Saturday, December 12, 2015

Marathon Training Plan

So my training plan. I do have one. And I guess I'll share it. ;) For my halfs and my 10ks, I have used Runner's World's Smart Coach to get a starting point. I just use their free version.

Since I didn't actually start training for the marathon until after my most recent half, I was able to plug in some really current data. I gave it my current race time of 2:39:48 for a half marathon.

I am super proud of breaking 2:40. I underfueled that race and by the last mile my legs felt like huge blocks of lead I was dragging around, but I still dug deep and ran the finish to get under 2:40. I could apologize for being a slow poke, but I won't. This is who I am and I might as well just put it out there! I bet there are others that run my pace out there. In fact, I KNOW there are. Cause I wasn't alone out there coming in just under 2:40.

Back on topic. Yes, where was I? Oh, yes, I told Smart Coach I was training for a marathon and I wanted to train at a moderate level. I just want to get the miles done. I'm all about the miles, not the speed. So SC spits out a training schedule for me, which I then plop into a OneNote page so I can mark it up for notes.

I like that Smart Coach only schedules 3 days a week for running. That gives me 3 days for cross training or working the horses. Luckily, right now, the horses are on winter break, but it's going to be interesting when January rolls around and they're back to work and I have to work in 20 mile training rides AND 16-20 mile training runs every week!

Each week looks roughly like this: 1 long run. 1 speed or tempo workout. 1 easy run. Speed and distance increases gradually each week. Every 3-4 weeks, there's a recovery week of 3 easy runs of roughly 4-6 miles each.

I try to run my long runs outside. My shorter runs during the week are indoors on the treadmill, so I throw incline in there for hill running. For example, this week, I had a 2 mile easy workout scheduled, so I nudged the incline up to 4% for the workout, including 1/2 mile of warm up and cool down, and snagged over 500 feet climb for my efforts.

I also had a tempo run scheduled this week. During an actual race and many of my training runs, I do a run/walk strategy. I vary the amount of time I run or walk. For example, one of my recent long runs, I ran for 0.7 miles, walked for 0.2 miles, repeat for 13 miles. Sometimes I run for 3 minutes, walk for 1 minute. So I just mix it up. For my tempo run this week, I ran straight through at a steady pace that is just a bit faster than my target race pace. Next time I have a tempo run, I might do negative splits where I run each mile slightly faster than the last mile.

So my tempo workout looked like this:
3 minute walking warm-up
1 mile run/walk - 0.20 mile run/0.05 mile walk
3 miles @ 11:45
1 mile run/walk - 0.05 mile walk/0.20 mile run
7 minute walking cool-down

This was on the treadmill. I have a Hulu subscription so I can watch Hulu shows on my tablet and I only watch Hulu on the treadmill. Makes the treadmill more appealing for me.

The treadmill can be boring, but I have found it really has helped me with my outside runs. It helps me learn what a steady pace is and has really helped me control my breathing and stride a lot better than just running outside has. This is my personal experience. Yours might vary. ;)

Tomorrow I'm off for a long run. Only 12 miles. Those aren't terribly exciting anymore. The mileage just goes up from here though!

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