Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 1

Hoping my time will be closer to the left one
than the right one! (Fargo Marathon)
If you're following along, here is the first week of training according to the 4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon book.  The paces below are specifically for the 4-hour goal.  If anyone would like the paces for 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, or 5:00, I can start posting them alongside my plan if you let me know.

I am also posting on DailyMile, but everything (and more!) will be posted here as well.  This "Marathon Training" series is an experiment for me both in fitness and in blogging, as I am going to go into more detail than in previous training cycles, documented HERE and HERE.


This might not look like much to you, but keep in mind that this is Week 1 of 16.  I typically train in 18-week cycles, so I'm curious to see how this "shorter" one goes.  I am grateful that it starts off this way, and if you notice, some of the days are really flexible in terms of activities. 

The problem for me will be that I normally do more, sometimes MUCH more, than "cross train 20-30 minutes" on any given day, but I will try to stick to the schedule as prescribed as much as possible to prevent injury (by training too hard in vain hopes of "getting faster").  The "good" me will probably supplement with strength training, core work, or yoga, but if the "bad" me takes over, I will throw in elliptical, biking, Jacob's ladder, etc.  But NOT mileage. 

I will also sneak in a little complaint about running 7 miles at 10:40-11:10 per mile.  If you're looking at those numbers, you might be wondering that that kind of pace will yield a 4-hour marathon.  Me of little faith, but I gotta have some trust sometimes, right?  However, I don't naturally run at that pace; I am not even sure what my "natural" pace is at the moment, but I estimate it to be about 9:00-9:30/mi for mid-distance runs and fair conditions.  So this is where I'll be putting my foot down and planning to stick around 10:00-10:15 pace, and slower when conditions (my bodily/stomach state, summer weather, etc.) are not good.  This will help me finish the run in some reasonable amount of time!

I will do a weekly summary of how the previous week's training went, but for now, here it is!

Week of July 18 (Week 1)
Monday - jog  40 minutes (my interpretation: run easy, don't worry about distance)
Tuesday - cross-train 30 minutes
Wednesday - 6 x 400 m (.25 mi), 2:05-2:15 pace (about 7.2-7.4 mph)
Thursday - jog 30 minutes or rest
Friday - cross-train 20-30 minutes
Saturday - 7 mi 10:40-11:20 pace (about 5.2-5.5 mph)

***If I fail to post next week's schedule early enough, just know that Monday and Tuesday are the same as the above for the first three weeks.***
What do you think of this schedule so far?  Anyone going to try at least some of it?  Do you think this will get me to my goal?

To be continued...


  1. I have no clue, but I think running at that pace for 7 miles would be difficult for me. It would feel uncomfortably slow, even with hills and heat. Okay, if it was both of those, I might slow down that much. Can you walk some of that?

    I have no clue whether it will get you to your goal. I'm only on my second round of marathon training and still unsure what goal I'll go for. I think I'm shooting for 4:15 or lower. T

  2. You really should try to stick to the prescribed pace. The purpose is to build your aerobic capacity, and to do that you should be running somewhere around 65% of you max heart rate. To go faster actually might be doing more harm than good.

    Believe me - training faster than prescribed is *not* how you become faster on race day. Long and slow is the way to go.