Saturday, 12 January 2008

I finally ran again!

After nine days - I ran for the first time today. I ran a little over 4 miles. It felt good. The sun was shining, it was about 35 degrees when I started and close to 40 by the time I was done. It was great.

Last week I worked between 11 and 12 hours a day every single day. Most days I didn't even get to eat lunch. It was grueling and I am glad it is over.

It was so glorious to wake up this morning and know that I had time to run. And so I did. And I enjoyed it.

I think my problem is that I am aimless. I haven't decided what race I want to do, or what distance, or whether I want to do a triathlon, or a couple of half-marathons, or a marathon... And I have no training plan.

Here is what I decided this morning. I should start training for a marathon. If I get to the point where I can't increase my distance, I will know that half-marathon is my limit. But I don't know that now.

So I have a question for all of you running wizards: What training plan do you advise? I have a stack of books on how to train for a marathon, and it seems like they all contradict one another. What have you guys done?

Thanks - I appreciate your help - always!


Joe said...

They don't all contradict but each has it's own emphasis.

Here's what is common:
a. A long run on the weekends.
b. Do about the same miles in two or three runs during the week
c. Gently increase your mileage from week to week.
d. Give yourself a mileage cutback every 3 or 4 weeks.

That said, I'd suggest you don't overanalyze it; just pick one and go with it.

Hal Higdon or Jeff Galloway are both solid, in my opinion.

Michelle said...

I think Joe has some wonderful advice.

I am training for a HM in May, but I won't really start upping the mileage until after my first race of the year in early Feb. I am sure you can do a marathon!! Heck, Oprah did one several years ago! If she can do it, you CERTAINLY can!! :-)

Debbi said...

I use Runners' World's free SmartCoach program. Plug in a few numbers and it spits out a detailed program for up to 16 weeks, including target pace times. I print my schedule out and, like a kindergartner, stick a shiny star on each day's task after I've completed it.

Such a dork I am.

Jess said...

Consider picking a race that hosts both the half and the full; that way, if you change your min about the full, many races let you drop to the half.

Good job on the 4!

ws said...

I, too, have used Runner's World smart coach - in fact I used that for every race I ran in 2007. No stickers for me though, just lots of numbers all over the sheet - though I have no idea what I was calculating.

If you do decide that you want to train for a marathon with the option of changing your mind and switching to a half, the Non-Runner's Guide to Marathon training has a great plan with reasonable mileage that will get you to the finish line.

Hope you have some more free time for running this week.

Marathoner in Training said...

I am not a good person to ask, I did a lot of what Joe indicated. I would agree with Jess with picking a combo race and plan for the marathon and you have a safe fall back. I do know that this will be a decision for only you to decide, and WE will all support you all the way to the finish line and beyond.

Sue said...

I'm training for the London marathon in April and in reality I only have time for two runs mid-week and one long one at the weekend. To keep the incentive I have a race booked for each month of Jan, Feb and March each one increasing the distance to 15, 18 and 20 miles respectively. By the time March comes, I should have a fairly good idea of whether I shall be ready for the Marathon in April. I'm not sure three runs a week are enough but time will tell.....

Good luck with your training!

Karen said...

Hey Mary, I've not trained for a marathon before - so good luck for starters! Joe has some really good points - what I've read as well is not to increase mileage by more then 10% each week. I'm training based on time rather then miles as well which is working well for me at the mo.

Also, there's a lot of London Marathon plans out over here, Runner's World uk website has several. Take a look at this;

Good luck!

Wes said...


I used Jenny Hadfield's run/walk program at (Girls Gotta Move). It worked for me! Don't let anyone tell you you cannot do a marathon. Of course you can.


Marcy said...

YAY Mary!!! Glad to see you back running! I used the FIRST plan but I'm not sure you'd like it. It's kinda intense LOL.