Marathon Training Week 1

This will be my first marathon. I am training for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 5, 2008.

I had planned on using a training program from Running Planet designed specifically for the 3:10 goal time. It was a highly structured program that included goal times for each workout and lots of specific training geared towards that time. I decided that for my first marathon I should try to enjoy myself at least a little bit and not get burnt out during training. So I looked into some other plans!

I have decided on Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II program. Hal’s website is pretty adamant that first time marathoners (even for experienced athletes at other distances) should use his novice plan. Well I disagree! I think the Intermediate II is a good program that will provide adequate mileage and a mix of harder runs to accommodate my needs. I might adjust it as time goes on adding more speed work if I feel up to it. It will be a little different than I am used to since most of my races and thus long runs have been on Saturdays, now they will be on Sundays. I plan to continue bike commuting through most of my training time. So we’ll see how it goes! My goal is still a 3:10 BQ which is a 7:14 pace.

It was supposed to rain or storm pretty much every day this week, so you will notice a common thread of high humidity throughout the week. I think the lowest was in the 70% range. Here’s the week’s summary:

Monday: Comparative Rest (cross-train 30 minutes) It seemed a little wrong to start marathon training with a day of cross training so I did an easy 3 miles. I know my first act of training was the break from the schedule! Oh well. 3 miles in 23:18 on the Little Earth loop. It was 63 degrees and humid at the start.

Tuesday: Run 3 miles at a comfortable pace. Today’s loop ended up being closer to 3.5 miles in 27:33. I ran down to Powderhorn Park, around the lake and back enjoying the cool 57 degree weather, despite the high humidity.

Wednesday: Five miles. This is the “mid-week longer run”. I’m not sure I’ve called a 5 miler long outside of track when we were competing in the 800, but oh well. I ran this along the Greenway in 37:35. We are allowed to pick up the pace on this run so I ran one of the miles at what felt like a faster pace, it was actually 6:56 so that is faster than marathon pace. It was 55 and humid again.

Thursday: 3 miles, comfortable pace. Follow the run by doing some stretching and strength training for about 15-30 minutes. I did the Downtown Loop this morning which is 3 miles in 23:45. It was 61 with 88% humidity at the start! It felt pretty good. I stretch after ever run but did push-ups, sit-ups, and back exercises today and Tuesday.

Friday: Rest It is a little weird to have Friday as a rest day. I was contemplating going to the gym to do some stretching when I remembered that I still had a massage to redeem from the gym. I had bought a couple of 30 minute sessions awhile back for my wife and I but we’d never used them. So I got a 30 minute massage focused on my lower back and legs. It felt really good and probably will become a somewhat regular part of my routine.

Saturday: Five miles at marathon pace. Hear I go messing up the schedule already again! I have a 5K on Sunday so I switched the two workouts. Hal is ok with this although he really prefers that the long run follows the pace run, but such is life! I did 10 miles along the Mississippi River on some unexplored parts of the city thanks to twitter friend AEnglesrud who gave me the route idea. It was a lot of fun! I did it in 1:21:59, incorporated some hills and it was a nice morning with starting temps at 65 with 85% humidity. I felt pretty good throughout the run but I hadn’t completely mapped it out so I ended up hitting 10 miles over a mile from home – so I just stopped and walked home!

Sunday: Run 10 miles. I ran a 19:51 5K on the track as part of the USATF-MN Outdoor Championship track meet. Look for the full review tomorrow! But it totaled about 5 miles total. Another cool but humid day.

Weekly Totals:

Running – 29.6 miles

Biking – 40 miles

Hal’s Running Tip of the Week: With the marathon 18 weeks away, plan the training now that will permit you success. Marathon training works best if you start easy and build gradually: A long run of 10 miles in June becomes 20 miles in September. Most important at this time is to establish a goal, whether that goal is to finish or to run fast. Once that goal is chosen, everything else will fall in place.

Week 1

[tags] Marathon, Training, Hal Higdon [/tags]

3 thoughts on “Marathon Training Week 1

  1. Blaine Moore

    Truth be told, training for the marathon (especially your first marathon) doesn't take a whole lot of rocket science. Run a lot of miles on a consistent basis, most of them slow.

    Just about any program that gets you out the door will probably work. It's the getting out the door part that is hard.

    Enjoy the training; I love getting ready for my marathons just as much as I love running them. You'll have a good experience, even if it isn't one you'll look back on it all with fondness once you forget exactly how much it hurts that first time.

  2. crossn81 Post author

    Thanks Blaine. It is very weird to run such slow easy miles but I know the long run rewards are well worth it. I just finished your book, review forthcoming!

    RunColo thanks!


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