The New Plan

One of the major things I have learned while training for 10 marathons is that no training plan is set in stone.  I love training plans, I love writing them, and I just love having a schedule out in front of me, BUT that does not mean any training plan I write for myself cannot be tweaked, or in this case just completely re-written.

Last week I realized that my training plan was focusing on The San Francisco Marathon as my A race, which it is not.  I was having trouble keeping up with the schedule I was using, and just was losing steam quick.  Instead of continuing down the road on something I just wasn’t excited about, I decided to revamp my schedule to give it a new look, some new techniques and use a new plan (from Hudson’s Run Faster) as my guide.  I feel like I am kind of stuck in this plateau right now and in order to get out of it, I need to start incorporating some different things.

June 524

Hudson’s plans are typically 20 weeks long and The Portland Marathon is now 16 weeks away (!!), so last week I jumped into Week 4 of the Level 2 marathon training plan (with some alterations), since my mileage was already pretty close to what was on that week of training.  This week I plan to follow his workouts more closely.

June 530

My challenge and goal for my plan is to get my long runs high enough to let me complete SFM without being underprepared, but also not have a plan centered around it.  My long runs are longer than his base plan in order to accomplish this.  Since I am treating that SFM as an extra long training run, the weeks around it won’t look like what a typical pre-race taper would look like for me. 

Up through SF
2011 SFM_PDXa

I also happily incorporated Page’s wedding events (!!) into my plan, as well as other social commitments and group runs into my schedule.  July is a busy month so I needed to make sure to plan around things so I don’t stress myself out.

Note on training plans: make sure to check your social/life calendar against your training plans to make sure you don’t over commit yourself and can plan accordingly!  It’s really easy to put a training plan on paper without all the life commitments we all have, so make sure to compare them.

After SFM, I will continue with the Hudson training program, but will play it by ear based on how I feel after that race.  That first week is definitely penciled in and will be adjusted as necessary.

After SFM
2011 SFM_PDXb

Some new things in this plan:

  • Fartleks – short bursts of fast speed work based on time
  • Progression Runs – get faster as you go
  • Hill Sprints – short fast sprints up hill to build power
  • Hill Repetitions – longer repetitions of speed work on hills
  • Multi-Paced Threshold Runs – threshold runs with multiple paces

There will also be some standard speed work and some normal tempo runs I have done in the past, but the other things above will be mixed in to keep variety in my training plan and to keep my legs guessing.  The speed work is slowly introduced as the weeks go on which I think is exactly what I need right now.

As always this plan isn’t set in stone.  One of the things Hudson stresses in his book (that I really like) is “adaptive running” which is constantly reassessing your training to customize it to your needs and adapt to how you are responding to your current training.

So that’s it! 

I am really excited to start mixing up my training a little bit.  It’s fun to not have the same thing every week and have some new things to incorporate into my training.  I have been scoping out hills and planning routes for different runs, and I can’t wait to get out there and get going. 

I will definitely get into more specifics as I go!  I have also updated My Current Training page to reflect the new plan.  

Oh!  One last thing…

And the winner of the Balance Act Clothing Giveaway is:

Jenna Z!

Congrats girl!  Email me and I will set you up with your new shirt. 

For those of you that didn’t win but still want a shirt, use the code: runnersrambles for a 15% discount on your order!

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19 Responses to The New Plan

  1. Rachel June 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    i like the looks of the new plan! sounds like it’s a better fit for where you’re at right now and for what you have coming up.

  2. J June 21, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Great new plan! summer is so tricky because there are so many social commitments! I loved reading Hudson’s book, I just wish I had bought it so I could go back and look at it.

  3. Nancy June 21, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    It looks like a great plan! I am toying with moving my long run day to Wednesdays for the summer so that I don’t have to work around the weekend….shorter runs on Saturday and Sunday are much easier to squeeze in! I’m going to need to check out that book though…need some speed!

  4. Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 21, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    I really liked Hudson’s book and his adaptive training philosophy. I’ve incorporated hill repeats into my cycle for my marathon in September.

    I always finagle my plan during the summer! I love training in the summer but hate how many conflicts always seem to pop up.

  5. Jaime June 21, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    Working on writing my first plan … and have learned so much from you! Very excited about this new challenge. Also, very excited to follow your Fall!! Good luck! :)

  6. kristen June 21, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    I like it. I hope this gives you what you need to get over the plateu into the next level of your training!!

  7. Kelly June 21, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    that sounds like a great plan! I would love to take a look at that book soon to help me develop my NYCM training plan. It sounds like you’re on the right track and I’m excited to hear how your training goes!

  8. Melissa June 21, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Great plan! I need to write a plan down and actually stick to it! If I make up my own, I seem to find excuses on why I can’t do it. Thanks for the motivation!

  9. marlene June 21, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Sounds like a big overhaul! Exciting stuff – I hope it turns out to be a good fit and can’t wait to follow along as always!

  10. Page June 21, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Oooooh – I’m excited to see how this plan works out for your! I think all of those additions will really kick your power up a notch!

    And even more excited to celebrate with you. See you Sunday!

  11. katie June 21, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    hill work always makes me stronger and FAST. i noticed it more on the bike, but wow, did i see immediate results.

  12. Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides June 21, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    We have 0 hills around here so hill work has to be done on freeway overpasses. Hilarious and sad all at the same time!

    My training plans are constantly changing…but I do my best to stick with them!

  13. Holly June 21, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    i love how you’ve revamped your plan and am excited to see how it plays out for you. i’m itching to improve my speed too but have to be careful since it’s so hot and humid around here right now. i really want a fall marathon, but just can’t imagine long runs in july/august in TX- yuck! thinking a 1/2 ironman in nov. will tide me over until houston in jan. :)

  14. Heather @ Dietitian on the Run June 21, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    It takes a lot of re-doing to get any plan set in stone – much less with the challenge of wedding events & other races! :) I revamp my plans all the time – but the focus/goal always stays the same, and that’s all that matters!

  15. Nelly June 21, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I liked reading the Run Faster plans, good luck with the revamped plan! He definitely incorporates a bunch of different paced runs into the plan which make it interesting.

  16. Karyn June 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    i love that you’re modifying your plans to fit your A race goals. smart! and exciting. i suspect you’ll do very very well :)

  17. Corey @ runners cookie June 22, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    I love the idea of “adaptive running” – it’s definitely what I’m aiming to achieve in my next round of training. Seems like you’ve really thought it through, and I think it’s a great idea to incorporate social events/vacations into your training schedule! Maintaining our lives and happiness are important too :)

  18. Lauren June 26, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Hey Aron! I know you haven’t been following it all that long yet, but I would love to pick your brain about this book and the new plan you’re following. I usually design my own plans for marathon training but am looking to mix it up a little bit for my next one (in October). Hudson’s book sounds interesting and I’m really intrigued by his “adaptive running” philosophy. Would you recommend the book?? I’m about 18 weeks out now, so it sounds like I’d have to adapt things a bit. But any thoughts/advice would be great! Thanks!


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