To keep my mileage and training sustainable, I purposely do not have rigid mileage plans for each day, but rather average goals for the week. This tactic makes training for a marathon and running high mileage not as daunting for this scared, little mid-distance runner. It also allows for less stress and sense of failure when life happens and I can’t get a particular run in on a particular day. Instead, I run a lot on days that I feel like running a lot, and on days where it’s just not happening, I give myself a little break. I have never consistently run more than 60 mile weeks, so one of my training objectives going into this marathon is to ease into 80 miles weeks for the month of March, safely and effectively.
January: 60-70 miles a week averaging 8-9 miles a day on non-long run days
February: 70-80 miles a week averaging 9-10 miles a day on non-long run days
March: 80-90 miles a week averaging 10-12 miles a day on non-long run days
April: Ease down to 40-50 miles week of marathon
The last week of each month is a “down” week, meaning I drop about 10-15% of my mileage for the week and my long run is on the shorter side. This allows for a little more rest before I jump up the mileage to the next stage the following week.
I aim for two workouts a week, the first usually falling on Tuesday evening at the track. A Sunday long run or race may push back my track workout to Wednesday allowing my body an extra day of oh so necessary recovery. These workouts are created by one of our coaches at Greater Boston Track Club and typically consist of intervals rounding out to 5-10 miles of 5K-Half Marathon effort. My second workout of the week is some combination of a tempo run and hills. Because of where the hills are situated on the Boston Marathon course, (miles 18-21), I figure I should get used to running hills tired. Instead of simply doing hill repeats after a 2-3 mile warm up, I go for a tempo run first, in the hopes that my hill runs are better mimicking running hills late in a marathon.
The most important part of my training. My methods are pretty simple.
- Do them every week
- Switch up the paces
- Allow for proper recovery
- Mimic race day prep
Mimicking race day is the toughest one for me. Getting in a 2-3 hour run every weekend is a big time commitment in itself, and the additional couple hours of getting up early to eat breakfast, digest, and prepare replenishments for the run itself, just doesn’t happen on a weekly basis for me. To be realistic, I’ve made a compromise with myself and my expectations and will make sure to treat each race I run leading up to Boston as a my race day prep dress rehearsal.
This one is plain and simple – if I need a day off, I take it. This may be once in a week, or once a month, but I always make sure to listen to my body and give it what it needs. I don’t know the last time I’ve taken a day off from running and also did not do anything else physical that day, like a yoga class, abs, weights, etc. I’ve found that when I do have days off scheduled, I take them when I don’t need them, and then end up running on a day I really could use a break. To me, that’s counterproductive.
See how I’m keeping up with my plan on my Strava Training Log