I am planning on doing things a little differently for MTC4. I have some big goals for marathon training cycle 4, my spring marathon, so I knew there needed to be another revamp of the training plan.
For my fall marathon 2012 in Chicago, I added speed work to the plan. I didn’t do any speed training for my first or second marathon. For my first marathon my only goal was to finish and not vomit. Both good goals, and both goals met. Although I was super proud of myself, I wasn’t so happy with the time. So I pushed myself harder for marathon #2 in Toledo.
I committed to never missing a run and keeping my miles where they should be. Pretty much I wanted time on my feet hoping it would keep the break down away. I still didn’t do any speed training, but just being a stronger runner helped me get a 15 minute PR. For MTC3 in Chicago, I added that speed work I really needed. I really wanted to be faster and I got faster, again, another 15 minute PR.
So why would I mess with what works? Because I don’t want to get stuck in a comfort zone. I want to keep pushing myself and getting stronger as a runner. I have come so far since my first half in 2010. I am a completely different runner.
I have used the NEO Fit training plan, or a very similar variation of, since my first marathon in 2011. But when I was training by myself before my NEO Fit days, I rocked a Hal Higdon training plan. So when I decided that it was time to increase my mileage and push my strength, I turned to his plan again.
I decided I was ready for a multiple 20+ mile plan rather than a regular milage building plan. So I went for the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 plan. I think this plan is a good fit for me being between novice and advanced. The intermediate plan is a good enough jump from novice that I think I will feel challenged. There is no speed work in this plan, but the weekly milage is much higher with a more pace timing and the multiple 20+ long runs will be a new challenge for me. I will be including the Pittsburgh Marathon in the plan in order to race Cleveland.
So here is the plan…
This is how it’ll work… Monday’s will be reserved for cross training, like all the spin I have been doing. No running on Mondays. Then my weekly milage will increase as the 18 week program goes on. I plan to add some strength training to my Tuesdays where the mileage is a little lower. Friday’s are a rest day with a possible Friday lunch time yoga, but no running.
Then there are long run weekends. Another reason why this plan stuck out for me specifically is that it called for relatively high miles on both Saturday AND Sunday. Something I have never done before. But with the Sunday trail runs it worked out well. I think Hal wrote this plan just for me.
The week that is fuzzy is the week of April 22nd. April 27th is the Cleveland 10 miler, which falls in pretty well with the plan. But I also want to run the Toledo half on Sunday, April 28th. But that is also the same day as City2City, a 5k I love for a good cause and my 5k anniversary. As much as I love running Toledo, and have made a tradition out of it, it might be wise to taper down that Sunday for Pittsburgh the next week. I may be changing my 2013 race schedule already.
So, take a deep breath! Because training starts in 10 days!
What kind of training plan do you go for? Mile building? Timed runs? Anyone else as big of a Hal fan as I am? Can’t argue with a 70 year old marathoner with 100s of races under his belt, I guess. I do love Hal though, I just hope he doesn’t kill me.