Before I can start training for the Boston Marathon (and training should begin next week!!!!), I needed to pick my training plan. I knew a few things already: As previously mentioned, I want to include long runs, and I want a plan that’s flexible enough to include cross-training and accommodate changes when I travel for work. I also knew I really liked the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan I used to train for the LA Marathon, but wanted to make sure I was doing some speedwork and hill training for the rolling Boston course.
Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge offers training plans to its runners at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels as part of our team membership. However, these plans give ranges on training distances. My workplace personality inventories always point out how much I love to rigidly follow a plan, so ranges would not do for me!
So, my solution is to make an unholy mating of the Higdon Novice 2 and the DFMC Intermediate plans.
I’m planning on the following:
- One long run per week, typically on Saturdays (with flexibility if I am traveling or the weather is really bad)
- Maximum mileage for a long run is 20; right now I am planning two 20-milers, two weeks apart
- Step-backs on the long runs every few weeks, per the Higdon plan
- One speed training day per the Dana-Farber plan, subbed for a mid-week run
- One designated cross-training day per week, probably spinning
- One or two yoga or weight-training sessions per week for strength and flexibility
- One rest day per week; yoga permitted, but no other cardio
- A glorious, luxurious, wonderful three-week taper before the big day
I’m still going to use Higdon as the backbone of my plan, since I have a nice app that lets me track each workout, but I will sub in the speedwork and slightly longer long runs from DFMC to make the plan more challenging. I’m also going to have to look for some alternate routes for myself for the shorter runs that incorporate more inclines (my favorite routes are pancake-flat). One thing I love is that both plans agree that there should be at least one if not two rest days per week. Recovery is good for the legs and the soul.
Training begins on the 15th. Send warm winter thoughts my way!