Richmond Marathon for a second year! We all (Matt, Mike and I) signed up 2 nights ago (6/30) to take advantage of the price before July 1st increase. It’s funny how soon you forget. Immediately after the marathon, I was flooded with emotions but was pretty sure I had no desire to ever run for 26.2 miles again. And here I am!
I’m really looking forward to my second marathon. Now I know what to expect. I know what I could have done differently last year and how I can do better this year.
So what training plan am I following? Last year, I sort of followed the Hal Higdon Beginner plan that called for 4 days of running per week. I missed quite a bit of training last July and August due to 2 calf strains and then really took it easy through September to allow my muscles to heal. My PT encouraged me to avoid running back-to-back days so I usually ran just 3 times per week (what I usually do anyway). I’d like the keep running 3 days a week to allow extra days for yoga , cross training and rest.
In a recent Runner’s World magazine, Mike read about the Asics free customizable training plans available online. First you select the distance you’d like to train for, from a 5K up to a marathon. You fill out some other information including the event date, goal time, current distance race time, age, gender. Then you are brought to a page with an Asics estimated finish time for you. You can then change the number of runs per week to 2-4 and the difficulty (mild, average, hard). The estimated finish time will update to reflect your changes.
And there you go. Your customized race training plan all laid out in a calendar for you with the runs on the correct calendar dates. In addition, pace ranges are listed for the different types of training runs – Jogs (slowest), Comfortable, Race pace, Build-up, and Fast. Very cool! I really like the variety in the Asiscs plan. It’s not just 3-4-3 mile weekly runs. The pace changes keep it interesting and are probably good for overall training.
So I chose a goal time of 3:45 and listed 1:45 as my half marathon time. Asics thinks I can finish the marathon in 3:43. We’ll see! I’ll be running 3 times a week at average difficulty and will also incorporate more cross training and yoga this time around.
I do wish there was a way to export your training plan to your Google or personal calendar or even an excel spreadsheet. I’m still trying to figure out a way to do that. Stay tuned.
Matt and Mike are also doing their own Asics training plans with 3:45 as the goal time. However, our plans are all slightly different since they are customized with to own stats. I learned last year, that a marathon plan is really just a guide. I stressed myself out trying to stay on schedule and was upset when I couldn’t hit the required distance due to injury. I added way too much drama to my life. This year I’m going to relax about the training plan, listen to my body and be more flexible.