>General Running>Some Advice
I want to develop a really good base for a marathon in a year and a half from now. I've run several, but I'm tired of starting all over and going through all the build up in that short period of time. Basically, I want my body already to be capable of a marathon when I start my training next year and to be able to just concentrate on speed and making a goal time. My goal would be a BC qualifier for a 44.
Right now I'm currently running 5 days a week, and I got my long run up to 9 miles. I did that rather easily at my current long slow run pace of 850-900. Also, I'm currently working on getting my speed back also, so I do allot of speed work and strength training.
Should I follow a marathon training schedule, and then taper back and then pick up again at a bigger running workload? It would be appreciated for some advice, and a really good plan I can follow.
I'd recommend against just going through a marathon program without the marathon. What I'd do instead is focus on two things: first, on building mileage to a consistent solid level that will allow you to use a higher-mileage and higher-quality marathon program when the time comes; and second, on shorter-distance racing to give you interim goals, fitness evaluations, and racing practice.
You don't even mention your weekly mileage, but that's really the important thing, more important than your long run distance. You also don't mention your previous marathon plans or results, so I'm not sure what you're starting from or what you're doing. Given your LR pace, I'll guess that you're around a 3:30 marathon? (If not, you're running too fast.) Also not sure what a BC qualifier is, but if you mean BQ, that would be 3:15.
So given that I don't know what your starting points are, what I would do is slowly build your mileage to where you are consistently running 50-60mpw. (If you've been running 40 for your previous marathons, aim at 50. If you've been running 50, aim at 60. Etc.) Then, hold that level and work in speed with a program aimed at a fast half. Do a couple of half marathons, actually, and some 5ks and 10ks too. If you can get to sub-1:32, and you can start your marathon plan with a solid base of 50-60 that will allow you to run in the 60-70mpw range for your marathon plan, you have a good chance at that sub-3:15.
PRs: 10 1:12:59 (4/2014) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)
bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org
I'm out of ideas
Forget about any of the common marathon programs you see out there.. They are premised on exactly what you want to avoid. I'd suggest looking at some Lydiard type programs such as described in Healthy Intelligent Training by Keith Livingstone. I also suggest you consider going to 6 days a week of running. The key is to plan for what you want to do, so no big jumps in mileage. Consistency week over week is the key, and you would rarely need a cutback week because you wouldn't be making big increases like in a typical program, focusing on small mileage gains and more on mid-week medium and medium-long runs rather than increasing weekend long runs. This is where that suggested guideline of the long run being about 25-30% of your weekly mileage would be a good check on where you want to be, e.g. for a 50 mpw runner, a long run of 12-15 miles is fine. Bumping up the long run to 18-20 miles can wait until you've 4 months out from your marathon and already have a solid base from that. Even at 60 mpw a long run of 14-16 miles is fine for base building and maintenance.
4/13/19 - Whiskey Basin 33K
5/11/19 - D3 50K
9/21/19 - NC24
Consistency week over week is the key, and you would rarely need a cutback week because you wouldn't be making big increases like in a typical program, focusing on small mileage gains and more on mid-week medium and medium-long runs rather than increasing weekend long runs. This is where that suggested guideline of the long run being about 25-30% of your weekly mileage would be a good check on where you want to be, e.g. for a 50 mpw runner, a long run of 12-15 miles is fine. Bumping up the long run to 18-20 miles can wait until you've 4 months out from your marathon and already have a solid base from that. Even at 60 mpw a long run of 14-16 miles is fine for base building and maintenance.
I second this. If you can very slowly build mileage, with no big set backs (injuries or life getting in the way) and regularly run 2hrs (14-16mi) for your long run, getting to 20-22mi for a long run leading into a goal marathon *shouldn't* be too difficult and will give you the base to turn your long runs into marathon pace workouts, eg: 20mi with 2 x 3mi @ goal marathon pace at the end.
Not running for my health, but in spite of it.
I want to develop a really good base for a marathon in a year and a half from now. I've run several, but I'm tired of starting all over and going through all the build up in that short period of time. Basically, I want my body already to be capable of a marathon when I start my training next year and to be able to just concentrate on speed and making a goal time. ...
i second much of the advice so far, esp. ilanarama's.
But let me offer some precaution. One marathon cycle i did, i took a standard ramp-up plan (i think it was Hanson's) but started it 2 months early for very much the same reasons you sight. A 14 - 16 week plan became a 24 month plan. By the time the race came along, i was more worn out than i should have been. So, the take-away is that the marathon ramp-up phase should be of a duration which is achievable. It can't be the norm. So, don't over-do it leading into it.
As for a plan, this time around i used the Canova/Hudson plan that circulates around the internet. It is a little unique because, within the 16-week ramp-up, it emphasizes speed first followed by maintaining the speed endurance.
Good advice from Ilana and wcrunner. I’ll add a couple more things to think about. In your build up to the actual marathon training, keep it loose and fun. As long as you are consistent and building you will get better. You’ll drive yourself nuts if you try to analyze this to the nth degree. Keeping that kind of hype-focus for a year plus just leads to mental burnout.
Second, have a backup plan for your goal race. A year and half is a lot of time to invest in a single race, and then have it be hot or you have a cold or whatever. Some folks go so far as to register for two races in different parts of the country, or successive weekends and then pick the one that will have the best conditions.
If you are interested in the Lydiard style of running and training there is a great little User Group, just search for Lydiard Training
Thank you everyone for the responses!
So I'll probably do 10 as my long run this upcoming week with runs of 5/5/4/3 and that will put me at 27 and go from there.. One thing I learned is to slow down on my runs, and at my current pace I come out of those runs feeling fresh and ready for the next day. As opposed to the way I previously trained where I'd push myself hard allot, which made some weeks torture.
The reason I want to train two years for a marathon is I know I can do my goal time, but I need to be prepared by getting use to staying within my training program. Discipline. In my first attempt for a BC qualifier. I ran way too hard through my training and when the time to do it came I developed knee pain and fell apart at mile 16. Honestly, I thought I had to run faster to get faster. I was in great shape, I just always pushed myself in training. I ran at marathon pace or faster almost every day, and didn't ever do recovery runs. I had no clue
Anyways, thanks again. I just love to run and admire anyone that completes a marathon. It's not an easy thing to accomplish.
I would just add in that maybe you should consider doing a few half marathons in between now and then. That's what I do if I'm not training for a marathon in that season. It forces you to keep the mileage up there, but not so high that you will burn out.
5K: 17:51 (5/18) | 10K: 36:21 (9/18) | HM: 1:20:39 (5/17) | FM: 2:46:17 (11/18)
Next Race: NYC Half (3/17/19)
Goal Race: Boston (4/15/19)
Yes, thanks! There a bunch of half marathons in Chicago during the running season. I'll probably do one in the middle of summer and another in the early fall.