Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marathon Training: The Plan

Happy Wednesday!! Today is a first for me...I am going to be "linking up" with the Femme Fatale Fit Club for "Workout Wednesday" and Liz at Fitness Blondie for her Hump Day Blog Hop!

Femme Fitale Fit Club

The Hump Day Blog Hop

This week has been by far the absolute best week for training...the weather is GORGEOUS! The weather man keeps referring to it as "The Polar Vortex" and I am hoping that the Polar Vortex keeps right on "vortexing" because a couple of runs at 60 degrees is exactly what my body needs after struggling in this heat and humidty!!

That is how long I have until I will be running my very first marathon. Things are definitely starting to get real! Panic hasn't officially set in...but I am sure that will happen any day now :)

 About a month ago when I first started training for the marathon, I was kind of winging it. I know, I know...I realize that this is not a good strategy. When training for long distances the risk of getting hurt is high and training properly is the only way to (hopefully) avoid this.

You see...I had intentions of following a training plan from day one...but I just couldn't find one that I liked. I searched far and wide for the "perfect" plan...and honestly all I found was that there are a million different plans out there and none of them are "perfect" Everyone is different...starting points, schedules, goals, etc.
After hours of searching I decided I would just take a few of my favorite plans to create my own. This would allow me to work around my schedule and do what works best for me. I'm not an expert by any means (having never ran a marathon before) so I am hoping I don't spend 26.2 miles regretting this on race day :)

Most plans that I found were about 18 weeks long...and while I am currently 14 weeks out now, I have been running really consistently the last 4 weeks...and even  prior to that. After Heartland 39.3 I wanted to keep up my weekly mileage just in case I decided to run a fall marathon ;)

So you see, I was technically ready to jump into a training program a few weeks in because my weekly mileage had already been built up. (I don't recommend this for everyone, you risk injury if you increase your weekly mileage too quickly)

When creating my training plan I looked at several different options
1) Runkeeper (Jeff Gaudette-sub 4 hour marathon plan)
2) Hal Higdon's Novice 2 and Intermediate 1

I looked at several different plans to see what they had in common, so that I could make sure to incorporate the same types of runs (speed, tempo, long, etc) and adequate cross-training and rest days.
Another thing I really wanted to make sure to incorporate was lots and lots of stretching. I am notorious for skipping post-run stretching and since I will be asking more of my body, I figure the least I can do it treat it to some proper stretching. I have purchased a yoga video, looked up stretches for after a run, and I even jumped on the Piyo train and that should be arriving by Friday!!

I previously mentioned that I would share my completed plan with you on here. Please keep in mind I have no clue what I am doing I am not an expert, and I created this plan to best fit MY needs.

I made sure not to increase my weekly mileage by more than 10% (I think the rule during marathon training is 20%, but I wanted to play it safe!) and I made sure to include some speed work. This is definitely not my favorite, but I would like to run a sub 4 hour marathon, so it is a necessary evil :)

All of the plans I looked at has almost 3 weeks of tapering, so I begrudgingly made sure to include that as well. Tapering has always been something I struggle with...I am always worried that if I cut back too much  3 weeks before that I won't be able to run my race. However, I think I will trust the experts on this one and I will try not to keep my taper crazies under control ;)

Finally, in true runner fashion I got ridiculously excited this week when I got my KC Marathon "In training" shirt in the mail!! What can I say...I'm a runner and love me some swag :)

Are you training for a marathon? What plan are you following?
Any advice for a first time marathon runner?


  1. I completely agree that making your own plan is the way to go! and I HATE tapering too! It makes me sooooo nervous- 3 weeks eeek!!!

    Good luck girl!!

  2. Super cute shirt!!! I'm running my first Half the day after on Oct 19th! I think you plan looks great! GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!! #wowlinkup

  3. Great job making your own plan! Good luck on your marathon! I'll get there someday. #wowlinkup

  4. Are you running the Chicago marathon? If so, let me know and I will come out and cheer you on. #wowlinkup

    1. I wish!! I'm running the KC Marathon (that's where I live) and if I survive this marathon I think my next goal will be to travel for another full or maybe a Rock N' Roll half somewhere fun!!

  5. You are awesome! Looking forward to following your journey to the marathon! :)

  6. You are a runner, got you some cool swag and about to bust out this marathon! #wowlinkup

  7. Hey Heather thanks for stopping by and commenting on It's Your Life. Yes, the 21 Day Fix is amazing and like you I have tried Shakeology for the first time, love all the natural ingredients. It's amazing what you are doing, may I suggest one thing? Following you on Twitter, want to see how that marathon goes, good luck.

    1. I'm always up for suggestions...suggest away!! :)

  8. I also have a lot of trouble following other people's plans. Yours looks great and you are going to smash your race! Thanks for joining the #wowlinkup :)