Marathon Training Plan

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m seeking to qualify for the 2012 Boston Marathon.  It is a goal I’ve been pursuing for many years and although I’ve come somewhat close to achieving a qualifying time, all the pieces have never come together to have that breakthrough performance.  I missed a BQ time at Houston last month by about 2 minutes.  My next attempt at a BQ will be at the Nagano Marathon in April and barring any unforeseen injury or lousy weather, I feel my chances will be  good.  I’ll need to finish in at least 3 hours and 20 minutes, but given the new rolling admissions changes for the 2012 marathon, I would probably need to run at least 3 hours and 15 minutes to have any chance of actually being able to register and run the race.  Click here if you would like to see the new Boston Marathon Qualifying standards.

Over the years, I’ve used various training plans, but have settled on the FIRST training program (http://www.furman.edu/first/fmtp.htm).  Basically, the program focuses on three quality runs (interval, tempo, and long run) a week with two cross-training days.  The running mileage isn’t significant, probably about 30 to 40 miles a week and allows plenty of time for recovery.  By following the training philosophy, I’ve found that I could run less and still improve my times.  On the cross-training days, I usually do strength training and low impact aerobic activity.  Recently, I’ve changed that up a bit and have started doing KettleWorX (will discuss on a future post) and yoga/stretching in between run days.  I also plan to add one more very easy run day during the week.

To summarize, below is an outline of my weekly training as I attempt to run a sub-3:15 marathon in April.  All my runs and exercises below are in the early morning before I head off to work – usually before 5:00 am during the weekdays.  I’ll be posting my runs from my Garmin GPS watch on this site every week.

Monday – KettleWorX (20 minutes), Yoga (20 minutes)

Tuesday – Interval Run (~ 1 hour)

Wednesday – KettleWorX (26 minutes), Yoga (20 minutes)

Thursday – Tempo Run (6 – 11 miles)

Friday – KettleWorX (26 minutes), Yoga (20 minutes)

Saturday – Body Resistance Training (e.g., push-ups, pull-ups, crunches – 15 minutes), Easy Run (4 – 6 miles)

Sunday – Long Run (13 – 20 miles)

As you’ll notice, there are no rest days scheduled.  But on occasion, depending upon what my body is telling me, I will take a rest day when needed.  In addition to the above training, I try to walk for about 30 – 40 minutes after dinner as well as do some relaxation yoga or stretching for about 10 to 20 minutes before I go to bed.

Sleep and nutrition also play a major role in my marathon training, but I will save that for another post.

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About runninginspired

I’m in my mid-40s and have been running for about 19 years. I have finished 24 marathons with a personal best time of 3:04. I currently reside in San Diego, CA. I enjoy running since it keeps you honest and will give back what you put into it. Work hard, but smart, and good results will eventually follow. I like to experiment with training plans, gadgets, shoes, and nutrition to find what works for me. The primary purpose of this blog is to document my training and thoughts about running in my ongoing quest to improve my fitness and health.
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