Beginners and Beyond

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Critique my training plan (Read 73 times)

robinde


    Hi All,

     

    I posted in another area about interrupted workouts.  One of the responders expressed some concern that my training plan was too aggressive for my fitness level.  I'm a very new runner (started in March of 2012) and will openly admit that maybe a marathon is too lofty of a goal.  However, I do believe that I can do it and would really like to try.  I pulled this plan off the internet and tweaked it a little bit to fit my schedule.  I picked it because it had a 26 mile LR as part of it.  That appealed to me since most other plans maxed out at about 20 miles.  The gap between 20 and 26 seemed like a lot to make up and I thought mentally, it'd be better to have covered that distance in training.  I'm open to suggestions on how to tweak my plan differently for a more successful outcome.  Thank you in advance for your input! Big grin

     

    http://www.runningahead.com/logs/391726d73e80479fbd250542cdcfb91e/plans

    happylily


      Sorry, I did not look at your log (not familiar with them). 26 miles in training is not standard, that's true. If you feel you need to experience it before the marathon, then why not? However, I would be concerned with where you are at, fitness wise, before you start your marathon training. Are 15 milers something you do regularly? What are your present weekly LRs and what has your average weekly mileage been like over the last 6 months?

      PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

              Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

      4 years racing, 16 marathons, 16 BQs     

        Hi All,

         

        I posted in another area about interrupted workouts.  One of the responders expressed some concern that my training plan was too aggressive for my fitness level.  I'm a very new runner (started in March of 2012) and will openly admit that maybe a marathon is too lofty of a goal.  However, I do believe that I can do it and would really like to try.  I pulled this plan off the internet and tweaked it a little bit to fit my schedule.  I picked it because it had a 26 mile LR as part of it.  That appealed to me since most other plans maxed out at about 20 miles.  The gap between 20 and 26 seemed like a lot to make up and I thought mentally, it'd be better to have covered that distance in training.  I'm open to suggestions on how to tweak my plan differently for a more successful outcome.  Thank you in advance for your input! Big grin

         

        http://www.runningahead.com/logs/391726d73e80479fbd250542cdcfb91e/plans

        i looked at the plan before i read our post.

         

        The thing that popped out to me was the long run of 26 miles. Most of the stuff I have read says that you beat yourself up too much and it isnt worth doing a long run at 26 miles.

         

        I am a newer runner than you are and I did a marathon 2 weeks ago on similar total miles, but my longest run was 17.5 miles. I did 16 miles 3 times. I am probably slower than you, and I couldnt imagine doing a training run of 5 hrs plus like it would have taken me to do a 26 mile pracitce run.

         

        smarter people and more experienced people will have more stuff to point out and have better questions to ask. Alot of this stuff depends on your goals. I just wanted to finish and I did. My next one I plan on being better trained for and will do better.

         

        good luck with this plan or another plan. The best advice that I have is to have faith in your plan and dont miss too many workouts.

        ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

        “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

         

        Tomas

        robinde


          Sorry, I did not look at your log (not familiar with them). 26 miles in training is not standard, that's true. If you feel you need to experience it before the marathon, then why not? However, I would be concerned with where you are at, fitness wise, before you start your marathon training. Are 15 milers something you do regularly? What are your present weekly LRs and what has your average weekly mileage been like over the last 6 months?

          I have been maintaining about 20 to 25 miles per week since about July, 2012.  My longest LR to date has been 12 miles, but typically it's about 8 to 10.

          happylily


            OK, I looked at the plan and it doesn't look good to me, for a marathon plan. Your runs are all too short while your LRs increase in distance, up to 26 miles. You need more balance and a little more weekly miles. Also, if it were me, I'd want to be able to run at least 15 miles before even thinking about a marathon. I don't want to discourage you, but why don't you start with a half-marathon instead? Why a marathon so early in your running life?

            PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                    Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

            4 years racing, 16 marathons, 16 BQs     

            cmb4314


              That was me that posted originally Smile

               

              I agree with Lily that it's not a great plan overall, since it loads so many miles into the long run.

               

              Here's the thing with super, duper long runs - they beat the crap out of your legs.  And your legs don't really know distance, they just know time, and how long you've been pounding them.  So for a really fast runner, a 22, 24 mile run isn't as big a deal as it is for a slower runner, because they are simply not out there beating themselves up for as long.  They get further with each stride, so they're taking less steps, pounding their legs that many fewer times.

               

              In general, no one suggests going for that long for slower runners because if you're running for 3.5-4 hours for your long run, it's going to beat you up enough that it could make recovering from the run really, really difficult.  Or, since it's such a huge jump up from your other runs, the shock to your system could result in an injury.

               

              You also have to think - when you do get to doing an 18, 20 mile run, you will be doing it tired, far into a training plan, with other runs that week.  When you run the marathon, you will be fresh off of a taper, which matters.

               

              If you do want to stick with a marathon training, maybe look into something like a Higdon plan - they will have more reasonable of a structure/buildup.

              My wildly inconsistent PRs:

              5k: 24:36 (10/20/12)  

              10k: 52:01 (4/28/12)  

              HM: 1:50:09 (10/27/12)

              Marathon: 4:19:11 (10/2/2011) 

              robinde


                That was me that posted originally Smile

                 

                I did appreciate the feedback.  I know that doing a marathon so soon in my career may seem silly.  For me, it's about setting a goal and reaching it.  However, I do want to reach it and I'm not willing to change it.  That's why I'm asking the question.  This year, I don't care if it takes a long time to run that distance.  Next year will be a different story Smile

                 

                Thank you everyone for your input so far.  I will try to tweak my program to be more reasonable.

                  there are some good beginner plans out there.

                   

                  I basically used a higdon plan and added a few miles durring the week and cut some long runs a little shorter. My sister used a plan from the book, The non-runner's marathon trainer. You can get it for like $10. There is some good info in there.

                   

                  Your plan might not be the best, but no reason to re-invent the wheel. I have total faith that if your goal is to finish, then you can do it. Just be consistent and dont hurt yourself. I would think that most of your runs can be easy runs as time isn't a factor for you. Easy runs are less likely to get you hurt.

                   

                  There are some great runners in here and in the other forums also. Most people are honest and helpful. You might not always hear what you want, but you will get good info.

                  ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

                  “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

                   

                  Tomas

                    Setting an easy goal makes it fairly easy to reach and setting a goal of stumbling across the finish line of a marathon in under 6 hours is a pretty easy goal for any healthy adult under the age of 50.  Why not set yourself a challenging goal of finishing your first marathon strong and fast rather than weak and slow?  Of course, that means deferring the goal for a couple of years but nothing in life that's really worthwhile is easy.

                    Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                    Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                    Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                    robinde


                      Your plan might not be the best, but no reason to re-invent the wheel. I have total faith that if your goal is to finish, then you can do it. Just be consistent and dont hurt yourself. I would think that most of your runs can be easy runs as time isn't a factor for you. Easy runs are less likely to get you hurt.

                       

                      This is actually great advice.  Thank you so much for the encouragement.

                      robinde


                        Setting an easy goal makes it fairly easy to reach and setting a goal of stumbling across the finish line of a marathon in under 6 hours is a pretty easy goal for any healthy adult under the age of 50.  Why not set yourself a challenging goal of finishing your first marathon strong and fast rather than weak and slow?  Of course, that means deferring the goal for a couple of years but nothing in life that's really worthwhile is easy.

                         

                        I don't see this goal as easy at all.  I don't plan to stumble either and although I haven't set a time goal, I hope to finish between 4:30 and 5.  I don't think that's too shabby for a first attempt and having come from where I was this time last year.  This time last year I weighed about 250lbs and couldn't walk a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing.

                        happylily


                           

                          I don't see this goal as easy at all.  I don't plan to stumble either and although I haven't set a time goal, I hope to finish between 4:30 and 5.  I don't think that's too shabby for a first attempt and having come from where I was this time last year.  This time last year I weighed about 250lbs and couldn't walk a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing.

                           

                          Not a shaby goal at all. Congratulations on turning your life around, you're doing great!

                          PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                                  Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                          4 years racing, 16 marathons, 16 BQs     

                            Just for the record, I weighed 230 pounds and had chain smoked for 30 years before I started running.

                             

                            I waited 2 1/2 years after I started running before I ran my first marathon.  I didn't have to use a beginner's plan; I was able to slightly modify an advanced plan.  I wasn't operating on barely adequate to finish mileage; I was running 50-70 miles per week.  I didn't have one of those disastrous races where you run a 2:05 first half and a 3:00 second half.  Instead, I ran 3:11:04 with a 19 second negative split.  That's not at all out of the ordinary for folks who are willing to be a bit patient before running their first marathon.

                             

                            A good guideline for any race short of ultras is that your weekly mileage should be at least double the race distance.  That means weekly mileage of 50-55 mpw for a good marathon.  Mind you that doesn't mean peak mileage of 50-55.  Instead, that means 50-55 mpw over the last 6-9 months so that you have a good base going into training that allows you to peak in the 70 mpw range.

                             

                            Your training plan will get  you across the finish line but hell, if that's all you want, go sign up for one next month.  You'll finish and you'll finish in under the cutoff.  If your goal is to finish strong, then wait until you have built up an adequate base to accomplish that task.

                             

                            I have run a couple of races on inadequate training and it is not a pleasant experience.

                            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                            robinde


                              Brad, obviously my desire to complete a marathon this year offends your sense of what's "right".  I do realize that I could put in a better performance if I waited and trained differently.  There are many factors behind my decision to do this.  I guess if I had to admit it, I'd have to say that I'm not really a "runner" yet.  I'm still someone working on changing my life and I'm using this challenge to help me do that.  I do appreciate your point of view and will take it to heart for my next marathon, but for this one I'm already committed and I won't turn back now.

                              msmrow


                                Why do so many beginners feel the need to run over 20 miles or "cover the race distance" before a first marathon?   No desire for running any farther than 20 miles for a long run, for me...

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