- I figured I would need to spend at least four months building up a running base of about 25-30 miles/week before starting a marathon training plan, which would put a marathon about 8 to 9 months out from now.
- Mr. PT recommended a training plan of shorter duration to save my joints. So maybe planning a marathon 9 months from now is too far out?
- I researched about five or six different plans, each with varying intensity of workouts, number of running days per week, etc. Pretty much all are 16 weeks long.
- I found a plan I like: The Furman FIRST plan seems almost ideal. It requires only 3 days of running per week so would perhaps be easier on my joints AND fit into my schedule well. Each workout in the plan is very high intensity: track workout, tempo, and long run w/ speed every week. You supplement your hard runs with 2 days of cross-training. The long runs for this plan start out pretty intense, beginning with a 15-miler and include five 20-milers throughout the program. YIPES! Maybe too intense? (That part can be modified.)
- The Furman Plan recommends having a base of 25 miles/week for at least 3 months.
- The catch: It will take me about six weeks or so to get to 25 miles/week, so that puts me back at a 9-month training program.
- If I fudge on the 25 miles/week for 3 months prep, I figure I could get enough training in to safely run the Seattle RNR at the end of June. I really don't think I could plan on a marathon any sooner than that, though I had high hopes of running the Vancouver BMO Marathon on May 1. If I do this, I would have to:
- Start the official program the first week of March. Seems so soon?!
- Change up the Furman long runs so that I start with something shorter than 15 miles and reduce the number of 20-milers. I could keep the speed components of the program though :)
(keeping in mind that I'm currently running only about 8-10 miles/week due to my dumb ankle)
Do I pick a marathon next August / September, following the Furman plan to a "T?"
[IF I make it through the training injury-free, there is a good chance that I would not only finish the marathon strong, I would finish with a good time. The Furman plan has repeatedly been shown to help people run faster than they ever have, plus I'd just be in better shape from having spent more time training.]
Do I just start training with a minimal base and go for broke with the Seattle RNR, just a little more than 7 months away?
[If I do this, I wouldn't be able to go into it with the idea of racing so much as just finishing and not killing myself.]