Boston 2012 Training Plan
|January 23, 2012||Posted by Lauren under Marathon Training, Running|
Thank you for the encouragement on my last post. Even if some of you feel like I need to shut up and suck it up already (it’s okay, you can say it!), it does help to know that others feel the same way. Ultimately, I want to train hard for Boston. I know that when I get to the starting line, I’ll be happy if I can look back over the past couple of months and know that I put in the work. However – I can’t escape the fact that there’s a lot going on in my life right now. And as kaprian brought up in the comments section of my last post – prioritizing some of those things over Boston doesn’t necessarily make Boston any less awesome.
So then where does that leave me in terms of training? I’m still going to work hard. I’ve mapped out a plan that has me training for a 3:09 marathon and will do my best to stick to that plan. BUT if at any point things stop working for me, then I’m going to relax. I think this will be my last Boston (for a long time anyway) and I want to enjoy Marathon Monday and as much of the training that I can leading up to it. I also know myself, and flexibility in any training cycle is huge. Sticking to a plan too rigidly only leaves me injured, sick, or burnt out. So keep in mind when you look at this training plan that it’s more of a guide for what I will be doing over the next couple of months, and will
most likely definitely change as time goes on.
A couple of things to point out:
1.) No more cross training days. I took them out of the plan, but that doesn’t mean that they’re gone for good. If I’m struggling during the week or feeling especially tired, then I will replace a run with cross training. I’m not against cross training (and think doing it can enhance your training), but I do want to try to focus on running more this time around.
2.) Higher mileage. I know there are many runners out there whose normal weekly mileage is in the 50s and 60s when training for a marathon. As I’ve talked about in the past, I am not one of them. I’ve kept my peak mileage lower during the last couple of marathon training cycles to avoid injury. And this has worked for me. This time around, however, I want to try something new. My plan is to try incorporating more miles while being smart about recovery. Right now, I am scheduled to peak at 55 miles. If things are going well, I will go higher than that. If not, I’ll go lower. This is all an experiment to see how my body handles the increased load.
3.) More 20-milers. This time around, I’ve scheduled in four 20-mile runs, instead of my usual three. This is something I’m not sure if I will actually stick to, especially since the beginning of this training cycle has been a little rough for me. I tentatively wrote all four in so that at the very least, I’ll be running three of them – the fourth would just be a bonus.
4.) Speed. I aim to do one true workout each week – either a tempo run or mile repeats. But I’m also planning to do at least one other run at marathon goal pace each week. I didn’t write that in to allow for flexibility based on how I’m feeling. For my long runs, I am starting out with the goal just to get in the miles. Once I have a good base, the goal will be to end some of my long runs with a few miles at marathon pace. This will be especially important during my 3rd/4th 20-milers.
5.) Lifting. Just like every other marathon training cycle, I’m starting this one off optimistic. I’m really trying to incorporate some sort of lifting/core strengthening into my routine and stick to it. We’ll see how it goes. On lifting days, I always use free weights (vs. the machines) and will most likely be doing a modified version of The Core (the full workout is often too much during marathon training) or some other strength training that focuses on building core strength.
6.) Races. Right now I just have two races scheduled for the winter – the Hyannis Half and the Black Cat 20-miler. I did both last year and loved them so much that I’ll be doing them again. There might be more races planned as the weeks go on. Stay tuned.
Okay – that’s enough rambling. Do you want to see the full plan? This time around I’ve put the entire spreadsheet into Google Docs. That way you’ll be able to see if I make changes to it as I go. You can view my current training plan here. I will also be uploading it to my Training Page.
So there you have it. Thoughts/questions/feedback? I’d love to hear it!