Thursday, January 7, 2016

Marathon Training Plan and Goals

Happy Thursday!  Is anyone else out there training for a big spring race?  This year I'm going to face my fears and tackle a race that's kicked my butt twice- the full marathon.   In another post, I'll talk more in-depth about what went right (not a whole lot) and what went wrong (everything) in my first two races.  For now, I want to focus on the future and getting to that starting line healthy, happy, and ready to kick some 26.2 butt!

In today's post, I'm going to give a high-level overview of my training, my gear, and my cross training.  This is all what I'm planning as of now (including training races that I'm not yet registered for!) so these things might change.


Goal Race : 


Gettysburg Marathon Course

There are a few reasons why I chose this race.  I'm going to be getting married the week of the Pittsburgh Marathon, so that race was out.  I wanted to do a race in that timeline so that I could start training, and this one fit the timeline.  The location is really close to where Dan's family lives, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to see them before the wedding!  I've never been to Gettysburg, but I hear that it's a cute town filled with tons of history and rolling hills- which is perfect for me since I train exclusively on hills!

Gettysburg Marathon Elevation Map

Looking at the elevation map, it looks like it should be a perfect marathon course.  There are a few hills early in the race, but after mile 10 it's pretty much all downhill.  I might have to make a trip there before the race to test out some sections of the course, but it looks like it could be great!


Training Races : 

March 26 : Just a Short Run 30k

These races are all held at North Park, and are meant to be training races for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Since my race is right before Pittsburgh, the timeline fits my schedule perfectly.  I'm also going to be training with the True Runner Run Club again, and their goal race is also Pittsburgh.  (BTW- this is a free training group if anyone is interested in joining!)


Training Plan :

Length : 16 Weeks
Mileage : Low (26.5) Average (34) Peak (38) Total (547)


It might be a bit ambitious for me to attempt a four-hour marathon since I just broke 2 hours in the half a few months ago.  However, I liked the structure of this plan, and my goal is around 4 hours.  I'll adjust it as I need, but I thought this was a great base plan!  The mileage and days running work for my body, so what's the harm in a slightly-out-of-reach "A" goal?!


Paces :


Easy : 9:15 - 10:00
Long Run : 9:20 - 10:20
Tempo : 8:05 - 8:25
Marathon Pace : 9:00 - 9:05
(taken from plan guidelines above)

Once again, these paces might be a bit ambitious, since they're intended for a four-hour marathon.  I like the large ranges of acceptable paces, and they're all similar to my paces when training for the half.  After the first month, I'll come back and adjust my paces to better match what I'm running.  For now, I think these are all good and reasonable pace goals.


Gear :


Watch : Garmin Vivoactive *
Shoes : Brooks Pure Flow
Pants : Lululemon Toasty Tech Tights *
Jacket : Columbia Hybrid Jacket *
Base Layer : Columbia top and bottom


My gear might change while I train (particularly my shoes- I'm in desperate need of a new pair!) but all of these products work for me.  I splurged on the Lululemon pants last year to help get me out when it's freezing cold, and I already love them!  I've also been a huge fan of Columbia's clothes for running (or just being outside) in the cold!  They have some great quality stuff, and are having a huge winter sale right now.

I wrote a lot more about winter gear in this post if you're interested in reading more.


Cross Training :


Swimming
Group Core
Zumba
Group Power
Group Active
Spinning


If you're thinking that's a huge list of cross training, you're right.  I am not planning on doing all of these activities each week, but will aim to get 3 cross training sessions per week.  Each week, my goal is to get in one aerobic workout (swimming, Zumba or spinning), one strength workout (Group Power or Active) and one "mental" workout (Group Centergy or Core).  Some of these are new workouts that I've never tried before, so I'll be reviewing them in upcoming weeks!

* Items with an asterisk are affiliate links - purchasing an item through the link will earn me a small percentage.  Thank you for your support!

linking up with Amanda  Have you ever trained with a plan?  How did it work out?
Who else has a race coming up?
Is anyone running Pittsburgh this year?

55 comments:

  1. I have a half in like 2 weeks. gosh the time flew by! I don't know my next race or races for the year but I am working on putting those together.

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    1. That did fly by! I remember when you first announced you were signing up. Good luck tapering!

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  2. The organizing junkie in me loves how prepped you are for this! No races planned for me just yet, but I'm looking in to some for the spring :D

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    1. Thanks Amanda! Organization is my zen time :)

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  3. Running the Pittsburgh half and not sure what else this spring since my goal race is already a no go now. Haha oops. But there aren't a ton of spring halfs around here. :/

    I think your plan to keep cross training and mental training, which is where I really fall short are great ideas.

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    1. Aw man! I hope you can find another race nearby. Luckily we're close to West Virginia and Ohio if you can't find any around here!

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  4. This is some exciting stuff! Isn't it fun to plan so much? I feel like all the good hype goes into from the beginning! You got your goal, your plan, your gear, and your other plans! I think you're going to do great!

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    1. I love to plan! Everything seems possible! Thank you for the support Margaret :)

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  5. Looks like you've done some great planning and prep! Good luck and have fun :D

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  6. a training plan is key when you want to successfully complete a race. when i did tough mudder, i had a 3 month training plan which included 8 weeks of hard trail running and 12 weeks of intense strength and conditioning. The event was being held at a ski resort in my city (read: crazy hills) and trail runs were the best way to strengthen the lower body, condition the ankles/joints/knees etc. thank goodness we did that because those hills were killer and people who trained on the road were falling all over the place with twisted ankles and/or knees.

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    1. I agree that a training plan is key! I know a few people who don't use them and that works for them, but for me I NEED something to keep me accountable. Sounds like a tough race (hence the name!)

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  7. I'm so excited for you! I feel like since I started reading your blog you have become such a stronger and smarter runner. You are definitely going to be able to show marathon #3 who's boss. Good luck with your training!

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    1. Thank you so much Heather! I've learned so much through blogging and especially through you, so thank you for inspiring me and teaching me so much. I always appreciate your comments and take your advice to heart :)

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  8. I actually looked at Gettysburg for college and the town is really cute. Good luck with the training. I think it'd be fun to be running through so much history.

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    1. Thanks Lesley! I can't believe I've never visited.

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  9. Awesome!! I love how organized you are! Very excited to follow along as you train, and see how this plan works out for you. You will be awesome :)

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  10. I am awful at sticking to a training plan even though I always make one. My max days of running is 3 and then I try to cross train up to 3 days with one full rest day but usually it ends up being two and then maybe a yoga class. I think I'll do Pittsburgh since I'll be living there again by then- yay! Good luck with your training!

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    1. That's great Jessica! Hope you have a great training cycle and welcome back home :)

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  11. Oh my word, I am so impressed with how motivated and organized you are! And I love that you're including different types of training along with your running. Variety is fun. :)
    Gina ||On the Daily Express

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    1. Thank you Gina! I feel so much better when i'm working different muscles, so that will definitely be key for me :)

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  12. I am from a small town about a half hour outside of Gettysburg.. I love it there, it's a great little town. I'm doing a 5k there in April :) I am doing Pittsburgh Half, (obviously) & it'll be my first time! Good luck on your full! I'll never do one haha. Where do you do your group classes at? I just signed up at Golds downtown.. I'm pretty much booked all week once school starts again, but I really want to do more zumba, spin, strength, etc!

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    1. That's so great to know Ciara! I'll have to get some info about Gettysburg from you. Thank you and good luck to you as well!

      I go to the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill! It's right down the street from me so I love the convenience, but I'll probably change when we move :)

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  13. My boyfriend is running this marathon!!! I will be out on the course cheering like a mad woman! :) He went to Gettysburg College so it'll be a fun race for him and I've never been there so I can't wait to check it out!!!

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    1. No way!! Girl you better cheer for me too ;) What a small world! Maybe we can meet up after the race for a drink or something.

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  14. YAY!!! :) It will be fun to follow your training. I'm thinking about doing a half marathon later in the spring, but I'd like to find a training plan that is 3 days a week, which seems to work best for my body. Do you have any recommendations?

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    1. I haven't tried it myself, but a lot of people swear by the Run Less Run Faster plan. Here's a link to more information! http://runlessrunfasterbook.com/uof/runlessrunfasterbook/

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  15. Is the first marathon a gradual downhill after mile 10? I just remember running Tuscon years ago thinking it would be an easy BQ but the downhill trashed my quads into oblivion and I ended up with a slower time than ever! If it's a gradual downhill then it will be fine. Mine was steep.

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    1. I'll have to do more research into it! The only other full I've done is Pittsburgh, which is super hilly, then has a huge downhill at mile 20. It SUCKS!

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  16. you are going to kick this marathon's butt i just know it. solid training, cross training and being healthy are all going to go right this time :) i have a half in february that im hoping to do in under 2 hours for the first time. fingers crossed its in tampa so the weather might not be ideal.

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    1. Thank you Rachael! I really appreciate that :) Good luck in your race..can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  17. OMG! We (my fiancé and I) are considering doing this Marathon.... it would be our first marathon ever. But we haven't registered yet, only doing the training. We haven't registered because we are both scared to think about running 26.1 miles. But we are making a decision by the end of January.

    Good luck with your training! Your goal setting is inspiring!

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    1. No way! That is so cool :) I haven't actually registered yet either..whoops :) I think you both can do it..just start running now!

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  18. You'll do great. I think you have a very solid goal. And even if you don't break 4 hours, you'll come close with proper training. Good luck! Can't wait to read all your training adventures!

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    1. That's what I'm thinking too Rachel! I trained for my sub 2 hour half with a 1:50 plan, and it worked perfectly! Hopefully this will be the same :)

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  19. I think you have an awesome goal! Truth be told, I didn't know Gettysburg had a marathon but now that I do, I might look more into it. I cannot wait to see how it goes for you!

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    1. Thanks Hollie! I would love it if you ran the race! That would be a fun surprise.

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  20. Brooks Pure Flow 4s are on sale on their website right now if you're looking for a new pair of those! It looks like you have a strong training plan and doing some of your long runs on those hills like you mentioned will benefit you so much! Planning out training is one of my favorite parts and I am excited to follow you as you execute this plan and run a great marathon!

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    1. Thank you Laura! They've actually been on sale for a while, so I was hoping they would be marked down even lower :(

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  21. I've got a marathon on Sunday and a couple halfs over the next 6 ish weeks. I've used Hal Higdon's plans for nearly all of my races with much success. Good luck with training! I can't wait for updates on how this plan works for you.

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    1. That's awesome! Hal's plans don't work for me, but I'm glad you found something that works for you. Good luck in the marathon!

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  22. You've got this girl! I have no races yet planned for 2016, but have a few I am thinking about and need to act on soon :)

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  23. Great that you found a marathon plan you're excited about! I'm a little surprised that it's not a RW plan though since you had so much success with it for your half. I look forward to seeing you at spring thaw & JASR!

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    1. This plan is actually really similar to the structure of that one! I just found the RW one by chance- just did a search for sub 2 hour plan and found that. I did the same this year and found this one! I like the variety of speed work and all the marathon pace workouts (especially during long runs!) so I thought it would work well :) See you at the races!

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  25. Good luck with the marathon! I wanted to do it last year since I don't live too far, but it didn't work well with my training schedule for another race. Can't wait to hear how you did and read the recap :)

    My next race is the Rock n Roll DC Marathon in March.

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    1. Thank you Lindsey! Good luck in the race :) I hear that one is a lot of fun!

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  26. wow! you have totally rocked the planning of this!! even down to the gear! you're guaranteed success with this plan and goals! good for you!!! :)

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  27. You've got this girl! I've always thought that the actual marathon was being able to stay with training for so long and the reward was getting to run the actual marathon distance. I'm running my 3rd marathon along with my boyfriend (running his 1st!) this weekend at the Walt Disney World Marathon. It's been a joy to see him get through all the training. Good luck and I can't wait to follow your journey!

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    1. You're absolutely right about that. The journey is definitely the hardest part. Thats why I never get stressed about races or my times anymore- that's just the reward for training so hard! Good luck in the marathon! That's a great place to run his first one :)

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  28. So excited for you as you embark on your debut marathon. It sounds like you have thought everything out really well and I look forward to following your journey. :)

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