Marathon Planning

Second post in the same week?!  Whaaaat?

The both children are asleep, that’s how this is happening.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and type solo.  Plus, this will be short so it won’t take too much time to draft up.

A few weeks before the Frederick Half I started looking at marathon training plans.  I knew that I could go into marathon training 2 ways: take it easy for a few weeks post-half marathon or continue the momentum in hopes to maintain the fitness, but tweak the training so that the training plan is longer than 16 weeks.  After looking at a few plans, a few for just running a marathon and a few for specific time goals, I decided to go with an extended plan.  I did decide to take a week off after the half, though.  I didn’t want to suffer burnout so I felt that a week would be good enough to recharge and refresh.

I had 2 plans in mind for the Baltimore Marathon.  One was with a target time of 3:30 and the other was just a generic PR plan.  When I completed the Frederick Half, I had a pretty good sense of what I am capable of achieving.  I’m a fan of setting high goals but I also like to be realistic.  A 3:30 marathon is a huge time difference from my 3:47 best…and that was on a flat course.  Asking myself to drop 15+ minutes in a few months is a huge task.  Granted, it may be possible if I put in the hard work.  However, when I looked at the 16 week training plan for that time goal, a lot of the paces were some that I’m just starting to hit but not able to maintain for a significant amount of time, particularly for the time frame the workout asks for.  With this reality check, I decided to go with the generic PR plan and re-evaluate my progress at the 16 week mark.  If it’s going well and I’m hitting the appropriate time goals, I’ll jump on that 3:30 plan.  If not, I’ll continue with the PR plan and try to get as close to the 3:30 mark.  I want a BQ.  There’s no hiding that.  I just don’t want to set myself up for disappointment or failure.

I decided to stick to good ol’ Hal Higdon since his plans have worked so well for me.  The Personal Best plan is a 30 week plan originally.  However, given that the marathon is about 20 weeks away from now, I decided to start off at Week 9.  Week 9 is very close to what I was completing at the end of the half training plan so it wasn’t a stretch to jump in there.  I did miss the hill workouts by doing this, though.  However, if all goes well, the 16 week 3:30 plan has plenty of those and I’ll be able to get the training in there.

 So, overall goals? 1) PR the marathon distance; 2) BQ. Pretty straightforward. And with that, the youngest is up. Go figure. Gotta love mom life =).


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