I FINALLY got my Chicago Marathon training plan together. It took a bit longer than I expected but I think I’ve done a pretty good job with it. I must state, I am not a certified coach and this is the plan that works best for me based on my past experiences and my conversations with various running coaches.
First, I started by using Hal Higdon’s personal best marathon plan as the base. I then switched the days around to better fit my schedule. I also shortened the plan to 22 weeks. (The first few weeks are really just base building.) I like to do my speedwork on Tuesday (TRACK TUESDAY!) and I like to do my long runs on Saturday. I prefer to get up early on Saturdays so that I have at least one weekend day to sleep in. Training for this marathon during the summer means early morning long runs and if do my long run on Saturday, I can do my cross training on Sunday a little bit later in the day. I have a rest day and a cross train with five days of running.
Second, I decided on four 20 mile long runs. I asked a lot people about this and everyone varied in their opinion. I decided that three 20 milers and one 22 miler would be best for me. I think this is a very personal decision and having run a marathon or two, I feel most confident when I do three to four 20 mile long runs. Some of you may be aghast at four, but others of you will nod in agreement.
Third, I emailed my plan to three trusted coaches: Coach EK, Navy Steve, and Mary B. I took a lot of what they said to heart and implemented the ideas that I thought worked best for me. (See a pattern here?) All three agreed that I needed to up my weekly mileage. Oof. I had originally only intended three 20 milers but Navy Steve and Coach EK both expressed that more experienced marathoners should do more. Oof again.
In addition to the things they agreed upon they all felt a little differently about taper and pace versus tempo runs. In the past, I have used pace runs to train. I am thinking that for this go round I’ll do a mix of tempo runs and pace runs. They are a similar but the tempo allows me to train a bit faster than the pace run and there again I get a bit of a confidence boost. I am going to mix the two and see how it goes. Mary was a big proponent of the tempo and training closely to how you would run come race day.
Lastly, as for taper, I decided to do a two week again. I know my body and I know I can handle the two week taper.It’s….best for me.
And there you have it. None of it is set is stone which is a nice reminder because if there are days that I feel too tired or if my hammy non-injury-injury flares up I can always scale back as I see fit.
I have decided just to get going in my training and then think about my goals later. I am not sure where I’ll end up but I’m hopeful for a PR at least.
Happy Friday friends! I’ve got an aquathon tomorrow that I’m just going to have fun with. Good luck to any of you racing this weekend. I know the CLE folks are rarin’ to go!
Good luck with your training! Have a fantastic weekend.
Why would anyone ever think that someone else could write a training plan better than you could? YOU are the expert on your own stregnths, weaknesses, needs, schedule, past experiences, injury avoidance, etc.
Will you share it? I'm interested to see. And I'm getting nervous as the clock is ticking. When are you starting?
Can't wait to follow this journey with you!
I completely agree that how many long runs are a personal decision! Can't go wrong with the Higdon plans as a base!
You're absolutely right that everyone is different – sounds like you've built a plan that's best for you and THAT is what is important! Can't wait to follow along your training this summer. I think reading about marathon training might actually make me miss it a bit 🙂 Good luck!!
Yea I can certainly get behind 4 20 mile long runs and a 2 week taper. sounds fantastic. You're setting yourself up for success!
I've always been aghast at four, until seven ate nine!!!! Good luck Chica!
I am actually in process of putting my marathon plan together as well and having Mary and Steve look it over 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I know mine will differ a lot from yours though since it's my first and my main goal is to not die.
Woohoo! Yay for getting that plan on paper! But boo to training in this heat! See ya out there 🙂
It's always so great to have a plan set out! It seems so much less overwhelming that way! I hope everything works out well for you and that you do your best in the marathon! Good luck!