Prepping for marathon training

I’ve done it! I’ve finally settled on a marathon training plan. Not that it was a super hard decision since I’ve trained with Hal Higdon plans before. I picked his Novice 1 plan and plan to officially start training in a couple weeks. (With the upcoming time change I have to find a gym, so I can run after work) Right now daylight is quickly fading and I’m soaking up all the outside runs I can get right now.Once the time changes it’ll be dark when I go to work and when I get off, so the treadmill is about to become my best friend this summer.

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Since I’m joining a gym, I’m also hoping to get in some strength training and yoga classes. I’m basically re-booting my entire system to prepare for this race. I’m hoping to train smart so I can race well & not get injured along the way.

Here is breakdown of Hal’s training plan from his website:

Long Runs: The key to the program is the long runs on weekends, which build from 6 miles in Week 1 to 20 miles in the climactic Week 15. (After that, you taper 3 weeks to get ready for the marathon.) You can skip an occasional workout, but do not cheat on the long runs. Notice that although the weekly long runs get progressively longer, every third week is a “stepback” week, where we reduce mileage to allow you to gather strength for the next push upward.


Rest: Novice 1 marathoners rest on Mondays and rest again on Fridays. (I’m resting on Tuesdays and Fridays) This is both to recover after the weekend long runs and to gather energy before them. Scientists suggest that it is during the rest period (the 24 to 72 hours between hard bouts of exercise) that the muscles actually regenerate and get stronger. Coaches also will tell you that you can’t run hard unless you are well rested. And it is hard running (such as the long run) that allows you to improve. The secret to success in any training program is consistency, so as long as you are consistent with your training during the full 18 weeks of the program, you can afford–and may benefit from–extra rest.

Run Slow: Normally I recommend that runners do their long runs anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds or more per mile slower than their marathon pace. The problem with offering this advice to first-time novice runners, however, is that you probably don’t know what your marathon pace is, because you’ve never run a marathon before! Don’t worry. Simply do your long runs at a comfortable pace, one that allows you to converse with your training partners. As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as “too slow.”  The important point is that you cover the prescribed distance; how fast you cover it doesn’t matter.

Walking: Don’t be embarrassed to take walking breaks. Walking is a perfectly acceptable strategy in trying to finish a marathon. It works during training runs too. I suggest that in the marathon runners walk when they come to an aid station. Here’s why: you can drink more easily while walking as opposed to running, It’s a good idea to follow this strategy in training as well. Walking gives your body a chance to rest, and you’ll be able to continue running more comfortably.

Cross-Training: Sundays in the Novice 1 training program are devoted to cross-training. What is cross-training? It is an form of aerobic exercise that allows you to use slightly different muscles while resting (usually) after your long run. In the Novice 1 program, we run long on Saturdays and cross-train on Sundays, although it certainly is possible to reverse that order. The best cross-training exercises are swimming, cycling or even walking.


April 29, 2017 HERE I COME!


2 thoughts on “Prepping for marathon training

  1. I used his plan my first marathon last week and found I was ready and I felt the plan worked well. Next time I might adjust it and do a run that is a little longer at 22 miles instead of capping at 20 but that is just me. The last 6 were really hard so I was hoping to avoid that pain again.


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