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Deconstructing “The Grid”

Posted Aug 13 2009 7:59pm
I wasn’t intending to write this post because “The Grid”, like the fine piece of modern art that it is, defies explanation and demands a bit of personal interpretation, but since Lindsay questioned my masculinity and issues with PMS while others confessed to have no idea what they were looking at, I guess I should reveal some of the hidden meanings and codes within the grid at the risk of depreciating its value.

Thanks again to F.L. for giving everyone an i ntroductory overview to the marathon training awesomeness that is “The Grid”. I will take over, and expand on the other numbers, letters, and colors contained within the chart.

By now, it should be pretty obvious that within each training week, that is a series of seven slots that correspond to the days of the week, and within each slot, there is a recommended distance and a pace for that day’s workout. Pace is generally broken down into multiple different categories (E – easy; G – general; L – long run; R – race) that corresponds to the expected effort of each run. The numbered pace runs are speed workouts and correspond to the same number and color as can be found in the lower speedwork box. Green runs are speed interval workouts, while the light brown runs are tempo workouts of 5 to 8 miles. This year, I’ve also added some purple or marathon-paced training runs to the running mix. As you can see, I have 8 tempo runs, 4 interval workouts, and 3 marathon paced run scheduled for this marathon training cycle. Since each speed workout involves a warmup, a quality run and a cooldown segment, there are spaces for each to record the corresponding time spent doing each segment.

Not to be outdone, colors on the main worksheet have their own brand of significance. Color on the speedwork days correspond to their individual workout assignments while blue runs are long runs of twenty miles or more and yellow runs are short and mid distance races that I’ve entered or are planning to enter. Eventually, all roads must converge on red, which denotes marathon Sunday on 11/1. At the end of each training week, there is a summary tally of the distance and average pace for the week while at the end of the marathon cycle, there is a total number of the composite distance and pace traveled.

So that’s my training plan, in a nutshell. Hope it makes a bit more sense to someone else except FL and me!

My Running Update:
The long run this weekend didn’t happen. I only ran 9 out of the 18 miles Sunday morning because I had a migraine prior to starting and just never felt comfortable out there. Yes I sucked. I’m chalking it up to a non-running injury and moving on. Next up is 5 mile tempo run tomorrow and a 20 mile Long Training Run on Saturday. This should be interesting…

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