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Monday, October 15, 2012

Marathon training plan

Last week when I mentioned that my first week of marathon training was 61 miles, a few of you asked if I was using Hudson.
I am, sort of. I have Brad Hudson's book "Run Faster", which I intend to finish at some point. I started it, but it's a little technical and was less than encouraging to read when I was injured. But it has race plans in the back, so I picked the most advanced looking marathon plan and photocopied it. Because that's how you bounce back from injury!
I think the plan was supposed to be 20 weeks, but I didn't have enough time until my race, so I jumped in at week five (perhaps this is why it was already 61 miles).

I picked this plan because:
1. It is high-ish mileage. I probably won't actually hit the suggested mileage, but the next plan peaked at 56 miles, and I don't think that is enough (these plans are divided by weekly miles instead of "advanced" or "intermediate"). I run 40 miles a week if I'm not even training; I think for a marathon I need to increase that.
2. It has a lot of variety. I don't want to get bored, and this plan has many different types of running. Hopefully I won't fall into the "7:30 rut" of mile after mile at the same pace.
3. It works with my schedule. Plans with too many days off end up with too many miles on the other days. With my work schedule I can rarely squeeze in 12 and 15 milers on weekdays.

I had to make some modifications, of course.
1. I shifted days so my long run could be Saturday, not Sunday. Too hard to fit in before church.
2. I am totally ignoring Monday's workout and doing whatever Varsity Sports does at track instead. Yes, that's bad - Monday has very race-specific workouts. But I like running with others and I think it will benefit me just as much to run with the group, even if it isn't as tailored to the marathon distance.
3. On weeks with mid-week high miles (over 10) I moved it to Wednesdays, when I can go in a little later, which totally messes up the schedule.
4. I will be throwing some rest days in - this plan has none! - or perhaps cross training.

This will be the first time in a long, long while I will actually follow a training plan (really, since my first marathon). I've printed them out before, but never stuck with them. Now I'm determined to do so, just because I think my injury taught me that I don't know a lot about running. I need advice! Plus for me, my goals are supremely lofty. For others, the times I'd like to run might be a piece of cake - but for me and my non-athletic self, they will take work. I can't just wing it: I need a detailed plan to run a faster marathon!

How about you? Swear by a published plan or make up your own? Or just run by feel?


  1. These plans w/o rest days always baffle me! I just think they are necessary, especially when running high mileage! Sounds to me like you can tailor make it to your needs, and that's what matters.

    I always do my own "plan." Which is to say I mark out all my long runs on a calendar and then just wing it during the week (to an extent).

  2. I kind of followed this plan last time...ha...but really pathetically as I bounced from level three to two and then back and forth from another plan. Ridiculous really. But I hear good things about it...Jenn and AM have used this plan/read the book. I really like Brain Training For Runners and I might look into this if I don't have my coach make a plan for me...might be good for me to do my own thing but I'm still not sure...I have plenty of time. I might also just not have a plan...ha! Can you tell I'm not in focus mode right now. Excited to see you have a plan much ahead of much potential...I can't imagine you on a out world! ;) xo

  3. For the 2 marathons I've done (this past March and May) I didn't follow a plan until it was my longest long run (for me that was 20) and the couple weeks of taper. For the ultra I just did last Saturday..I didn't sign up until like 7 weeks before so I jumped into a plan that had similar miles as to what I was doing. I mostly went off of how they structured the back to back long runs and the last couple of weeks of the taper again. So 1/2 following, 1/2 going on feel I suppose. You know your body better than a plan/book so I say it's nice to have something to go by...but if you need to tweek it, then tweek away. :)

  4. I love HUdson. I used his HM plans and went to run 1:28 on them. I used both mrathon plans and did a 3:19 on level 2 and 3:14 on level 1. Level 2 has less miles but more intensity than Level 1. When I used level 2, I took one rest day/week, and just added the miles of the day off to a couple other days. I love the science behind Hudson's plans. I think you will see huge improvements on this plan!

  5. I love this book!! You gotta read the whole thing for sure! I tried out one of the 1/2 marathon training plans. I think it was probably the beginner plan because I like to run lower mileage. I found the plan to be way too complicated. I never did the same workout twice! It was too variable for me. I didn't stick to it the entire way. But I did PR in my goal race. Now I am doing a 1/2 marathon training plan that is pretty much the same from week to week but just adds additional intervals and distance. I like it because it is easier to measure fitness gains. Good luck!! Kristen

  6. I always like to follow a plan but to me any plan is just a "guideline." The way I see it is that I am my own coach so I make the final decision if I need to go harder or easier. I really try to get the most out of any plan but occasionally if I need a longer tempo than it calls for or I need an easy recovery day I do it.

  7. I used to follow Hal Higdon's plans, with some modifications. These days I just basically do what my coaches tell me to do!

  8. That's a lot of miles! wow, wow!
    I think I'm going to start to really get serious and use one of the several training plans out there as a guide.

    Good luck to you!

  9. I have been very loosely following advanced Marathoning, I haven't read the whole book, but looked at the plans in the back. I started with the 55-70mpw plan and soon realized that would be tough for me. But, now I have been 60+ and over 70, so it's worked out. Next time, I want to stick more closely to a plan. This one I just used for guidance and rarely did their actual workouts. I might look into the one you are doing if I do a spring race!