout that I can remember and reminiscent of some of the Daniels Marathon workouts. As I said earlier in the pace spectrum, these hard workouts can switch which day they occur or time of day to get better conditions, but no matter what you have to do the assigned pace. If you can't maintain, then the workout is over.

The next week I come right back and do another 13 miles at 7:23 pace (96 min).

The week after is my first attempt at a Canova Specific Block workout. It just so happens to fall on a Wednesday, so I really hope I can take off a day that week to make it happen. It's an AM and PM workout. In my attempt at this double workout, I'm aiming to do the same workout twice. The workout is 70 min in total. The first 35 min is at 80% M Tempo (8:26) and then the second 35 min is at 100% M Tempo (7:02). The workout on its own isn't overly challenging, but having to do it twice in a day is fairly tough. In total, it'll be about 18 miles and 2:20 hrs of running. Ideally, you would eat absolutely zero carbs in between the two workouts. Canova says by starving the body of the carbs between the workouts, you're going to force the body to adapt and be more efficient in the event it happens to the body again. But Canova does say that it isn't absolutely necessary to do this glycogen depleted. So I'm not. Maybe if this works well as a training plan I'll revisit this more extreme version on a different run through. But I'm not keen on taking it that far.

After 5 days between hard bouts comes a relatively tough week of training. The Progression workout has been beefed up again. Previously going from 40 min at 80%->100%, to 48 min at 100%->106%, to this iteration that is 80 min at 97%->103% with 1km at 8:05 min/mile (85% M Tempo/moderate pace) between changes in pace. Even with the 1km 8:05 breaks in pace between reps, the workout is still aimed at averaging 7:26 pace (95%) for 114 minutes. So definitely beefy.

I get four days of easier running, and then we take on Canova's peak workout. He wants me to do roughly 120 min of 97% M Tempo (7:11 pace). This workout is suppose to occur roughly 40 days before the race. It's like a mock race in of itself. Lakefront Marathon actually falls on the same day as this 17 miler, but I feel like it's too far away and a little too much of a hassle for me to do it. The weekend prior would actually be better because there's a 125 minute race closer to home. But then I'd be pushing what's suppose to occur 40 days prior to the race to 49-ish days. Maybe on another run through I'd consider otherwise, but I'd like to stick closer to written on this go around.

Another four days before the next hard day and then we're looking at another 107 min at 7:23 pace (95% M Tempo).

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Now we're headed down the home stretch. I'll do a workout Canova calls Specific Extensive Endurance (SEE). The goal is to run intervals at 100% M Tempo with some 90% M Tempo as resting intervals. Not as tough as Hansons continuous for 10 miles, but the workout is extended because of the resting intervals between.

Four easy days, and then we have our second attempt at the Canova Specific Block. He wants these to occur 2-3 weeks apart, and no more than 2-3 times during the entire cycle.

Another four days, and then we try the Specific Intensive Endurance (SIE) workout. It's a callback to when I was doing 1 min M Tempo and 1 min 80% M Tempo. Now instead I'm doing 1km at 96% + 1 km at 104% (average is 100% M Tempo). Ten miles of M Tempo average, but by going high and low around it, it's likely to be tougher than doing 10 miles continuous. Canova is a big believer in alternating the paces around the goal pace in addition to holding it continuously. His philosophy is that you're teaching the body to be more efficient at clearing the fatigue by forcing it to do faster/slower than goal pace. In other places they're called Over/Unders. They were quite frequent in the cycling TrainerRoad workouts. They're relentlessly tough.

Three days, and then aiming for 16 miles (120 min) of 95% M Tempo (7:23) pace. This harkens back to my Lakefront 2017 training and Dopey 2018 training when I was capable of doing 7:20s pace for 120-140 min. So it's something I've done before, but not recently.

Another attempt at the SEE workout with slightly longer intervals (3 miles + 1km 90% M Tempo). Just about 11 miles at M Tempo.

Then a short two week taper downturn (granted some of the intensity has already been dropping slightly). The last workout is another LR/HMT alternating workout, albeit slightly easier 3 min 80% + 3 min 105%.

Then the taper finishes off leading into race day.


Big Picture

So how does this training plan compare to the twelve other marathon training plans I've followed since 2015?

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In the twelve marathons to date, I've beaten my predicted marathon time based on a recent race twice (Lakefront 2015 and Lakefront 2016). I've been within three minutes, three other times (Wisconsin 2016, Disney 2017, and Madison 2021). My biggest misses were Lakefront 2017 (7:43 slower) and my three plans of cycle+run+strength (Chicago 2018, Disney 2020, and Non-Cancelled 2021) which were all >17:30 min off from predicted. When evaluating this Canova training plan in comparison to those others during the last 13 weeks of training, this plan ranks

-2nd in terms of mileage per week at 57.3 mi (only behind Lakefront 2016 at 63.3 mi)
-2nd in terms of running time spent training at 7:54 hrs per week (only behind Lakefront 2016 at 9:03 hrs per week). While it's 2nd, it's much closer to 3rd-6th than it is to first (the others ranging from 7:38-7:50 hrs per week).
-6th in terms of projected average pace per week at 8:16 min/mile or 74 sec per mile slower than goal marathon pace. So I'm doing some of the highest mileage per week and duration per week, but at a slightly slower pace.

This plan is written in pencil and not in pen. Canova is a big believer in not "sticking" to the plan for the sake of sticking to it. So if 9/6/22 comes up and I don't feel fresh enough to properly complete the scheduled workout, then he wants me to push it. The execution of the workout takes precedence over whatever was originally written on the schedule.

I listened to a podcast of a professional American runner who attempted a Canova training cycle. Put him in the best fitness of his life. But he did a Lydiard base, Canova specific phase, and then a Pftiz taper. Despite being in amazing shape (I believe he obliterated his PRs at 10k and HM a few weeks prior to the M) he struggled mightily during the specific phase of the training. He got a chance to talk to Canova once and Canova said his slight underperformance in the M (off by about 2 min from his new goal after new fitness but went from 2:22 goal to 2:13 goal and 2:15 finish) was because he didn't follow the other Canova phases prior to the specific phase. Without having the proper buildup for the specificity of the training Canova asks for, you'll make gains, but still fail to live up to expectations if you can't execute the very hard workouts during that last phase. So it speaks to Canova's idea that you can't simply shoe-horn his last specific phase of onto a different training plan and expect it to succeed the same.

Excited to try something a little different and see how it plays out. I've attached a PDF of the plan.
 

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dobball23

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Madison Marathon 2022 Training Plan - Canova Marathon Plan

Alright, so I decided to sit down and write the Madison Marathon training plan out. I'm 25 weeks out now, and starting to get to a point where I'd need to make some decisions on which methodology I'd like to follow. To change things up a bit, I've decided I will follow the Canova style marathon training plan. I've previously detailed some of the key aspects and source material (link), but will be going into how I made the decisions I did on the types of workouts for this plan. So let's dive into the plan as it is written today.

Pacing

I'm basing the pacing of this plan off of my 2018 10k PR of 39:54, 2019 HM PR of 1:28:40, and 2020 Mile PR of 5:42. I feel comfortable saying that these are still achievable times for me.

View attachment 671233

Canova uses a % of Marathon Tempo method for determining pacing. His calculation for % M Tempo is not how I would have intuitively calculated it. Take the min/mile M Tempo and divide by 100. That's the number of seconds per 1% difference from 100%. So my 103% is 3*(roughly 4 sec) = 13 seconds. 7:02-13 seconds = 6:49 pace.

So if you see me scheduled for 8:26 pace, then that's me doing 80% M Tempo pace. Like Hansons, Daniels, and some others, Canova follows the idea of duration * effort as being the main driver. So you doing 80% M Tempo for 120 min is roughly the same as me doing 80% M Tempo for 120 min. Regardless of our two paces.

One thing to keep in mind with the pacing per Canova, it's ok to make adjustments on the pace based on the temps and hills during the Intro, General, and Fundamental Phase. So similar to what I normally do. But Canova says that during the Specific Phase the paces scheduled are solid (more specifically on the hard days). Canova says that you can move the workout to a different day, or different time of day but you can't change the pace of the workout. If you can't move the workout, then you do the workout at the scheduled pace until you can't. So instead of doing 10 miles at a slightly slower pace, you do 8 miles at the right pace until you can't. So that's a little bit of a difference from what I've done in the recent past when it comes to pace adjustments. Thankfully, the Specific Phase for this particular training plan doesn't occur until September/October when the temps start to calm down.


Introduction Phase

The introduction phase is typically the period of time after the last marathon for a few weeks. But since I was stuck in a no man's land in terms of time between when I was ready to resume training post-Princess, and the start of the Madison M, I just decided to extend this phase of the plan. The goal here was exclusively easy running, nothing longer than an hour, and to hit the gym. The gym workouts were focused on HIIT, plyometrics, and developing some strength/resistance in the legs. So I lined up this phase of training with LIIFT4 workouts from Beachbody. Unlike previous training plans when I was in the midst of hard running workouts, this time around my running is almost all easy during this phase. Which means I can do the full LIIFT4 workouts without any modifications. Normally during the midst of a training plan with hard runs, I wouldn't do the HIIT portion of the LIIFT4 workouts, and I wouldn't do any of the "Legs" workouts. My introductory phase is going to last 10 weeks in total, with eight weeks of LIIFT4 workouts inside that period of time.

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Since I'm running six days per week at no more than one hour per day, that puts me at about six hours per week of running. Lifting wise I'm at about 2-2.5 hours. With three weeks remaining before the "General" phase begins, I'll add in some strides at the end of two easy runs per week. With strides being about 10-15 sec in duration, a general pick-up of pace, not max speed, on flat road, sufficient recovery between reps to feel fully rested, and limiting them to about 5-6 reps total.


General Phase

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The general will last four weeks. The overarching goal of this phase is to start to run longer than an hour each day, and bridge the differences between the intro phase and the fundamental phase. Everything you do as you progress through the training plan is specifically to prepare you for future workouts and ultimately for the rigors of the specifics of running a marathon.

One thing you'll notice about the training plan is touches from the previous phase reappearing in the next phase. So those three weeks of strides at the end of the Intro phase will lead into 15 sec uphill max speed sprints. Canova wants us to work on absolute max speed sprints on an uphill to recruit seldom used portions of the leg muscles that endurance runners tend to ignore. He has us do the sprints uphill to lessen the force impact of the workout. During the uphill sprints, there is a long period of rest before the next rep (2-3 minutes). The goal is to feel fully rested and prepared before doing the next rep. This type of workout is "quality over quantity". So while I have 10 reps scheduled, the real number of reps I'll do on that day is dictated by how the workout is going. If I feel the quality of the workout is falling after 6 reps, then the workout is done. If I feel good after 10 reps, then see how 11 feels. There is no "gutting it out" or "pushing through" on this type of workout. It serves a very specific purpose, and that purpose is done when the quality is done. Canova sees this uphill sprint workout as a replacement for the gym leg workout, and a more specific to running type of strength building. You're unlikely to make dramatic gains with this workout over a period of several weeks, but rather it's just something he wants us to revisit every once in a while to remind the body.

Along the same path of the strides leading to uphill sprint workouts, the HIIT in the LIIFT4 is leading into the "Circuit" workouts. Instead of doing lifting routines intermittently with the HIIT workout, now I'll be doing reps of 400m at M Tempo. So 400m M Tempo, then 30s of jumping, then 400m M Tempo, then squat jumps, etc. The idea being you're just trying to bring in muscle groups that you don't normally stress as much during the run, during a running exercise. And because the 30s HIIT moves should be somewhat similar to what you had been doing in the previous phase during your gym workouts, what this is doing is allowing you to build some time at your goal running pace. Canova recommends doing about 2400m of 400m M Tempo per rep set, and 5-6 min of rest between sets. Start at three sets and work your way up to seven sets at the most. I'm aiming for three, and then I'll see how it goes. HIIT has never been a strength for me compared to just straight running.

There are three other workout types you'll see just in the first week of the general phase. You've got your standard easy day (Canova refers to them as "regeneration") which is done at 60-70% M Tempo (so 9:09-9:51 min/mile for me). According to Canova's data, these act as active recovery workouts. He has data to show that someone's lactate levels pre-workout are higher than post-workout if the workout is done appropriately slow enough. That's to say, having done the easy workout itself is actually more advantageous to speeding up recovery than it would be to take a day completely off. This concept is not foreign to me. So I'll be mindful of being slow enough on these days. The second workout is called a "moderate run" which is done around 85% M Tempo (8:05 min/mile for me). This appear to be very similar to Hansons EB pace (a slightly quicker easy pace, but not quite a full blown long run Hansons pace). Similar to Hansons, Canova puts the duration of these in the 60-90 min range on a consistent basis. Lastly, is the long run. The goal during the General phase is mostly "time on feet". So his general phase long run pace is slower than both Daniels and Hansons in that regard. He's more concerned with just getting a good distance in. So where I would have been doing about 7:44 min/mile pace for my long runs, Canova is asking for 80% M Tempo (or 8:26 min/mile for me) during this initial period. You'll see that this is actually slower than the "moderate" runs. Since the pace is so much slower, I feel I'll be handle what appears to be a large increase in duration starting off with 14 miles (120 min). The ultimate goal with these long runs is to get up close to something around the time you plan on running the marathon in, but only for the purpose in preparing your body for the very demanding workouts found in the "specific phase". So Canova agrees with Hansons and Daniels in the respect that long runs should be limited in duration and quicker towards the end of the plan, but disagrees about the need for a longer long run based on duration with a very slow pace earlier in the plan. Where others view the potentially extra long run as detrimental (or the gains don't justify the damage), Canova thinks that these extra long runs don't support the marathon performance itself, but rather the demanding workouts that come towards the end of the training plan. Canova cares more about specificity to the marathon pace, than he does a certain distance or duration of a long run at the end of training. In the youtube video I linked earlier, he goes into a short discussion about the methodology of training in Asia with massive amounts of distance training. As much as 400km per month (250 miles) with long runs as much as 100km (62 miles) in training for the marathon. Yet in Canova's opinion, they've created very few champions and tons and tons of burnout after two years of individual work. So he's more of a proponent of specificity than he is of some set distance/duration goal for the long run when it comes to the end of the training. So like Hansons and Daniels the long run at the end of training is limited in duration, and relatively quick.

Another thing that will be noticeable during the general phase is the dropping of the strength workouts from four days per week to two days per week. I'll continue to recycle the LIIFT4 workouts, but I'll drop the HIIT portions, and the "shoulders" and "legs" workouts completely. The goal is to continue some strength, but not nearly to the same level as during the intro phase. The uphill sprints replace the need for the legs workout, and the circuit workouts replaces the need for HIIT.

As the remainder of the general phase continues, I'll introduce three other types of workouts. A LR/MT alternating workout, a Mona fartlek like workout, and a progression workout. The LR/MT workout's purpose is to continue to extend the amount of time you run at M Tempo, but keeping the workout relatively easy with the intermixing of the general phase LR pace (80% M Tempo). As the plan progresses, the goal is to be running at M Tempo for longer periods of time, and the "resting" pace that is used gets quicker. So it starts at 80% M Tempo, and towards the end it gets as fast as 97% M Tempo. The Mona fartlek is a way to incorporate the uphill sprint workouts into a M Tempo based workout. So a little M Tempo, and then a few sprints, and then repeat. The progression is pretty self-explanatory, but early on progresses from 80%->100% over the course of 40 min.

At the conclusion of the general phase, you'll have introduced M Tempo, begun to increase the duration of the long run (albeit at a slower pace), and gotten reasonably close to max mileage for the plan. So this is where I personally diverge quite a bit from Canova plans compared to my previous plans. More often than not, my max weekly mileage doesn't come until late in the plan. I'm usually limited by the number of weeks I can maintain a higher volume of work before I start to see my fitness fade based on my personal data. But there's reason to believe that it's a combination of the very tough workouts and maintaining that mileage that could have been the limiting factor for me in the past. So since these workouts in the earlier phases of Canova would be what I would personally consider on the easier side, it's entirely possible that peaking in volume a little earlier may be alright for me since the intensity is pulled back more. I liken the design of this plan to most similarly match my Lakefront 2016 and 2017s plan where I essentially hit peak mileage at 13 weeks out from race day and maintained. Albeit, the intensity of this Canova plan will build more intently over the course of the plan. It remains to be seen whether this type of training will mesh with my characteristics.


Fundamental Phase

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Alright, with 16 weeks to go until race day, we enter the six week long "Fundamental Phase". We start to move a little more away from the HIIT workouts and the uphill sprints, and start to pull even more on tightening the window of paces around goal M Tempo. The idea here is that as the plan progresses we're getting more and more marathon specific. So the fast paces are getting longer and slower, and the slow paces are getting shorter and faster. In some respects, this is not dissimilar from my training in the past. As the plan progresses, the paces should converge around M Tempo. I think Canova would be a fan of Hansons in some respects (M Strength intervals and M Tempo workouts of 6-10 miles continuous), but in some respects Canova diverges in that he wants the workouts harder, and the recovery between workouts longer (3-4 days between really hard bouts). So in some respects the Canova workouts are sort of like a hybrid between Daniels super hard workouts, and the specificity of Hansons.

As the uphill sprints start to fall off the plan, strides are peppered in to continue their purpose. Where we were scheduled for 10, now we'll probably only do a few uphill strides just to keep re-reminding the body. The Mona and Circuit workouts will each make a brief appearance as well.

The general phase long run (80% M Tempo) will continue to increase during the fundamental phase going from 2:30 hrs to 2:50 hrs. The goal here is to be low and slow. These are focused on duration and not a hard pace. In fact, we don't want these to be a hard pace to overall keep them easy. Even when I hit 20 miles (2:50 hrs) at the max with 12 weeks to go until race day, it still only represents 33% of the weekly mileage at 61.5 miles. So the volume of the long run is up, but it doesn't encompass a large portion of the overall mileage.

Alongside the increasing general phase long run (80% M Tempo) you can see the fundamental phase long run (90% M Tempo or 7:44 min/mile) also increasing. Not nearly at the same duration as the general phase LR workouts. The goal here is to start to get some workouts in closer and closer to M Tempo, but keeping the duration of these on the lower end as to not need a massive amount of recovery from them. Where my previous training plans would have seen me do 2:10-2:30 hrs at 7:30-7:44, in this Canova plan, the duration of paces in the 7:20-7:40 range is going to be under 120 min. And based on my past experience and data, I think that's where I've gotten myself into trouble. My long runs are fast, and I see a negative response to my overall training progression when these workouts get too long. I can do them comfortably, and I feel fine doing them, but there's just something about them that seems to mark a downward trend in fitness. Regardless, these 90% M Tempo long runs will start to increase in duration alongside the 80% M Tempo runs to better prepare me for the "specific phase". The plan will peak in duration exercise at the end of the Fundamental phase a full 12 weeks before the race occurring.

The Progression workout goes from (80% M Tempo -> 100% M Tempo) to (100% M Tempo -> 106% M Tempo). So a harder version of the same workout.

There's the introduction of HM Tempo pacing held at a continuous pace as well. Nothing special there.

Lastly, a Ladder workout that changes the duration of the workout as the paces change. The faster the shorter, and the slower the longer. The goal is to touch paces all around M Tempo.

The goal of the end of the Fundamental phase is to be capable of doing the challenging workouts that occur during the Specific Phase.


Specific Phase
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Now we're in the meat of the training. Things get ratcheted up another notch. Having flexibility in my personal/work life is what is going to make this possible. Because the plan doesn't follow a normal sequence with a set hard day every week. Rather the eye is being kept on the number of days in-between hard workouts to make sure there's an appropriate level of recovery. So where I would have normally done 1-2 days between hard workouts, now I'll be doing 3-5 days between. But make no mistake, the additional recovery is because these workouts are tough. Additionally, some of these workouts are going to demand >90 min on a weekday. So in those cases I'll plan on taking the day off from work when possible.

LIIFT4 will continue as it did during the Fundamental phase. Only on Sat/Sun, and only the arm/back lifting workouts. No HIIT and no shoulders/legs.

The first new workout is the M Alt workout. In each set there's 12 min M Tempo + 3 min 95% + 3 min 110% + 1km at 70%. The average pace during those sets including the 70% pace is 7:23 min/mile which comes out to the 95% pace. So I'm doing like 90 min of 7:23 pace broken up into intervals. That's a fairly tough workout.

The next workout is 14 miles (100 min) at M Tempo. That's tougher than any M Tempo workout that I can remember and reminiscent of some of the Daniels Marathon workouts. As I said earlier in the pace spectrum, these hard workouts can switch which day they occur or time of day to get better conditions, but no matter what you have to do the assigned pace. If you can't maintain, then the workout is over.

The next week I come right back and do another 13 miles at 7:23 pace (96 min).

The week after is my first attempt at a Canova Specific Block workout. It just so happens to fall on a Wednesday, so I really hope I can take off a day that week to make it happen. It's an AM and PM workout. In my attempt at this double workout, I'm aiming to do the same workout twice. The workout is 70 min in total. The first 35 min is at 80% M Tempo (8:26) and then the second 35 min is at 100% M Tempo (7:02). The workout on its own isn't overly challenging, but having to do it twice in a day is fairly tough. In total, it'll be about 18 miles and 2:20 hrs of running. Ideally, you would eat absolutely zero carbs in between the two workouts. Canova says by starving the body of the carbs between the workouts, you're going to force the body to adapt and be more efficient in the event it happens to the body again. But Canova does say that it isn't absolutely necessary to do this glycogen depleted. So I'm not. Maybe if this works well as a training plan I'll revisit this more extreme version on a different run through. But I'm not keen on taking it that far.

After 5 days between hard bouts comes a relatively tough week of training. The Progression workout has been beefed up again. Previously going from 40 min at 80%->100%, to 48 min at 100%->106%, to this iteration that is 80 min at 97%->103% with 1km at 8:05 min/mile (85% M Tempo/moderate pace) between changes in pace. Even with the 1km 8:05 breaks in pace between reps, the workout is still aimed at averaging 7:26 pace (95%) for 114 minutes. So definitely beefy.

I get four days of easier running, and then we take on Canova's peak workout. He wants me to do roughly 120 min of 97% M Tempo (7:11 pace). This workout is suppose to occur roughly 40 days before the race. It's like a mock race in of itself. Lakefront Marathon actually falls on the same day as this 17 miler, but I feel like it's too far away and a little too much of a hassle for me to do it. The weekend prior would actually be better because there's a 125 minute race closer to home. But then I'd be pushing what's suppose to occur 40 days prior to the race to 49-ish days. Maybe on another run through I'd consider otherwise, but I'd like to stick closer to written on this go around.

Another four days before the next hard day and then we're looking at another 107 min at 7:23 pace (95% M Tempo).

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Now we're headed down the home stretch. I'll do a workout Canova calls Specific Extensive Endurance (SEE). The goal is to run intervals at 100% M Tempo with some 90% M Tempo as resting intervals. Not as tough as Hansons continuous for 10 miles, but the workout is extended because of the resting intervals between.

Four easy days, and then we have our second attempt at the Canova Specific Block. He wants these to occur 2-3 weeks apart, and no more than 2-3 times during the entire cycle.

Another four days, and then we try the Specific Intensive Endurance (SIE) workout. It's a callback to when I was doing 1 min M Tempo and 1 min 80% M Tempo. Now instead I'm doing 1km at 96% + 1 km at 104% (average is 100% M Tempo). Ten miles of M Tempo average, but by going high and low around it, it's likely to be tougher than doing 10 miles continuous. Canova is a big believer in alternating the paces around the goal pace in addition to holding it continuously. His philosophy is that you're teaching the body to be more efficient at clearing the fatigue by forcing it to do faster/slower than goal pace. In other places they're called Over/Unders. They were quite frequent in the cycling TrainerRoad workouts. They're relentlessly tough.

Three days, and then aiming for 16 miles (120 min) of 95% M Tempo (7:23) pace. This harkens back to my Lakefront 2017 training and Dopey 2018 training when I was capable of doing 7:20s pace for 120-140 min. So it's something I've done before, but not recently.

Another attempt at the SEE workout with slightly longer intervals (3 miles + 1km 90% M Tempo). Just about 11 miles at M Tempo.

Then a short two week taper downturn (granted some of the intensity has already been dropping slightly). The last workout is another LR/HMT alternating workout, albeit slightly easier 3 min 80% + 3 min 105%.

Then the taper finishes off leading into race day.


Big Picture

So how does this training plan compare to the twelve other marathon training plans I've followed since 2015?

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In the twelve marathons to date, I've beaten my predicted marathon time based on a recent race twice (Lakefront 2015 and Lakefront 2016). I've been within three minutes, three other times (Wisconsin 2016, Disney 2017, and Madison 2021). My biggest misses were Lakefront 2017 (7:43 slower) and my three plans of cycle+run+strength (Chicago 2018, Disney 2020, and Non-Cancelled 2021) which were all >17:30 min off from predicted. When evaluating this Canova training plan in comparison to those others during the last 13 weeks of training, this plan ranks

-2nd in terms of mileage per week at 57.3 mi (only behind Lakefront 2016 at 63.3 mi)
-2nd in terms of running time spent training at 7:54 hrs per week (only behind Lakefront 2016 at 9:03 hrs per week). While it's 2nd, it's much closer to 3rd-6th than it is to first (the others ranging from 7:38-7:50 hrs per week).
-6th in terms of projected average pace per week at 8:16 min/mile or 74 sec per mile slower than goal marathon pace. So I'm doing some of the highest mileage per week and duration per week, but at a slightly slower pace.

This plan is written in pencil and not in pen. Canova is a big believer in not "sticking" to the plan for the sake of sticking to it. So if 9/6/22 comes up and I don't feel fresh enough to properly complete the scheduled workout, then he wants me to push it. The execution of the workout takes precedence over whatever was originally written on the schedule.

I listened to a podcast of a professional American runner who attempted a Canova training cycle. Put him in the best fitness of his life. But he did a Lydiard base, Canova specific phase, and then a Pftiz taper. Despite being in amazing shape (I believe he obliterated his PRs at 10k and HM a few weeks prior to the M) he struggled mightily during the specific phase of the training. He got a chance to talk to Canova once and Canova said his slight underperformance in the M (off by about 2 min from his new goal after new fitness but went from 2:22 goal to 2:13 goal and 2:15 finish) was because he didn't follow the other Canova phases prior to the specific phase. Without having the proper buildup for the specificity of the training Canova asks for, you'll make gains, but still fail to live up to expectations if you can't execute the very hard workouts during that last phase. So it speaks to Canova's idea that you can't simply shoe-horn his last specific phase of onto a different training plan and expect it to succeed the same.

Excited to try something a little different and see how it plays out. I've attached a PDF of the plan.
Looks challenging! I'm looking forward to following along with your progress and seeing what you learn.
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
After carefully looking at both pictures, I did find them. Took longer to find the edits on the fireworks photo.

Fireworks: the lamps were removed.

Race: runners behind you and G were removed from the background.

Nailed it. It ended up being easier than I would have expected for this novice to remove those items in photoshop. The fireworks photo was hard because the software struggled with re-creating the missing parts of the fireworks. The software also struggled with what should have been behind the other runners in the France running scene. Originally it swapped out the other runners for a larger image of G's face which was just creepy.
 
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DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
I'm curious about this part? So if you don't feel properly rested to run a harder workout, you push it a day later? What happens the rest of the week?

This plan is written in pencil and not in pen. Canova is a big believer in not "sticking" to the plan for the sake of sticking to it. So if 9/6/22 comes up and I don't feel fresh enough to properly complete the scheduled workout, then he wants me to push it. The execution of the workout takes precedence over whatever was originally written on the schedule.

Essentially, as the plan progresses towards the end you are to defer more preference to the execution of the workout than to what was originally written. So let's use the following weeks as an example:

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 8.35.33 AM.png

It's Tuesday 9/6, and the scheduled workout is

1 mile WU + 4 sets of (12 min 7:02 + 3 min 7:23 + 3 min 6:20 + 1 km at 9:10)

The temps are super hot and warrant an adjustment of the paces, or I'm still fatigued from the 9/3 workout and am not sure I'll be capable of doing this. In the past, I would have done the same workout at the same effort level, but at a much slower pace. So instead of the above, it might have looked something like:

1 mile WU + 4 sets of (12 min 7:32 + 3 min 7:53 + 3 min 6:50 + 1 km at 12:00)

With the durations remaining the same, the sets the same, but everything was done at an equal effort/slower pace. Canova doesn't want to see this.

Canova contests that as the training plan progresses you should more often not make this specific slowing of the workout adjustment. General or Fundamental phase, sure maybe you slow it down. But during the Specific phase, the deference is given to the workout as originally written. You should instead:

-Push the workout to 9/7 instead.
-Do the workout at a different time of day to avoid the super hot conditions.
-Alter the workout to remove sets if unable to maintain the workout as originally written. So if you can't do 4 sets as written, can you do 1 set as written? Can you do 1 set, then take an extended break of time equivalent to the 2nd set, and then do the third set as written? The pace matters more than anything to him. This assumes you have properly chosen your pace goals, which if too aggressive will make these workouts closer to impossible.

Here's a recent video of a Canova special block.


Everyone completes the morning workout as designed. But you can see in the evening workout that some runners can do 1 lap at pace, and then drop. Some do 2 laps. Few do 3 or 4 laps. All the while the exact desired pace dictates whether you continue the workout. Then when the next set comes up, the other runners jump back in if they can maintain the originally assigned pace. But what they're not doing, is they're not slowing the workout down to make it accomplishable. It's definitely a far different approach than I've taken in the recent past.

If the workout were pushed to 9/7, then when 9/11 comes up, am I properly prepared to take on the next hard workout? If no, then it gets pushed. If yes, then I aim to do it as written up until the point at which I can no longer maintain the set pace. I'd imagine if this workout were pushed, then it would continue to push things down the line. That's why Canova stresses flexibility in the schedule. He said something to the effect of, "You don't run the plan. The plan runs you." Or something like that. At least this is how I am interpreting the limited information I can gather from the internet.
 

azrivest

Chasing the rDream
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Everyone completes the morning workout as designed. But you can see in the evening workout that some runners can do 1 lap at pace, and then drop. Some do 2 laps. Few do 3 or 4 laps. All the while the exact desired pace dictates whether you continue the workout. Then when the next set comes up, the other runners jump back in if they can maintain the originally assigned pace. But what they're not doing, is they're not slowing the workout down to make it accomplishable. It's definitely a far different approach than I've taken in the recent past.

Indeed, a different approach to what other experts normally recommend. Thanks for the different input!

Don't think I'd have the willingness to attack such a long training plan, but super interesting nonetheless
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Indeed, a different approach to what other experts normally recommend. Thanks for the different input!

Don't think I'd have the willingness to attack such a long training plan, but super interesting nonetheless

I should add, it's my understanding that the opposite is true as well when it comes to this "flexible" schedule. Such that if I originally scheduled myself for 60 min at 9:30 pace, but feel fine running for 90 min at 9:30 pace or 60 min at 8:05 pace or 90 min at 8:05 pace, I'm fine to do that as well. Ultimately it comes down to trusting what your body is telling you and ramp up or pull back when necessary. Regardless of what the pre-written schedule may have said.
 

dobball23

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
I should add, it's my understanding that the opposite is true as well when it comes to this "flexible" schedule. Such that if I originally scheduled myself for 60 min at 9:30 pace, but feel fine running for 90 min at 9:30 pace or 60 min at 8:05 pace or 90 min at 8:05 pace, I'm fine to do that as well. Ultimately it comes down to trusting what your body is telling you and ramp up or pull back when necessary. Regardless of what the pre-written schedule may have said.
I think that could be challenging for many (including me!). So much flexibility would make me question whether I'm "choosing" the right time/distance/pace if I'm not reading my body correctly. I would likely try to hit the default measurements most days, unless I really couldn't do them.
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
I think that could be challenging for many (including me!). So much flexibility would make me question whether I'm "choosing" the right time/distance/pace if I'm not reading my body correctly. I would likely try to hit the default measurements most days, unless I really couldn't do them.

Certainly. And I think that's where Canova would say that most should probably be making these decisions in tandem with an outside third party like a coach. Someone who has a vested interest in seeing you succeed, but is objectively looking at the information, data, etc. to know what's right or wrong.
 

striker1064

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
I'm very interested to see how this turns out for you. I know you talked about the peak time/mileage a bit, but it didn't really hit me until I had a chance to look at your plan itself. It's certainly unconventional compared to other plans out there that you build to 2:50 relatively quickly, then you don't come close to that kind of mileage again save for a single 2:00 session a few weeks later.

Also, that Progression workout! It's pretty clear with this plan that you will know exactly where your fitness is.
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
I'm very interested to see how this turns out for you. I know you talked about the peak time/mileage a bit, but it didn't really hit me until I had a chance to look at your plan itself. It's certainly unconventional compared to other plans out there that you build to 2:50 relatively quickly, then you don't come close to that kind of mileage again save for a single 2:00 session a few weeks later.

Also, that Progression workout! It's pretty clear with this plan that you will know exactly where your fitness is.

Yes, and that might be where the plan falls apart (maybe?). I believe Canova would agree with me (based on what I've read) that "effort over a certain duration is more important than the mileage itself". But towards the end of the plan in the specific phase, he has his elite runners doing 22-25 miles on some of the same type of runs that I'll be doing 16-17 miles. That's because all along when he was giving example workouts I converted anything he wrote out in distance based language into duration based language using his 3:00 min/km Marathon Tempo pace for the elite runner examples. But I think I'm right in my assumption because he specifically calls out in the earlier phase of the plan how the longest long run should be near the same duration as what you will actually run the marathon in. Not a distance based thing.

It is a little deceiving though because there are five continuous runs between 107-120 min and two additional double days of 70+70 min during the specific phase. So nothing over 2 hrs as a continuous run, but there's still something occurring just around that threshold. For comparison, during the 2020 Madison M training when I did my Hansons Intermediate plan, I only had three runs over 120 min, and no runs between 107-120 min in the last 10 weeks of training (next longest was 97 min). And as a secondary comparison, the average pace of many of the seven runs between 107-140 min during Canova are around 7:20-7:30 pace whereas during the 2020 training plan were around 7:35-7:45. So instead of going longer, he's having me run faster at a slightly shorter duration. The 2020 Madison M yielded my 2nd fastest M ever. So not going over two hours much has not hurt me much in the past. I feel like constantly hitting that 90-120 min zone is where I shine. I think in the past, I've probably just run the >120 min runs too fast for them to be sustainable for me. I can do them without much issue, but my body doesn't respond to them. He does talk a bit about this in the 60 min seminar video. In which he has some runners that put in 150-170km per week and perform at X, and other runners who do 80-90km per week and perform equally well. But if the runners try and do the others routine, they're not as good anymore. You have to find the niche that works best for you.

That week of 9/26 is brutally difficult. As you say, I'll know a lot about where I stand after that week. It very well may explain why that's occurring at 7 weeks until race day instead of 4 weeks until race day. Nearly 2 hours at 7:26 pace followed by just over 2 hours at 7:11 pace a few days later. To be completely fair, I only have two of nineteen official HMs, one HM split within a M, and one Daniels speed workout on 4/30/2017 with an average pace faster than 7:11. I still feel like I can do it based on other data though. I'll do it, until I can't. That's what he wants from the workout. The pro I listened to who attempted the Lydiard base and Canova specific phase I believe mentioned he only successfully completed 1 of the 6 or 7 Canova workouts he tried to do. The other ones he bailed when he could no longer maintain.
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
It's certainly unconventional compared to other plans out there that you build to 2:50 relatively quickly, then you don't come close to that kind of mileage again save for a single 2:00 session a few weeks later.

For curiosity's sake, I looked at the twelve other marathons I have good data for to compare how many runs I did at/over 90 min, at/over 105 min, and at/over 120 min during the last 13 weeks of training:

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Couple caveats:

-Of the 31 runs assumed to be over 90 min in the Canova plan during the last 13 weeks, 18 of them are 1:29:17 that I included. So if you excluded those eightteen, the number would be thirteen total.
-Two of the five over 120 min are the doubles, one is 2:50 hrs, one is 2:01:50, and the last is 1:58:10.

My fastest times in order are Lakefront 2017, Madison 2021, Disney 2018, Disney 2017, and Lakefront 2016. In those five races I averaged:

19.6 runs over 90 min in last 13 weeks (range 11-35)
8.6 runs over 105 min in last 13 weeks (range 4-15)
4.6 runs over 120 min in last 13 weeks (range 2-9)

Canova plan as written is 31 (or 13), 9, and 5 which shows it to be close to average in that regard compared to my five best marathon performances. But for completeness sake, my worst performances came with averages of 15.6, 7.4, 4.1. A very quick graph shows my performances are indistinguishable in this regard.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.58.27 PM.png
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
2022 Brat Fest 5k w/ G - Race Recap

This was G's second 5k race, and first non-Disney 5k. She still wanted to dress up in matching costumes for this race despite it not being Disney, so we threw together some items to take this race To Infinity and Beyond.

Conditions - ⛅ Partly Cloudy, Wind 9mph to 14mph
Start: Temp+Dew = 60°F + 54°F; FL - 60°F
End: Temp+Dew = 62°F + 55°F; FL - 60°F

G will do the recap for the remainder of the race:

I had a good night's rest before the race. I had a weird dream, but I can't remember it. For breakfast, I had a banana and a Nutella waffle. Because of my side cramps a few training runs ago, I tried to eat these foods a little further from race time. I did have some pretzels in the car.

I was really excited to run the race. We dressed up as Buzz Lightyear and a Pizza Planet Delivery guy. I was wearing a Buzz Lightyear dress we bought from Target, and my dad was wearing a Pizza Planet shirt. He also had on Slinky Dog ears, and two zoom zooms of Jessie and Woody on his shoulders. They were held together on his shirt using magnets.

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Before it was our turn to run the 5k, there was a kid's race and 10k start. I saw my friend from school do the kid's race. We met a dog named Luna who was going to do the 5k dog jog also. She was black and grey. My dad and I did some light stretching like we normally do in training, and then we saw mom and she wished us good luck. We lined up after the 10k runners were started. We were around the middle/back of the 5k group of starters.

Once the race started, I feel like we went a little slow. Dad and I decided we wouldn't follow 30/30 strictly, but rather I would just decide when to walk and when to run. Because I might have gotten tired when I was running, the walks that I did helped me get more energy.

During the first mile we were running on some road, and then on gravel, and then we saw a stone arch that looked like the one I saw on my field trip. We then started running on a sidewalk and the path got narrow and wiggly-waggly. Around this point we were starting to run back and forth with some other people doing their paces. We saw an older woman with a young boy who looked like he was about 5 years old. He was having lots of fun. I noticed a girl with cool shoes, and I let her know I liked how shiny they were. Luna the dog passed us around this point in the race, and she seemed like she was having a great time too. The first place 5k runner passed us going the other direction, he finished in 17:00 minutes. He was fast. He had a banana in his hand. We finished the first mile in 13:22 and I was feeling tired, but still had enough energy.

As the race progressed I did more walks, but it was very fun. We crossed a bridge, and a guy and his family yelled, "Go small girl." And so I did. The path was still narrow and there were now 5k runners coming back towards us. So we had to be more picky and choosy about passing others and getting to the side. I was really looking forward to the halfway point and kept asking my dad when it would come up because we talked about how this was an out-back course. When we finally made it to the halfway point they had some funny signs on the side of the path. There was one about "Ketchup" to the person in front of you. And another about "Having enough Mustard" to finish. And one about "relish the moment". They were all jokes about brats. Around this time before we hit Mile 2 is when the first place 10k runner passed us. He was fast. Dad said he would be that fast too, but he wasn't. There was a lady with a great dane and it looked big enough that I could ride it. But I didn't. But if I could, I would have ridden it to the finish because my legs were tired. We finished the second mile in 13:32. I was getting ready for the finish, and didn't think I would be able to do my super boost.

We crossed back over the bridge and were nearing the end of the race. We were surprised that initially two 10k runners passed us, but then there was a huge gap in time before we saw 3rd place. A guy also running the 5k that we had been jockeying back and forth with decided to say hi to us. He said I should be really proud of myself because I was beating him and he used to be able to run 17 min 5ks. Although he's in his 50s now. Every time we would do our run/walk we would gain distance on him. One time he passed us and he said to me, "Are you going to let me beat you?" And he got a little distance in front of us. My dad convinced me that we should do the "hi/bye" game with him that I did with the Cinderella ladies during the Disney 5k. So we sped up and we passed him again, and I said to him "hi/bye". And he laughed. But we didn't get much ahead of him before we walked again. So he was right on my tail for the rest of the third mile. My dad and I kept talking about super boosts and I kept saying that I didn't think I had any more super boosts left. Finally we were closing in on the end of the third mile, and our friend was RIGHT behind us. A spectator yelled out, if we're going to speed up, NOW IS THE TIME. We did the third mile in 14:44.

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When we hit the third mile, my friend was so close, it was time to break out the super boost. And so I did. I bolted past by everyone, and everyone was like there goes Buzz Lightyear. We were running so so fast and it was hard, but I made it to the finish. It was fun to run the super boost because it felt like I was flying through the remainder of the course. We did the final 0.1 miles in 6:50 min/mile pace, and at one point peaked at 5:30 min/mile pace. I was exhausted.

We finished in 42:30 which is faster than our Disney race around 1:30 hrs. But there weren't any Disney characters to take pictures with, but maybe I should have with Luna the dog.

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Now if any of you guys are going to run the Brat Fest 5k for the first time I suggest running it with someone you really care about because you'll have so much fun. But at the end of the race I suggest you run it as fast as possible. Like start off slow and then when you zoom past everyone, everyone will go "What, What, What". So trust me the 5k is really fun.

I'm excited to do another 5k in three weeks at the Hot2Trot. Thanks for reading!

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