Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Master Plan 2011 (Draft 4)?

Calling all marathoners! 
You are needed immediately at The Average Woman Runner's Blog!

Remember the Master Plan 2011 (for kicking ass), Draft 3? Well, the Master Plan began in February with training for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in early May, followed by a couple months of "fun" running/racing time, then starting up again in late June with training for the Portland Marathon in early October. A whole 9 months of planning. Phew!

I'm happy that the half marathon training is going quite well thanks to blogland support and the Furman FIRST program. 

Last week I actually got out the calendar and laid out each week of the Portland Marathon training, beginning in late June. THEN, I noted on the calendar every weekend that we are traveling for weddings, have family commitments, etc. It didn't look good. I know that in some of our travels, there is no way I can pull out a 10-mile run, let alone a scheduled 20-mile run based on locations. I would have to miss or skimp on at least three key long runs. This, after coming off two months of light running post-Indianapolis Mini Marathon. 

This totally freaked me out. 

If I'm going to put all the effort into training for a marathon, I want to do it to the best of my ability, especially if this is going to be my one shot at running a marathon for a few years. 

What to do?

I started thinking about how good I feel now (a 1:52 training run half marathon this past Saturday - VERY NICE! I'm such a believer in the Furman FIRST program!) with my training and counted out the number of weeks until the Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon in late June. If I trimmed out a couple weeks of the plan, I could potentially run Seattle RNR. What's the minimum number of weeks needed to adequately prepare for a marathon if I've already been training pretty intensely for a half? How many 20+ mile runs should one complete prior to the race?  

The Seattle RNR is 13 weeks away, the Furman FIRST marathon plan is 16 weeks long. I would be able to get three or four 20+ mile runs in, based on the Furman FIRST plan. 

  1. Lighter travel schedule now = fewer training conflicts compared to summer season.
  2. Cooler temps = better for long runs.
  3. In total, I would have 20 weeks of training pre-Seattle RNR. 
  4. Friends running Seattle RNR = more training partners (I have one training partner for Portland). 
  5. I have to admit, with everyone gearing up for spring marathons, I'm just plain impatient & have marathon fever.
  6. I can still run Portland after taking a little rest time, but the pressure will be off because it won't be my "first" and I can allow myself to train as best as my schedule allows knowing that I can walk-jog. It won't be my one and only chance at running a full.
  7. The break between marathon training programs coincides with a trip to Michigan/Illinois when I would have a difficult time training anyway. 
  8. Mixing things up and switching directly over to a full marathon training program gives me goosebumps. 

  1. I've been following the Furman program for 8 weeks, longest run to date is 13.1 miles.
  2. I'm going to have to S L O W down. Mentally it will be tough to make myself switch to the slower paces that need to accompany longer distances. 
  3. I told a very important friend I would do Lake Padden Triathlon the same day as Seattle RNR so I would have to back out on her (I've already told her I'm thinking about this). Yes, I feel bad about this one.
  4. I would miss the Lake Padden Triathlon, which I LOVE to do (plus M @ The Daily Sweat will be there!). 
  5. Of the 20 weeks of intense training, only 13 would be specific to the marathon (first 7 weeks for the half marathon). 
  6. I would only have a few weeks off after the Seattle RNR before starting up with the Portland training...but I will at least be in good shape at that point. 
So here is what the revised Master Plan 2011 (draft 4) would look like if I throw caution to the wind and start training for the Seattle RNR (details of key workouts not listed):






  1. I can't give you any marathon advice, but I will say that it sounds like your heart is more in the marathon than triathlon, so you should follow that and not worry about missing Padden. Although, I WILL miss you. :)

  2. Check out the FIRST marathon plan for first time marathon runners. It's a little easier on your body.

    I found this plan and will use it for my 2nd marathon this fall. Good luck!

  3. This time last year I was training for my first marathon, and I remember how it took over my life, and seemed like another job! You are clearly spending a lot of thought and time on preparing for this!

    Clearly I'm no expert, but I ran 3 20m runs in training, but no further than that. On the day, we had a heatwave (for Scotland) and I died around 17 miles, so maybe my training could have been better?

  4. I would try for at least 20 miles - maybe even a 22 miler if you can. I decided on the seattle RnR and my plan is calling for 4 runs over 20 miles... but I am only running 3-4days a week.

  5. I was going to point out what Christine did. Furman has two marathon training plans - one for first timers and one for those trying to get faster marathon timers. Check out their website. I used the first timer plan when I trained and it *still* kicked my butt. It only had one 20 miler and I felt adequately prepared for the distance.

    I think the half marathon specific training would be fine for the first few weeks. The half training will be much harder on the pace with long runs being a bit shorter.

    You will just have to really allow yourself to back off on the pace when official marathon training starts. This was a tough thing for me to do but when the distance doubles you have to slow the heck down. :)

  6. I totally agree, I wish they would have included both plans in the book, like they did with the 5k. I think combining both sounds like the perfect plan! Listen to your body and you will be fine:)

  7. I live by the 6 X 20 mile run as a minimum. However I teach an intro marathon clinic where they run 2 x 20 milers and 4 X 18 ish runs.

    If you have a good base from the HM then 13 weeks is enough to get ready but if you dont have marathon experience I would not rush it.

  8. I'm sure you could finish with just one 20 mile training run, but if you're looking to really outdo yourself then you'll want more. It seems like you have plenty of time on the schedule to do it. And the 1/2 training is a good base. I would just say to follow your heart and run what seems the most important to you. This spring isn't the only time there's a marathon!

  9. Hey Alma! Thank you for your swweet comments on my blog! :)

    I thinnk I started the FIRST program a week or 2 late, so you'd be good!

    For my first 26.2, I did (2) 20 milers and (1) 22 miler. The First calls for (5) 20 milers! I am going to make the last one 23 miles courtesy of Mel (Tall mom's) advice.

    Let me know if you have questions at any time!! I definitely feel imporved as a runner.

  10. Is this your first marathon? If so one 20 miler is enough. The plan sounds doable to me. What is your work situation? I am a teacher and during the summer I run my long runs mid week when conflicts happen on the weekends.

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