Marathon Training

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Hey kids! I’m officially signed up for the California International Marathon in Sacramento – now 10 weeks away. Time to either freak out or start following some kind of plan!

I’ve never run a marathon, and lots of people have asked about my goals for the race. I’d like to leave that for another post, but I’m trying to have an open mind. I made myself a flexible training plan using the bible (Hanson’s Marathon Method).

Without boring everyone with too much detail, here are the main themes:

  • Mileage
    • I feel that there are 2 ways to train for a marathon – few runs (lower mileage) with high quality, vs. more runs (more mileage), including some that are “easy” or “recovery” miles.
    • I don’t subscribe to the idea of junk miles. I think that every time you go out there, you are teaching your legs to perform under stress/fatigue.
    • It’s probably true that different people with different bodies would respond differently to each strategy. I found that I only made progress with speed when I ran more miles.
  • Roving rest days
    • I like to rest on Mondays but I know that I’ll need to be flexible about this.
    • I’m not going to worry about where my rest day falls relative to speed work, long runs, etc. I’m just going to rest on the day that makes the most sense for my schedule.
    • And I am going to rest! I’ll take at least 1 day/week off.
  • Making the most of running with friends whenever possible
    • My plan takes advantage of group runs, like going from the Cambie Running Room or with the Run Van crew.

Here’s a recap of last week:

Monday: off

Tuesday: Track with the Cambie folks – a tough ladder of 400/800/1200/1600/1200/800/400 m. We added a warm up and cool down for a total of 8.4 mi

Wednesday: Quick run from UBC to another clinic. 4 mi

Thursday: A warm up and the Run Van run! 5.9 mi

Friday: Easy early morning miles around the seawall with my friend Danielle, who’s running the Portland marathon in two short weeks! It was raining, which always makes me feel like a badass. I did 7.6 mi.

Saturday: A much delayed catch-up session and run with my long run buddy Alyson. We did 7 mi together and then got coffee!

Sunday: Some people go to church on Sunday mornings, and I religiously run long with the Cambie Running Room! This week was 15 miles to Burnaby and back.

Total: 48.1 mi / 6:45 

The one wrench in the plan so far is that 2 weeks ago, I fell onto my knee. Lately, it’s been kind of sore when running. I say “kind of” because sometimes it doesn’t bother me (those 15 mi yesterday were not a big deal) but randomly it does (I cut a recovery run wayyyy short this morning because I couldn’t stand it). I was pretty cranky afterwards but I’m trying not to panic.