Fall Marathon Training

As we’re about 6 months out from the fall marathons, I thought this may be a good time to talk about marathon training.  I’ve run 4 marathons with a PR of 4:18:37 (Chicago, 2014).  There’s no use sugarcoating it, the training is a lot, but the high upon finishing is totally worth it!

While there are a hundred training plans online, I don’t and never have religiously followed any of them.  I took the pieces of advice that were common to most plans and incorporated them with what I thought I needed.  For instance, I know I can’t run more than 4 days a week on a regular basis.  It’s too much with my work schedule and other responsibilities, so I don’t do it.  I was also careful to heed the 10% rule (don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%), which I’ve found helps keep me from pushing it and getting injured.

I usually spend 2-2.5 months working my base mileage up to 32 miles per week.  That breaks down to 20 miles over 3 runs during the work week and a 12-mile run on the weekend.  Once I’m 14 weeks out from the race, I increase my long run to 13 miles and then increase the long run by 2 miles every other week until I hit 23 miles.  I decided to max out at 23 miles because I know even on my worst day, I can push through 3 miles.  The psychology of training is as important as the mileage itself.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 13 miles Off
Week 2 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 12 miles & yoga Off
Week 3 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 15 miles Off
Week 4 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 12 miles & yoga Off
Week 5 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 17 miles Off
Week 6 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 12 miles & yoga Off
Week 7 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 19 miles Off
Week 8 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 12 miles & yoga Off
Week 9 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 21 miles Off
Week 10 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 12 miles & yoga Off
Week 11 6 miles 8 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 23 miles Off
Week 12 6 miles 6 miles Yoga 6 miles Yoga 12 miles & yoga Off
Week 13 6 miles 6 miles Yoga 4 miles Yoga 8 miles & yoga Off
Week 14 4 miles Off 2 miles Off 2 miles Off RACE DAY!!

In addition to the mileage and yoga on the chart, I also incorporate 15 minutes of strength training focused on my hips and glutes 3 days per week.  My routine includes side-lying leg lifts, side-lying clam exercises, straight-leg lifts, and squats – generally 3 sets of 15 on each side.

My training plan may not work for you and I’d advise anyone considering a marathon to talk to a doctor and/or trainer before starting a training regimen.  But regardless of anything else, listen to your body – that’s the best piece of advice I can give any runner!

 

 

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