My Marathon Training Plan

So I’m still sick, I have 8 miles on the schedule for tonight, and don’t even know if I’m going out there for any runs at all.  I feel like absolute crap, and really do believe that “rest” will be a better move than training right now.

Saturday I have 19 miles on the schedule.  19 freaking miles!!!

For the Chicago marathon training, I have been following the Hal Higdon “Novice 2” Training schedule, except there’s no such thing as pace runs for me:

Sounds good, right?  It did.  Except for this…

Week 13 of the training schedule, when I’m supposed to run 19 miles, happens over Labor Day weekend.  Do you know what else happens over labor day weekend?

This race:

We’re driving down to VA Beach on Friday super-early-morning to try to beat out the traffic.

I thought about running the 19 miles on Thursday.  But have you noticed how freaking slow I am??  It would take me almost 4 hours to complete a 19 mile run, assuming I don’t even walk.

I leave for work around 8:20 in the morning.  So I need to be back home, at the latest, around 8am for a super quick shower.  That would mean starting my run by 4am.  AAAAACK.  Or, of course, I could run after work.  I usually get home shortly after 6pm, which means I can leave the house after changing to my running clothes, at the earliest around 6:30pm.  Which would mean getting back home around 10:30pm (again, with no walk breaks) — and having to eat dinner, shower, pack and be ready to be out of the door by 6am the next day.  AAAAACK.  Let’s not even mention how both options would also force me to run on super dark and empty trails for at least 2 hours.

So, yeah, no.

So instead, my training plan has been pushed back a week…

On week 12 (this week), I’m running 19 miles, not 13.  So when week 13 comes around, I’m right at the schedule running 13 miles.  The following weekend, I’m running 20 miles, then on my birthday weekend (September 18th – woot!) I only have to deal with 12 miles.  Back again at 20 after that, and then taper starts at week 17 instead of 16.

I debated a lot losing a week of taper, but since I’m not really planning on winning the marathon (hahahahaha!) and I’m not running for time (as I’ve seen in many t-shirts “this IS my race pace” — true that!), it’s not like marathon day will be any different than other long run days for me (except for the whole “I’m supposed to pull a 10k out of my ass” — why is it you run only up to 20 miles in training?).

I’m hoping the extra long run will help out my confidence and endurance.  We will see…  I really was training to run the whole marathon, but as the long runs get tougher and tougher (and I need to take more and more walk breaks), I’m starting to admit that running a marathon will not be in the cards for me.  Sure, sure, I’ll be crossing that finish line, but don’t think I’ll be able to do it while running non-stop.  Unless Chicago weather happens to be perfect running weather (I’m thinking no wind, in the 50’s but sunny — too much to ask?).


Filed under Chicago Marathon Training, Marathon Training, Training, VA Beach RnR

17 responses to “My Marathon Training Plan

  1. I have sorta the same thing going on in my training plan (though I am Novice 1)…supposed to run 10 the date of a half marathon and 15 the next week…I am swapping them out and since it’s a nighttime half I am just going to run 2 that morning and call it a day!

    I love the “this IS my race pace” stuff (I run approx the same paces as you). Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t apologize for my walk breaks or let it make me feel like I’m doing anything less than “running a marathon”. I just look at it as part of the overall strategy to keep myself healthy and feeling as good as possible. Is it easier to run once I get in a groove? Yes, but… I don’t know if I could stay in a groove for 5+ hours and I would rather plan it in my training and know how to handle it then to stop and walk and feel like I don’t know how to get myself going again. I don’t know if recognizing or having the desire to walk has anything to do with the Galloway method (I know very little about the philosophy actually) but I really respect the idea that he, Higdon (and others?) endorse and recognize that people may need to walk and that it’s “OK” to do so 🙂

    • My friends have been reminding me that during training, completing the distance is more important than running the whole thing! It still makes me disappointed, since I have been able to run half marathons without stopping, why can’t I then run 17 miles without taking a break when I’ve been training so diligently? Ugh.

      What marathon are you training for?

  2. I have actually heard people say that doing less of a taper is a good idea. So you should be okay! I just hope you feel better soon.

    And don’t feel that bad about taking walk breaks. It’s not like you’re walking the whole thing! 😛

  3. No worries about the walk breaks! You accomplishing something HUGE either way!!!

    Sept. 18th is my sister’s birthday!!

  4. Does wordpress allow followers? I didn’t see it on your sidebar, but I totally blog stalk you! 🙂

  5. i hope you get feeling better! this is lousy in the middle of training! take good care of yourself, and you’ll be back in no time.

  6. Nothing wrong with taking some walking breaks…you are still running a marathon (which is something that most people have never done) So be proud, enjoy the race and hope for more running then walking. 🙂 Keep up the great work and training. Have fun in VA beach. I was going to do that race but thought a. I don’t want to travel on labor day weekend and b. I don’t want to take the chance that it is going to be a scorcher of a day. So I am running the Philly 1/2 instead. Hope you have a great race day and that the weather turns out to be perfect running weather. 🙂

    • Let’s hope I do more running than walking too. If only because otherwise it would take sooooo long!

      It might be hot for VA Beach, but at this point, I think I’m used to it. Doesn’t mean it’ll be fun to run on the heat, but at least it’s nothing I haven’t done during training (that’s what I’ll keep repeating to myself over and over and over again if the heat starts getting to me!).

  7. I think almost all of my 20-milers have some sort of scheduling conflict. For the next one, I think I have to be someplace (showered! presentable!) by 9am. I don’t even want to do the math to figure out what time I’d have to start!

    Walking is OK 🙂 26.2 miles is still 26.2 miles, no matter how you get there!

    Did you ever try running with Galloway run/walk intervals? Great for first-timer and/or “run to finish” marathoners.

    It’ll be slower than running straight out, but you won’t fall apart halfway through a long run — and might actually be quicker overall than if you had to do a lot of walking in the end!

    • I’m still hoping to run the whole thing, or at least only walk the water stops… After my successful 19 miler this weekend (no walk breaks at all!) I’m hopeful again. I think the weather will play a bit part on my performance though, since as soon as it drops down to the 70’s, my runs get so much easier!

      Good luck on fitting your 20 miler around your schedule — amazing how much we move our life around for this marathon thing! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Add one more 20 miler to the count! « I Run, You Run

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