It’s Just a Phase: Sança & Canova Fundamentals

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By Tim Ritchie

Over the last two weeks we have introduced you to a few local athletes who are gearing up for the Boston Marathon this April. These athletes are just like the rest of the Legion: working hard, braving the elements, and doing their best to keep it on the level. This week we check in on their training as they shed some light on what it was like to be in the middle of a marathon build up during one of the worst winters in New England memory.

Ruben Sanca

After not being able to finish the Twin Cities Marathon on Oct 5 (torn hamstring at mile 17), I took some time off to let my leg heal. Around the first week of November, I started training again. I broke down my training in 3 phases. Phase 1 was 6 weeks (Nov 1 to Dec 14) of building up just over 100 miles per week with some light strides just to get me back in the flow of training. Phase 2, also known as Canova Base Phase, was 9 weeks (Dec 15-Feb 14). Finally phase 3, known as Canova Fundamental Phase runs for 9 weeks, Feb 15 until Boston Marathon race day, April 20.

Phase 1 can be done for a very long time. It is basically just to get myself fit and in shape to be able to do workouts. However, during Phase 2, I had to already be in somewhat good shape to be able to handle the workouts. During Phase 2, Nate Jenkins and I used a 2-week segment for our workouts: The segment went something like this:

From my log on

February 2 to February 15, 2015

Sança leading Ashe and Serafini at the 5CR 10 Miler, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Day 1 - Easy mileage: AM 8 miles, PM 10 miles

Day 2 - Alternations: AM 5 miles, PM 10 mile workout alternating 5:30 pace and 4:49 pace each half mile

Day 3 - Medium long run: 16 miles

Day 4 - Progressive Run: AM 6 miles, PM 10 miles, first 5 miles at 5:20 pace, last 5 miles at 4:58 pace

Day 5 - Easy mileage: 12 miles

Day 6 - Super Compensation Day: AM 10k in 33:09, 4min rest, 10k 31:19, PM 10k 33:11, 4min rest, 10x1k at 4:59 pace

Day 7 - Regeneration mileage: AM 6 miles, PM Massage

Day 8 - Regeneration mileage: 8 miles

Day 9 - Easy mileage: AM 6 miles, PM 14 miles

Day 10 - Marathon Pace Intervals: AM 5 miles, PM 5x2miles at 5:05 pace w/ half mile recovery at 5:50 pace

Day 11 - Medium long run: 16 miles

Day 12 - Mona Fartlek: AM 5 miles, PM 3x90sec (4:42 pace), 3x60sec (4:32 pace), 3x30sec (4:28 pace), 3x15sec (4:18 pace), equal reocvery at 5:20 pace

Day 13 - Easy mileage: AM 6 miles, PM 14 miles

Day 14 - Hard Strides: AM 6 miles, PM 13 miles w/ 6×200 strides

Total ~ 250 miles

I really enjoyed Phase 2 because as you can see, it allowed me to work on many different speeds. A week after this training block, I raced the USATF Jones 10 mile championships where I placed 2nd in 50:34. It was a great motivation to my training as I was able to run a bit faster there than last year.

Going into the final stretch of my training, Phase 3, I seem to have run into some road blocks: injuries and sickness. Monday after the race, I became really sick. I had to take some very light days of training and missed some opportunity to improve on my overall fitness. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during marathon training is that a LOT of things can go wrong, but you just have to keep moving forward and not get discouraged. As we push ourselves in testing our own new limits, we must use those positive and negative experiences to learn from them and make adjustments for the future. So far during this block, I’ve had several injuries: from achilles tendonitis, severe ice burn on my knee, plantar fasciitis to hamstring strains etc., but I’ve tried to remain calm push along. The way I look at training is simple: each day is a new day with a new purpose. In order to keep myself motivated, I try to accomplish each task at hand, pat myself on the back once it’s done and then move to the next task in a progressive fashion. I’m glad to say that as of today, I’m clear of the aforementioned injuries and I look forward to continuing my progress in Phase 3.

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