can you believe it’s almost here? i am actually going to start my training plan for THE BOSTON MARATHON.
it’s been a long time coming and i can’t believe it’s really here now.
as you can imagine, i have thought A LOT about this race and how i want to tackle it. for a very long time i said i would not “race” boston. i saw too many people cross the finish line disappointed for not reaching their goal or for having a bad race and there is no way i want to cross that finish line feeling anything but absolute elation that i was crossing it.
but things have changed and i have grown a lot as a runner this year. i know myself well enough now and feel that i am a strong enough runner that i will be happy crossing that finish line no matter what happens. nothing will take away from the fact that i am there and i am pretty good at taking in my surroundings while i am out there as well.
i also know that i am going to train my butt off for this race and if i gave it anything less than my best i would be cheating myself. why would i train really hard for it and then just go to cruise?
i am going to give this training cycle my full dedication, hopefully it will be my best round of training and i am going to go to the start line of the boston marathon in the best shape i have been in.
then the race will be the race and all i can ask from myself is to give it my best.
so what training plan am i using?
after training for eight marathons and using a new plan for my last one, i have started to figure out what works well for me and what doesn’t. i was really considering going back to a pfitz plan and i played around with his schedules for a while. then i considered tweaking up the BAA plan i just used. then i took a blank template and just started typing and created my own plan of everything i wanted to have in it. it has bits and pieces of a few different plans and is going to be very similar to when i was training for big sur marathon, but just with more focus and intensity.
speedwork – i am going back to the track. i am finding that fire i had at the beginning of this year and i am going to try my best to go with a group again. running with a group really helped me and i know it’s the best way to get my speedwork in. i am pretty much going to follow the BAA advanced schedule for their track workouts or see what the group is doing that i go with. i know this helped me get faster last spring.
tempo/lactate threshold – i missed these a lot in my last cycle. i did a lot of “marathon tempo” but i do think there is a big benefit of training at threshold level/half marathon pace. i always felt faster and like i got more out of these workouts when i was on the pfitz training plans. i have these in my plan two weeks on, one week off, building in the number of tempo miles as i get further into the schedule.
marathon pace – although i really liked the constant marathon pace workouts i did for CIM, i think longer ones would be better for me. every 3rd week i took out a tempo run and replaced it with a longer (10 mile) marathon pace run. i will also include marathon pace in various long runs.
medium long – i love these runs. i call them my happy pace runs where i can just go run for a long time and not have to worry about much. i am going to be doing one of these most every week.
easy runs – i have two of these a week at different distances, usually my shorter runs for the week.
long runs – the base to any marathon training plan. i plan to run at least 3 20 milers and a number of long runs with “fast finishes” where i get down to marathon pace or faster for the last few miles of my long run.
routes – i have been coming up with routes to train on for the past year and i have talked to some members of the team i train with and they have some great boston simulator long runs. i am definitely going to run a lot of my long runs practicing on lots of downhill at the beginning with rolling hills towards the end.
(edited to add hills! how could i forget one of the most important parts of boston training? i forget to add them in the midst of this monster post, thank you friends for the reminder)
hills – i have many hilly routes planned plus i am going to add short hill sprints/repeats to the end of runs and use hills for some of my speedwork/tempo runs as well. boston is hilly and i have big sur soon after it as well so hills will be my new best friend.
mileage – although i hit 70 miles per week for CIM, i don’t think i am going to go that high this time. i really like the way i feel in the low 60s and i don’t feel like i am struggling to get miles in. that week of 70 i felt like i was running the miles just to run them a couple times. i feel like i get the most and feel the best in the 60s. i have included a couple cut back weeks after 3 weeks of building also.
strength/core – i know i say this every cycle but i am determined to get some strength/core work in every single week. i am using my time wisely right now to try to get into a routine and going to use my friends as resources to get myself on a program for it. i will definitely be doing another post focused on this and how i plan on making it happen.
length – at first i thought i should just do a 12 week program with base building before it depending on how i felt after CIM, but i really like 16 week plans and i am feeling good right now. Pretty much when i do a 12 week plan it has 4 weeks of base building before it which is 16 weeks anyway, so i just built it all in together.
so 16 weeks (starting next monday), starting off with mostly easy runs since i am kind of still in recovery mode (the speedwork will start in early january), peaking at ~65 miles, with lots of fun stuff in the middle.
as always no plan is set in stone and as i get into it i may tweak things around, but for now i am very happy with how it looks. i have so many resources and so many people to train with, i am getting really excited! i am planning on a weekly recap post like i did for CIM so it’s easy for me to follow, i can talk about specific details and look back on it easily.
if it goes half as fast as my past training cycles the marathon will be here tomorrow, but i want to make sure to try and slow down, to soak up this cycle and to really enjoy it. i am going to be working hard but i am going to have a lot of fun too. this is my favorite time to train and typically when i am running my fastest, so hopefully i can capitalize on that and really knock out a great cycle of training.
bring on boston!