Marathon Training Update

So it’s been awhile since I updated on my progress with training for the Marathon.

Mostly because the past 3-4 weekends have been absolutely insane (graduations, weddings, holidays), and well my progress has been underwhelming . My mileage has been good (~81 miles in the month of May), but my long runs have been underwhelming to say the least.  In the month of May I did two long runs – out of 4.

My plan has been to do an intermediate half marathon plan – through the months of April, May, and part of June – then to start my Novice Marathon program program.  Both programs are by Hal Higdon.

I personally struggle with Hal Higdon plans – because they typically require running 5 days per week, + 1 day of running and strength, 1 day of strength training, and one day or rest (for the intermediate half marathon)  I have noticed that when I follow it to the letter – I feel a lot more tired and have issues with fatigue and soreness.

But when I modify it to 5 days of work and two days of rest, or doing yoga on the 6th or 7th day – I feel a lot better.

With most intermediate plans I have looked at – there is only one rest day, so it will be important to actually follow the program, and not skip a strength day – that’s what I did this past week, I was supposed to do strength training monday, well Monday was Memorial Day, so I ran instead of lifted, then I lifted Tuesday, was sore on Wednesday – but ran anyway, was supposed to run Thursday – but was too sore, attempted to do a long run Friday, and my legs were still fatigued and sore and I could only do 8 of my 10 miles.

Here is what I did:

-Monday: Rest

-Tuesday: 2 miles, and strength

-Wednesday: 5 miles – tempo

-Thursday: rest

-Friday: 8 miles

-Saturday: 1 hour of yoga, and light 2.5 mile run

-Sunday(today): 5-6 miles (I haven’t ran yet – I am putting it off, because not sweating feels good)

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The week prior to this I ran about 27 miles, I think that is also in part where the fatigue came from.

Here is my plan of attack for the upcoming week:

-Monday: Stretch and Strengthen at the gym

-Tuesday: 5 mile run

-Wednesday: Rest day (I have a doctor’s appointment)

-Thursday: Speedwork, 10 x 400, @ 5k pace

-Friday: 3m pace

-Saturday: 12 miles? But maybe more like 11?

-Sunday: 3 miles + stretching

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As I am reaching the end of my half marathon build up I’m still on the fence about which program I’m going to follow.  On one hand I can go with the Hal Higdon Novice 2 program – which will involve 1 20 mile run, and 6 days of activity, over 18 weeks.

On the other hand I can follow the Nike marathon program.  A 16 week program, that will also include six days of activity, and include a 22 mile run.

The 22 mile run, prior to the marathon holds a fair amount of appeal to me, because I have heard good things from people who do that distance prior to a marathon, both in terms of mental and physical preparedness.  I keep being told that going to a marathon distance is hugely mental, and that doing a 22 mile vs 20 is a great way to prepare.

Additionally the benefits of a 22 vs a 20 are also helpful physically – typically due to the fact that runners are more likely to “hit the wall” after 20 miles because that is about the time that your body’s glycogen stores are gone – and therefore fatigue (both mental and physical) sets in.

And I want to see how my body will handle 22 miles, before the big day.  Even though up to this planned I have planned on doing Hal Higdon’s program – I may use the Nike program on my Nike app.  BUT, each has its pros and cons.  I like that the Hal Higdon program has days already built in for strength, Nike does not.  And I know myself well enough to know that I will continue to need physical therapy/strength training throughout this crazy endeavor, in addition to my scheduled runs.

Ultimately I have about 2 weeks to make a decision on which I’m going to follow.  So I have time to figure it out, and make modifications .

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