Training Starts Today!

Actually, training already started, as I'm back from my 6 mile run. Yes, training! No more "just winging it" for me! I'm going to follow a modified Hal Higdon "Marathon 3" plan, which is for experienced marathoners who only want to run 3 days a week to prevent overuse and injury. It also includes cross-training and rest days. My target race is New Jersey Marathon on 4/26/15, which will be my 49th marathon state. Between now and then, I will only run the 2 marathons already on my calendar, plus 3 half marathons and a few shorter races (5K, 5M, 12K, 10M).

In the past, I've followed Galloway plans or other plans designed by my training groups. This time I'm trying Hal Higdon in part because my friend Matt had success with a Higdon plan when he recently trained for his first marathon. Higdon also has several plans to choose from, and the "Marathon 3" plan seems right on target for me. The idea is to start out doing the lower mileage runs at a faster pace than I've been running in my marathons, and then build up the distance at the new, faster pace. I'm not yet sure what that pace will be. Today I ran with Friends & Fitness buddies Bruce and Carolyn and we ran at an average 11:50 pace. I started to get a second wind at mile 5 and may have been able to pick up the pace, but I stuck to the planned 6 miles. Then I drove home, did my BodyBlade "Super Six" core routine and some sit-ups and push-ups.

With Bruce and Carolyn at the Vienna Community Center after 6 good miles

I need this training. I'm fed up with my ability to complete a marathon, but not to run as fast as I know I'm capable of running. I'm unhappy with my level of fitness. I'm tired of racing so much that my injuries never heal. Something has to change, and this is it. My weekly training schedule will look like this, with some exceptions:
  • Monday - This will be a rest day because it follows a busy weekend of training.
  • Tuesday - A lower mileage, easy run that starts at 3 miles and gets up to 10 miles toward the end of the program.
  • Wednesday - Bike day, with increasing duration as the weeks go by. I'll probably do most of these workouts in the gym, especially during the winter months.
  • Thursday - A run day that alternates between easy runs, tempo runs and marathon pace runs. It never gets longer than 8 miles.
  • Friday - Another rest day to prepare the body for a busy weekend of training or for a race.
  • Saturday - Most Saturdays will be long run days, but if I have a half marathon or longer on Sunday, I'll rest on Saturday.
  • Sunday - This is a cross-training day that starts at a duration of 60 minutes and goes as long as 90 minutes. I'll do different cross-training activities to keep things interesting. Some Sundays I have a race. If it's a short race like a 5K, I'll move cross-training day to Saturday for that week.

So...wish me luck! I've always had a hard time sticking with a plan. The culprits have been lack of motivation or injury. I'm hoping to ward off both and maintain my renewed commitment to improving.


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