If you had a year to prepare?

Welcome! Forums Running Forum If you had a year to prepare?

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • Author
    • #5076

      If you had a year to prepare for a marathon, how would you do it? I am asking because like jtpaten, I am beginning to think about my next big race, and it will probably be next year around this time.

      im thinking that Ill take the summer and really just work on getting my mileage up. I guess my question is really this, should I build my mileage up to what will likely be my peak mileage during my actual marathon training? If Im just loggin miles, I think I should hit 70mpw by late Aug or Sept. This was my plan, to get up around 70 for a few weeks, then come back down to 55 or whatever Pfitz has you start at.

      What do you think?


    • #20349

      Well, I’m sure there are a million different ideas on what one could do but here’s my initial thought on it.

      I’d probably do some base building in the summer. Maybe around the August/September timeframe, throw in a short and low key racing season. I’d do a few workouts to gear up for racing but not take too much of my focus off of the base. By late September, I’d probably pack it in for at least a couple of weeks to regroup before the serious push. About 6 months out (early October?) I’d begin with the base training. About 3 months out, give or take, I’d roll into my usual race preparation routine.

      Just a note about using the Pfitz plan. If you are going to use one of his plans, the only thing I would say is don’t build yourself up to a higher level than it starts at then throw your training in reverse in the early parts of the plan. This would defeat the purpose. Pfitz has you starting where he does because he doesn’t expect you to be at a higher level when you first start his plan. This is because almost nobody does what you’re talking about doing. Take advantage of what you’re doing. If you’re starting ahead of the game, stay ahead of the game. Pad the mileage on some of your runs and/or add a run or two in so you don’t have to take two steps back at the beginning of the Pfitz plan.

    • #20350

      Good question. I don’t undestand the “if” part. I began a “marathon mentoring” program at the college I work and regularly find myself telling people to think a year in advance. Now some of these people have a few “issues” but the same would apply to any runner, including myself. When I returned to serious training in ’90 I mapped out a one [1] year schedule to go for my 1st BQ in ’91. I had an even longer build up for the ’07 race but was returning from an injury so I had to factor that in. I worked on my half time for 3 years and only when I achieved a time that projected to a BQ did I look into a schedule. That was October, ’04. Then I trained through the Winter [slowly building up my base] and began the Pfitz 18/70 schedule in June. I BQ’d 5 months later. I understand the appeal but I see way too many people jumping into the distance permaturely. Sure, they’ll finish but in what condition? Will they actually enjoy it or hate themselves for doing it? And forget about realizing their potential. That takes consistency in training, patience and focus.

      So, “if” I only had one year to prepare… I’d do what I’ve done. Except I’d run more miles but that’s dependant on what my body can tolerate. Each year for the past 5 years I’ve gradually increased my base. Following a schedule is one thing, listening to your body is another.

    • #20351

      I’d get in the habit of running most days with a schedule like this:

      M = 4

      T = 9

      W = 12

      R = 9

      F = 4

      S = 10

      S = 2-3 hours

      Then I would race when I wanted to. I would try and get faster in the summer by incorportating intervals on Tuesday and a 5k tempo on Thursday. If I was racing on Saturday, I would skip the Thursday tempo.

      Occasionally I’d do a hard 10-15 miler on Saturday and run easy for an hour on Sunday. The change up is good. I’d taper three weeks out and have a good race come marathon day.

      Run hard and run easy. Take a day off when needed. If really tired on hard days don’t worry about running a little slower. The key for me is the long run days. Get to the point you don’t even hesitate to do a 20 miler. You can’t compromise the long runs, this is were the rubber meets the road.

    • #20352

      Good advice from all. Im was kind of thinking of something that combines a lot of the elements that you guys mentioned. Obviously getting the miles in, but also sprinking in some shorter races throughout the summer, about four I think. Then about a month before the marathon training begins in earnest, I have a local club XC season I can jump into for a couple of races just to see where I am.

      Ryan, I never really thought about padding the miles in the early weeks to be consistent with my training to that opint, I may try that, and Double, Im almost to the point now where I could reel of a 20 miler on Sundays, my Sunday schedule for the last 8 weeks or so has been something like 15, 16, 18, 15, repeat. Since I hevent been doing much of anything fast Ive been trying to go long as often as I can, most of my runs are around 10. Ive been getting in 50-60mpw on 4 or 5 days, so Icant wait to work up to 6-7 days. Thanks again for the advice,


    • #20353

      Forgot to log in, that was me. Ryan, nice job on the new security features, that should keep a lot of the spam out!

    • #20354

      I would go live with my sister in New Zealand from January 4th to April 21st (take advantage of Souther Hemisphere's Summer months).  She lives in a hilly area in the middle of no where; so no big city distractions, plenty of hard terrain to run.  From April 22nd to November would be somewhere in Unites States that is away form the big city and has a lot of trails and backroads that are nice for running.  It has to be hilly or even mountanous terrain; sostates like Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma would be out of the question.  Maybe somewhere like Wetern Maryland, Northern two-thirds of wisconsin, Parts of michingan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Northern California, etc.  Maybe even farther south for months of April, october and November.

        I would slowly build up to 125 miles a week in 30 week period.  then hold the 125 miles per week for 16 weeks.  then i would taper down till race week.  i would slo try to plyometric circuits three days a week, sit-ups and push-ups everyday, swim twice a week, bike three time a week, and maybe even some weight lifting.  I would obviosuly slowly build up to all these extra excersises.  I would also hire a massage therapist, athletic trainer, chef, and ice every day. 

      Of course, this all depends on two variables:  no job, and residual income.  But hey, that's my goal; to actually be able to do this.  With in three years I want to do it.



Viewing 6 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.