Monday, November 07, 2005

Marathon III Planning

Last night I sat down and went over my Marathon III training schedule. With my first marathon I used a 14-day training schedule where basically ran every other day, restarting the cycle every two weeks. With my second marathon I generally ran 16K/10M on Monday and Wednesdays, did weight training followed by a 3-5K run on Tuesday and Thursdays, with a long run every second Saturday. On the Saturdays when I wasn’t running long I ran a 20-24K “medium-long run”.

For my upcoming marathon, which will probably be the Bienwald Marathon (Bee Forest Marathon) on March 12, 2006, I am going to try to get by with 3 runs a week along with some cross-training. I plan on running 14K/8.7M on Monday and Wednesdays (the nights my wife has evening classes) and a run on Saturday morning. Every second Saturday will be a long run with the alternating weekends filled in with either a race or a 24K/15M “medium-long” run.

I still have 5 more swimming classes which means the next 5 Friday nights will be swimming. My class will end just as my long runs start really picking up. After that I will probably continue to swim at least once a week, probably on Thursdays. I will also squeeze in some weight training each week and maybe some bike riding on warm weekends.

The following table compares the total kilometers ran per week with what I have proposed for next years marathon. The total mileage lies somewhere in the middle of the first two marathons.

This week is the first week of training or week 18 shown in the accompanying table. Thus I am running 14K/8.7 miles tonight and Wednesday, followed by a 22K/13.6M run on Saturday.

There are a few reasons why I am reducing the number of days I run per week and the total mileage:

- Most of the training will be done in the dark and/or in cold and potentially bad weather.
- I didn’t schedule enough recovery time while training for Marathon II.
- I want to make my running activities less obvious to my wife.
- Work will be gobbling up more of my time over the next few months.
- This will be my third marathon in 10 months, I need to be careful not to overdo it.
- I’m not getting any younger.
- Marathon III is all about finishing strong, not about setting a new personal best! (Someone please remind me of this fact on race day:-)

I am also going to try to limit my racing prior to the marathon. More races means more recovery time. And since I always cheat my body as far as recovery time goes the only solution is to race less. I am committed to a half-marathon on December 3, 2005 that I am running with some friends, but this is programmed into my training schedule and will count as a training run. Any other races will also be slower training runs (please somebody remind me when I say I’m going to do a race!).

Hi Jack,
glad to see you determined to do another marathon. I'm just not sure if running only three times a week is such a good idea. As long as you're doing at least two cross-training days per week you should be able to get away with it. But remember that the best training for a marathon is .. to run.
I agree completely with your last comment! I admit I am compromising a lot with my wife and other influences during this training period. I going to try to tough it out anyway, I really can't foresee another block of time being available in 2006.
I think you might be completely fine with 3 days a week. I think Thomas is right, but, speaking as a mere mortal and not one of the elite, I think we are allowed to play by different rules. One group (mentioned in RW) even promotes the three day a week method as producing better results for a lot of the reasons you mentioned, mostly greater recovery. Regardless, it is a good experiment!

and the first time i looked at your chart i completely missed that it was in K not Mi! hehe...
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