Selecting and Modifying a Marathon Training Schedule
“I’m Never Running Again… Oh look! A race!” — Liz after the Portland Marathon
I ran my first marathon at the Portland Marathon last October. I trained for months and mentally prepare myself as much as possible. But when it came to game day, nothing could prepare me for mile 22 when I was mentally shot and in more pain than I had EVER experienced, vowing never, ever again. But in classic Liz fashion, after a few weeks of recovery I was signed up for another marathon!
I am now excited to be running the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Marathon this coming June! Last year I ran the half so I am excited for the new experience (ok, maybe I just want the cool finisher’s jacket). Although June may seem like a long ways away, I have already put my training schedule together and I would love to share it with you!
In planning, I wanted to keep in mind what did and didn’t work last time.
- variance in types of activities
- sticking to a consistent long run schedule
What Didn’t Work
- not enough runs in a week
- giving myself the occasional two off days in a row, which I think made me miss out on an opportunity for muscle memory
Finding a Plan to Address those Wins and Misses
Once I established what I think did and didn’t work last training round, I set out to find some suggested training schedules on Runners World that addressed some of the misses from last time. Thanks to a coworker also training for the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll, I settled on the First-Timers Marathon Plan.
Adjusting the Plan
This plan provides the variance I want, while increasing the number of runs per week. I am really glad that I purchased one off runners world, as it had a ton of helpful tips throughout the plan. Once I had the plan, I did the following:
- Read through the whole plan
- Jotted down reminders that would help me consistently throughout my training on the top of the calendar
- Added more detailed notes in the calendar for some of the training days (this way I don’t have to reference the detailed training plan every day).
- Wrote the week start date next to each row on the calendar so I am reminded that there is no room for slacking!
You don’t have to do this, but I find it really helpful in mentally preparing myself to start a tough training regime. Some of my notes included:
- How much water to drink daily (calculated using this tool)
- How many calories and when to consume during hard training days
- My training paces (calculated using this tool)
Plan for the interim weeks
Now that I’ve established when I need to start training and how I’m going to train, I need to establish how I’m going to spend the weeks prior to my training plan start date. The steps I took include:
- look at my first long run on the training schedule
- ramp up my weekend runs to slowly hit that distance on week 1 of the training plan (i.e. if I need to start the plan at 10 miles, then I’m going to do a 3 mile saturday, 6 mile saturday, 8 mile saturday, etc.)
- establish which days I will take off
- work in some of the training I will be doing into the remaining days
My interim schedule ended up looking like this:
And there you have it – my journey to marathon number 2 is planned out! I hope this information is helpful in your training planning. Please feel free to reach out in the comments with any questions!
I’m Liz Filion – I believe in chasing life outdoors by land & water. I’m a recent transplant to sunny Arizona all the way from the state of Washington. Wherever life takes me, my heart will always be anchored in the evergreens of the pacific northwest. I'm a runner, standup paddleboarder, and avid believer in seeking out adventure.Learn more