Saturday, January 26, 2013

Marathon Training Plan

My dad and I are running the Potomac River Marathon on Sunday, May 5. It will be dad's first marathon. He has hinted once or twice (or more) that he may drop back to the half, but I will run the full no matter what. I haven't run a marathon since March 2011, and I really like the distance.

I haven't used a pre-made training plan ever. This time, though, I was feeling less-than-confident. Having a baby and an angry knee will do that to a girl. So I looked through plans online and plugged my numbers into the SmartCoach app but I didn't like what I found.  Either the plans were way too much for me (8-mile midweek runs? no thanks) or seemed too easy. I don't want to run more than an hour or so on a weekday, but I don't mind doing that almost every day.

A lot of plans, especially the "easy" ones, ask for one or two days of cardio cross-training which isn't in the cards for me right now. For one thing, I prefer running to the elliptical or to bike riding because I can run early in the morning or late at night in the garage. I would really like to try something like Zumba, but I also know that I would look ridiculous and my four-year-old probably has more rhythm than I do.

So I did what I always do, which is make my own plan.  In the past my plans have been flexible, more of a guideline for long runs than a true plan. This worked pretty well for me, but I was already fast and strong, at least for me. This time around, the plan has to build me up from 10-minute miles and not a lot of them.

The plan is simple: five days running, Wednesday and Sunday off. Hills on Tuesdays and Tempo runs on Thursdays at 8:30 pace, which is faster than my marathon will probably be this time but manageable.

I printed out a copy on hot pink paper and affixed it to the refrigerator. I think having it out in an obvious place will help me keep it.

(please notice the wonderful Bambino magnet)

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