Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Finding A Marathon Training Plan and Moving Plans

When I ran my first marathon I had about 9 weeks to train and did not follow a training plan until the last two weeks. Not the smartest way to train for a marathon. Needless to say, I did get injured during that time and had to take a week off - leaving me with only 8 weeks to train. Fortunately, my training from that fall's cross country training held me over and I ran a 3:26 for my first race. Not bad.

Since that race, I have used Hal Higdon's intermediate training plans as a guide. I like his plans because they give me two days off a week. One year I experimented by running three 20 milers - but I wound up bonking (my word for totally crapping out at the start of the race and not wanting to run at all) by the time I got to the marathon. I stuck to doing only two 20 milers for the following two marathons, and found that my body and mind liked that much better come race day. 

I already have one marathon under my belt for this year, and on July 2nd I'll start training for NYC. I thought about going with Hal's plan again, but I must admit, I was getting a little bored with it. 

I went onto Runner's World this morning and found a plan that looked intriguing: the Hanson's Less-Is-More Plan. It reminds me a little of my college days when I trained over the summer, 6 days of running, and higher mileage than what I was doing with Hal's plan. I have never run a fall marathon, but I love training in the summer and find that it is much easier for me to get in the miles than in the winter. 

But get this: The longest long run is 16 miles. No 20 milers! WHAT?!

According to the article on Runner's World, "With the plan's emphasis on high mileage and hard workouts, "you're not running the first 16 miles of a marathon, you're running the last 16. We're duplicating that final-miles feeling." Interesting...

I am very tempted to try this plan. I mean, why not? This might be my last marathon for a while. I love the training aspect, but not always the race. And since the training takes up more time than the actual race, I would rather have an experience that is more enjoyable. 

Speaking of training - I had a dynamite week last week with the runs. I got in three 8 milers. However, that might not have been the smartest idea because my hip is totally feeling it. I decided to be safe and take Sunday off, which helped when I ran yesterday. My hip was better until mile 3 - but I still ran 8 miles anyway. I am forcing myself to take today off, even though it is cool out and the rest of the week is going to be HOT and humid. My goal was to run as much as I can over the next few weeks because...

I'm moving to DC this summer!

Which means that I need to get in my Vermont running fix while I can. It is nice to run in 70 degree sunshine without humidity. I hear that it's going to be around 100 this week in DC. UGH!! Anyway... that's enough for the running talk now. I'm heading back to the apartment packing. I have discovered that it might have been a bad idea to begin packing three weeks early. It only means that I live in a chaotic and torn apart apartment for weeks. The benefit of packing one or two days before moving is that you don't have to deal with the mess!

P.S. I think that going lactose-free has actually improved my running. I no longer feel like total crap on my runs and I'm not getting cramps like I used to. Thank goodness!!

Anyone out there have any packing tips? 


  1. that new plan sounds good, have you read the book Advanced Marathoning? It has some good plans too and its not 'advanced' haha its for everyone! I heard Kara Goucher did her national champion half marathon last week the same way as the 16 mile run in you program. She trained through it and made it feel like it was the last 13 miles of the marathon not fresh like the first and still won. It worked for her!
    Good luck with packing and kudos for going lactose free and finding it works. That must be so hard! (as I sit hear drinking chocolate milk ;)

  2. I have not read that book, but maybe I should take a look at it. That's awesome to hear about Kara. If only that program could make me run as fast as her ;)

  3. I am not a huge training plan follower either! I ran my first marathon 4-weeks after signing up for it, went out and ran 1 20-miler and finished in 3:09...so either you and I are born to run, or we could be GREAT with a plan ;)
    good luck with your upcoming plan, it looks awesome.
    and congrats on your big move to DC!!
    I pack most of my stuff up in huge black trash bags, they squeeze into the car better and are cheap!
    I hope you've been having a great week!

    1. 3:09?! That is insane, but insanely awesome! As for moving, I totally forgot about the garbage bag trick and am totally using it - thank you! I just packed up a bunch of clothes in one, and I can already tell that it is much easier than putting them into boxes.