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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marathon training commences

Mile 7ish of mardi gras marathon; the big grin is in response to the news that little brother Abe was 6th and running under 6 minute splits. He dropped down to 16th...still pretty grand for a first marathon!
I said I'd share marathon training plans for the upcoming Freedom's Run marathon, so here goes. But first a little blurb about morning running.
I HATE IT. I'm not awake, I haven't had my coffee, my joints are stiff, my sinuses have the nasal equivalent of sleep sands, and I'd rather be sleeping. Worst of all, I have strange blood sugar - I dump insulin in the mornings - so I'm usually weak and shaky in the morning. However, this morning I dragged hubby out of bed and we went for a run. I'm working until 7 pm tonight, so I didn't want to wait until after work. SO someone please say kudos because it took monumental effort to run caffeineless.
Our marathon training plans are a little laughable. They are 18 weeks long, which is LONG, but I worked in extra time so that if I was injured or we were traveling we wouldn't really miss much. Since hubby is only running a half he should be UBER PREPARED. For my first half my "training" was adding a long run two weeks in a row - 7 miles and 10 miles - and then doing the half on the third! So basically after 18 weeks I expect him to set a world record.
Hubby's half-marathon training has one day of weights a week, 1 short run, 1 long run, 1 rest day, 2 days of either running or aerobic cross training. He also has one "speed" day which isn't really speed work; it's either hills or fartlek or treadmill incline. I made his schedule myself so I could work in his normal running routes. I'm an awesome wife like that. His longest long run is 12 miles.
My marathon plan has one cross train day, 2 short runs (between 3 and 8 miles), 1 speedwork or training day, 1 short-but-at-race-pace day, and 1 long run. On the short run days I am also doing some strength training once a week. This is mostly focused on preventing knee injury.
So far hubby is loving this. Our cross train day number one was spent playing football on the beach (puh-lease, that can't be exercise, it sounds like something out of a cheesy movie) and his first week starts out at shorter runs than he's doing on a regular basis. That's all part of the plan to suck him in until he's running 8 miles like it's nothing!
If you have any training suggestions for me I would very much appreciate it. My first marathon training fell apart thanks to illness and injury, so I'm still feeling a little unprepared. Do you think one rest day is enough (but I also have one cross train day)? Are three long runs at or over 20 miles enough, or should I do four? How many miles total should I run - I think this plan is about 525 miles including the race but not counting any cross training (spread over 18 weeks)? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


  1. I hate morning running too! I've never trained for a marathon but when I trained for my half, I actually didn't do that much. I dropped my total workouts from 4-5 days a week to 3 or 4- two of those days were 4 mile runs (I never increased my short runs, despite what Hal Higdon said) and then I just followed the distances he suggested for my long runs. Maybe it was mental, but I just didn't have the energy to do a lot of cross training, and I didn't run any longer in the evenings for my short runs b/c I wanted to get home before dark. It all turned out well though (I think my time was like an hour and 57 minutes, and I was happy with that)- so if he's working out 6 days a week for 18 weeks, he should *kill* in the half. :) Good luck!

  2. Sending kudos to you for doing a morning run today! I am going to try to do a couple of pre-work runs this summer when it starts to get too steamy to do them after work... but that means getting up at 4:30 or 5 which is just not fun. I hate uber early mornings!

    I think your training plan sounds great. Mine is somewhat similar. I have a cross training day, 3 days of short to mid distance runs *(3-9 miles), 1 rest day, a tempo run day, and a long run day. I am doing 2 20 mile runs; last time around I only did 1 so I am hoping by doing 2 I will be more prepared. And I am going to actually taper this time around... last time I ran a marathon, I started grad school 3 weeks before the marathon and instead of tapering, I just sort of did, um, very little running. not a good idea.

    I'm glad we'll be training at the same time. :) We can keep each other motivated!

    And I think your husband will def be well prepared for his 1/2!