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Sunday 16 September 2012

How Not to Follow a Marathon Training Plan

I was SO good at following my training plan for my first half-marathon this year. I downloaded the schedule to my Outlook calendar and the plan to my Garmin and scheduled them all in my iPod calendar. I faithfully followed the plan, switching rest days and runs whenever there was a schedule conflict. Such as an evening on the wine or an unexpected cold. I was positively saint-like. In a running way, of course.

As this is my first marathon, I hit problems finding a training plan. I had kept the training up from the half marathon as much as possible as it fitted around my life and the amount of desserts I wanted to eat (lots).

I found that a lot of the beginner marathon training plans started mileage at about 15 – 20 miles a week where I tend to do 35 – 40 miles a week. I didn’t like to jump to an advanced marathon plan as I’m not an advanced marathoner. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Also I prefer to run 5 or 6 times a week, but all of the plans except for the advanced ones were for 3 or 4 times a week.

A FURTHER problem was what time plan do I download? According to race time predictors I could be looking at a time anywhere between 3:19:00 (yeah right, I bloody wish) to 3:50:00 (I can dream ...) if I put the training in.  

I decided to download an intermediate one and wait for the mileage to catch me up.

The problem was by the time the mileage on the plan caught up with my current mileage, I had completely forgotten about the training plan. Bugger.

All of a sudden, there’s 6 weeks to go and I’m still merrily doing intervals using ‚Zombies, Run’ twice a week, doing a long run on a Wednesday and a Saturday and trotting around doing whatever the hell else kind of running I felt like. Shit.

Also, along the way I’ve had a bad cold and knackered my knee so had additional 2 weeks off.

I’m basically doing my normal running at the moment, but doing the long runs from the training plan whenever the intermediate plan tells me too. I’m hoping that as long as I can do the long runs I will be ok. I will be THRILLED with any time under 4 hours and definitely satisfied with a finish!

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