Heehee, sorry, couldn't resist a cartoon that featured running and weddings!
Now that it's almost February (what the CRAP?!?! How did that happen?!?!) I am deep into marathon training. In fact, I counted it up and the Boston Marathon is less than 12 weeks away! For once, I've actually been consistent with my training, thanks in large part to writing about it as well as logging all my miles and workouts (a strategy I talked about here.)
I thought I would share with you all a typical training week. You could modify this for any-length race though; just subtract about 20% of the mileage for a shorter race (such as a half-marathon or 10k.)
Due to time constraints, I always plan my longest run for the weekend. It isn't always a fun decision, since it usually means I have to forgo the standard Saturday night festivities in order to be hydrated and awake for my 14+ milers but I think the end results on April 19th will be worth it.
Sample Weekly Marathon Training Schedule
Monday- 60:00 or more cross-training. I prefer a specific type of elliptical that works your arms and legs but the stationary bike, erg machine, stairmaster or swimming are all great cross-training methods as well.
Tuesday- 7-10 miles. Nuff said.
Wednesday- Because I'm all about the alliterations, Wednesday has come to be "Workout Wednesdays" in my mind. I usually alternate each week between a hill workout and a speed workout. For example, this past Wednesday I ran 2:00 uphill, then turned right around and jogged back down, making a continuous loop that took about 4:30 total time. I did that 11 times (plus a warm-up and cool down.)
An example of a speed workout I did the week before is :30 at a very hard pace, then 1:00 very, very slowly x 15.
Thursday- Gotta recover from that workout, so a 4-5 miler at an easy pace feels good.
Friday- More cross-training, usually upwards of 60:00, sometimes 80:00 if I'm feeling ambitious (or trying to make up for a lazy day when I didn't get my miles in!)
Saturday- Easy 2-3 miles in preparation for the next day...I also sometimes just go for a walk or do nothing on this day. I've found that I get really good results the more I rest. It sounds contradictory but sometimes rest can be the best ingredient in a training recipe.
Sunday- Longest run of the week. When I started training for the marathon, my long run was 8 miles and I've added 1 mile to this long run every week since. I'm now at 14 miles and have to work up to between 20-21 miles. Ouch.
So that's my general outline for my marathon training. Do I stick to it like a drill sargeant? Nope, not a chance. There are days where I'm too tired, too busy or too sick of working out to do much more than a 30:00 run (or even anything at all.) I don't stress it. Just like wedding planning, half the battle of running a marathon is the journey there and I try to enjoy it as much as possible.
The good thing about this general workout plan is that it could easily be adapted for whatever distance race you are training for. If it's a 5k you're running, run 3 miles instead of 7 and do 40:00 on the elliptical instead of 60:00.
Well, I hope I haven't scared you all off from running or training for a race. It sounds like a lot and sometimes it is but I think the results will be well worth the effort.
Is anyone else training for a spring race? What race are you running? I'd love to hear about it!