Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Half-Marathon to Marathon Plan

I ran the Illinois half-marathon last Saturday in a time of 1:40:02. Not great, but not too bad either. For my fitness level, it was encouraging. And it predicts about a 3:30 full marathon. I'm shooting for a sub-3:30 to qualify for Boston. If I qualify, I'd like to actually get into Boston too--that will mean beating the qualifying standard by about 3 minutes. So, for someone in the 50-54 male age group, I need a 3:27 or better. Doable!

I have 89 days (about 3 full months) to train for the Jack and Jill's Downhill Marathon on July 31. How do I spend those 3 months?

According to Coach Jeff, here is the plan:
  • 2 workouts of 2 loops of Clinton trail (10-mile trail loop) separated by 3 weeks: to get you use to the marathon time on the feet and the downhills.
  • 1 workout consisting of a 10 mile or half-marathon RACE 4-6 weeks minimum before marathon race.
  • Tempo run of 5 miles or less: max of 1 per 3 weeks.
  • None of the above for 3 weeks (rest and recovery after half-marathon race).
  • NO speed work. Period.
  • Other daily runs: whatever, as long as they have NO focus. Run easy and under control. 
I guess that plan sounds OK. It doesn't call for seriously structured weeks or days. Just hit a few milestone workouts and keep the rest under control. I tend to either over-plan and over-stress hard workouts (and often get injured or sick) _or_ I don't do anything related to a plan and just haphazardly (randomly) run as I see fit with no guidance. Maybe Jeff's "plan" is perfect.

This Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon will be my brothers first attempt at a full marathon. It'll be my first real "go for Boston" attempt. Maybe my last too. Fortunately, this marathon is a rails to trails dirt course. Slightly slower than roads, but easier on the legs and more scenic. And a downhill course (which means faster). If training goes well, and the weather is good, and I don't get sick or injured...this is my best chance at a BQ time. Can I actually qualify for Boston on a certified trail course? This trail ultrarunner certainly hopes so! 

No comments: