Although I have done three marathons, I have yet to actually complete a training plan. My fourth marathon is scheduled for the end of May and I just completed the third week of an 18 week program. This is the same plan that I started last year and gave up after week five.
The main problem that I had last year was weather. I finished the first scheduled long run of 10 miles in 5 degree weather but got sick afterward and had to take off the next two weeks. When I started running again, the weather refused to cooperate and i just ran whenever I could and stopped following the plan. I used the plan as a benchmark for where I should be but basically improvised everything else.
The training plan is the Intermediate 2 plan created by famous running coach Hal Higdon. It is an 18 week plan that starts right out of the shoot with a 10 mile long run and ends with multiple 20 milers. He places an 8 min/mile pace on all runs but emphasizes that the distance is more important than the pace. I just completed week three and so far, so good. I’ve been pushing the pace on the shorter runs and holding on for dear life on the long ones.
After a recent revelation which I discussed in a recent blog post, I have decided to back off of the pace on the long runs. I would be thrilled if I could finish in 3:45 (8:39 pace) so I have decided to slow the long runs down to 9:30. I have done some 3 milers in the 7:30’s but that’s the only time that I allow myself to go faster than 8:00.
Another major difference with my training this time is that I hit the treadmill whenever the temperature dips below 20 degrees. So far, this has been about 80% of the time. In fact, only one long run has actually been outdoors.
Three down, 15 to go.