Sunday, December 14, 2014

Marathon Training Begins!

I'm registered for the Illinois Marathon which takes place in Champaign, IL on April 25. That's about 19 weeks away. Perfect timing to start a full marathon training program. I plan on adopting an 18-week marathon program based primarily on the Hansons marathon method and their affiliated book. If I stick to the plan, it'll be my first time following a structured program. Why the more serious attempt for this marathon? I'm shooting for a Boston qualifier!

The Hansons method has a few key characteristics. The long run maxes out at only 16 miles. The program is designd to induce accumulated fatigue so the 16 miler feels like the last 16 miles of a marathon. You run 6 days per week and have two other "something of substance" runs each week--Tuesday speed or strength, plus a Thursday tempo run. Tuesday's faster session ranges from 5K pace to slightly faster than marathon pace. The Thursday tempo session is done at marathon pace...and it extends to 10 miles. With only one day of rest, and a long tempo session on Thursday, the weekend long run should be completed on slightly tired legs. Good training preparation for a full marathon.

My main worry with this program is that I don't do well on higher mileage and 6 days/week training. I tend to adavance better with more rest. Fortunately, I manage to squeeze out a lot of improvements from lower mileage training. If I stayed healthy and injury-free with higher mileage, I'm sure I'd run faster...but I normally get injured or burned-out. I'll likely add a second day of rest to the Hanson program. I'm running on older legs than a twenty year old...or thirty year old...and I need more rest and recovery.

When I run the Illinois Marathon in April of 2015, I'll be 49 years old. If I qualify and run Boston in 2016, I'll be 50. That means I "only" need a 3:30 at Illinois Marathon to qualify for the 2016 Boston race. Seems doable. You usually need a 2 minute cushion on your qualifying time to actually register for Boston. So, I need to shoot for a 3:28 or better. I'll be aiming for a 3:25 finish. In my dreams, I'll be crossing the finish line at 3:20. Maybe 3:19:59. We all need to dream.


James Lambert said...

Great read. Same thought process here and same anxiety about the 3.20. Will be fun to follow your training!

Chris Ⓥ said...

Thanks James. 3:20 or bust! Well, more like BQ or bust.