Sharpening Phase – Own It!


Chi26.2 Week 14 / NYC26.2 Week 11 / Nap26.2 Week 10 (Aug 10th, 2014)


own it hill running


Hi Team –

Great training weather this week in Chicago. 

I trust you enjoyed your long runs this weekend.

We have been very fortunate with mid-70 to 80 degree weather. If you recall the last two summers were brutal with many 90+ and humid days.  Let’s hope things hold as we build even more miles into your training.


Unfortunately the team run didn’t materialize this weekend. Many of you were busy with family or out of town – enjoying summer – right ? I hope you all had fun. We will plan to try it again later this month.


Let’s review the training plans for this week according to each target marathon:



Chicago Week 14 Training Plan - ONLY 9 WEEKS TO GO !!

Plan Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
Novice 4 6 R or XT 6 Rest 12 R or XT 28
Beginner 3 7 ^ R or XT 5 – 6 Rest 14 ^ R or XT 29 – 30
Intermediate 4 8 ^^ R or XT 8 Rest 16 ^^ R or XT 37 – 38



Plan Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
Novice 4 6 R or XT 5 Rest 10 R or XT 25
Beginner 4 6 ^ R or XT 6 Rest 10 R or XT 26
Intermediate 4 8 ^^ R or XT 7 – 8 Rest 12 R or XT 31 – 32


Naperville Week 10 Training Plan.

Plan Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
Novice 4 6 R or XT 5 Rest 13 R or XT 28
Beginner 4 6 R or XT 6 Rest 14 – 15 R or XT 30 – 31
Intermediate 4 8 R or XT 7 Rest 16 R or XT 35

Recall R or XT refers to a Rest day or Cross-Train for ~30 minutes. This involves Yoga, swimming, weights, cycling stretching etc. ^, ^^ speed work as given in detail below.


Happy days for all of you running Chicago or New York – another Long Run cut back week !  


CHICAGO TEAM MEMBERS – Welcome to the Sharpening Phase of Marathon Training – the goal being to Sharpen your body for the Long Run Endurance and build in some speed or hill work on alternating weeks.

The speed work will help to improve your stamina running your goal pace, and the hill work will help to build leg strength and improve your stamina.

Again Novice runners don’t worry about this – continue your runs at Conversational Pace.


Beginner and Intermediate runners who have spent the last couple of weeks running a few miles at your Marathon Goal Pace (MGP) during one of your weekly runs – it’s time to inch it up a bit and introduce a TEMPO pace into your plan.

Please consider this as another “hard” workout like your Long Run.  


During the Sharpening Phase a TEMPO Run is typically done every other week (alternating with Hill work – see next week) and this involves running a set number of miles at a specific pace according each individuals capability and marathon goal pace.


As mentioned before the purpose of a TEMPO run is to build your stamina at your desired MGP.  


As in any good training run, a TEMPO run always starts with a 1 to 2 mile warm up at a very easy pace or jog.

Then it’s time to kick it up for a specific number of miles at YOUR TEMPO pace – this is generally 15-20 seconds faster than your marathon goal pace and at the very most could be near equivalent to your ½ marathon average pace.

Every Tempo run finishes with a 1 – 2 mile cool down at an easy pace.


This puts some added stress to your leg muscles so it’s a good idea to stretch afterwards. As you have done over the past few weeks break the Tuesday run total mileage into 3 parts: a 1-2 mile warm-up, then 3-4 miles TEMPO pace and then 1-2 miles cool down.


Over the next six weeks you can steadily increase the distance at the TEMP pace but start with a 3 mile TEMPO distance (4 miles max) – that’s like sandwiching a 5K speed effort into your run.


So what’s your TEMPO pace?

If you know your MGP work left from the table below, if you don’t know what you MGP is, estimate it according to your Long Run conversations pace working from the right in the table below.


Suggested Tempo paces according to different finishing times:  

Marathon Finish Time Marathon Goal Pace Tempo Pace Typical Long Run Pace
3:59:00 – 4:00:00 9:07 – 9:09 min/mi 8:45 – 8:50 min/mi 9:30 – 10:00 min/mi
4:10:00 – 4:15:00 9:32 – 9:44 min/mi 9:10 – 9:20 min/mi 10:00 – 10:30 min/mi
4:29:00 – 4:30:00 10:16 – 10:18 min/mi 9:55 – 10:00 min/mi 10:30 – 11:15 min/mi
4:59:00 – 5:00:00 11:25 – 11:27 min/mi 11:00 – 11:10 min/mi 12:00 to 12:30 min/mi


Monitor you breathing and pay attention to your leg muscles – if you begin panting heavily – slow down.

If you experience leg/muscle soreness or cramps – stop, walk for a bit and jog slowly to ensure the pain is gone.


Enjoy your Long Run this week of only 12, 14 or 16 miles depending on the plan you are following.   Think of this as a minor pause along the escalator ride – next week you have your first 18 miler!



NYC TEAM MEMBERS - can you believe you are nearly ½ way through your training – you too have a Long run cut back to give your body some time to recover.  

Beginner and Intermediate NYC runners – you can focus some time one day this week to run a few miles at a faster pace to initiate building some speed work into your training – see comments above.


To get started in this type of workout it is best to ease into this, as the Chicago group did some three weeks back.  

A good start is to run a few miles at your MPG pace that is 30-45 seconds faster than your easy pace (see Table above).


Break up your Tuesday run as follows depending on your target total miles:

Total Run Distance Warm up Distance MPG Distance Cool Down Distance
6 1 3 2
8 2 4 2



NAPERVILLE TEAM MEMBERS - most if not all of you have run a half marathon before – so you should feel very confident about achieving the distance this week. You will get a cut back week next week.  You can do it !


It’s now your turn to start focusing on your pre-run diet plan and to practice taking in some type of fuel during, and a recovery drink like a protein shake or chocolate milk after, all your future Long Runs of greater than 90 minutes.


As a general guideline target ~45 grams of carbohydrate each hour.

A typical sports drink provides ~15 grams of carb per 8 oz. For gels, chews and Gu – read the label carefully – some gels may provide around 25 grams of carbs – BUT depending on the type it could be double that.


Taking in too many carbs can upset your stomach too.


If you are feeling sluggish after 8-10 miles you are probably not taking in enough carbs.

Always alternate, Gatorade and Gels over 30-45 min intervals. Always chase GU or gels with water only.

Let me know if you have any specific questions and refer back to past updates for additional details.

If that’s not enough to think about remember to apply body glide and sunscreen and be safe out there.


Happy Running All!



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