Sunday, December 7, 2008
2 FIRST Marathon Training Program
Earlier this week, I started the FIRST marathon training program for first-time marathoners. If you'd like to see an outline of this program, please visit this link.
The thing I like about the program is that it's centered around 3 key workouts per work, which is very close to what I currently do. Of course, the main differences will be that (1) the mileage will increase exponentially (at a rate of no more than 10% over the previous week) over the span of an 18 week period, going from my current weekly mileage of 22-30 miles/week to around 40-45 miles/week, & (2) speedwork will be incorporated into my training on a regular basis, which will be a much-needed change (!). Also, I will probably end up tossing in a 4th workout every so often, but other than an additional workout or two, I will pretty much stay true to the training program.
The training program will take me to about April. You might notice that there's no marathon scheduled for April, although there are some 10-milers & a half marathon. That is not a mistake or a misprint; it's 100% intentional. The half marathons I run in April & May should be excellent indicators of my marathon finishing time, & should also put me on track for the challenges that lie ahead.
After I finish the FIRST marathon training program in April, I intend to do another 20 week training program to take me (in)to November. Hopefully, by that time, I'll be more than prepared to run a decent first marathon. (After all, while it is possible to overtrain, still, you can never be too prepared! And yes, there is a major distinction between the two!)
While one of my goals for the first marathon is certainly to finish, at the same time I also want to finish with a "respectable" time. ;-) Now, I realize that this concept is relative & can mean different things to different people. When I use this term, it's meant solely in relation to my own abilities, & is not meant to be a comparison to or with others. ;-)
Since I'm not currently part of the "competitive class" of runners (nor am I very likely to ever be, even if I were to shave 3 minutes off my current pace! -- and I'm fairly OK with that), I am not running races to win them, or even to place in the top 3 or 4 finishers. Now maybe if I really work at it, I have a crack at finishing in the top third of my age group, but I'm not expecting miracles. At least not without an incredible amount of hard work to back them up! 8-)
Instead, I realize that I'm ultimately racing against myself: The object is to work on beating my existing PRs, and not to measure myself against others' yardsticks. (Well, atleast I try very hard to do this, at any rate! ;-) ) When I use the term "respectable," the connotation (i.e., intended meaning) should be interpreted as "what is reasonably possible for me to achieve." For me, that means a time of under 5 hrs., preferably somewhere in the realm of 4-4.5 hours!