Ever since I finished my 9+1 last November and received my guaranteed entry to the New York City Marathon for this year, I’ve had people asking me how I was going to approach my training. It’s no secret that I’ve never followed a training plan before. I’m not particularly fond of doing things just because someone else is telling me to (“because I said so” is probably my least favorite response to “why”?) and even though I considered trying to stick to something for my first half, when I was able to do it after figuring it out for myself I simply carried on that way. Yet the marathon is different. To successfully cross the finish line I need to get advice from those who have been there before and use a training plan so that I stay on track. I think I’ve now settled on my first marathon training plan, but getting there was definitely a process.
I claimed my guaranteed entry in March, but my focus then was on the upcoming New York City Half Marathon and other things going on for the spring. I had eight months to go. I knew I wanted to stretch out my training over 5 or 6 months rather than the typical 4 so I could increase mileage slowly and avoid injury, but felt like I had plenty of time to settle on a plan. Of course, the time since then has flown by, it’s almost May, and I hadn’t really done my research.
So I started with Google. I had heard good things from a multiple-marathoner neighbor about the Hal Higdon plans, and they seem great for a basic cookie-cutter approach. But reading plan after plan and being unable to tell which kind was right for someone in my particular situation made me wonder if there was something better out there. Then I stumbled upon Laura’s blog for the first time. Somehow, in my year and a few months of blogging, while I’ve discovered lots of amazing bloggers and blends I’d never come across hers. Reading about her marathon training and nutrition tips made me think that a plan developed by her could suit me well. I was inspired and assured by posts like this one on being ready to run your first marathon, and others about fueling on runs (something I’m pretty concerned about). I saw that Laura offered coaching services, and while I had not up to this point considered hiring a coach, decided to make an inquiry.
As it happens, Laura was about to launch a virtual coaching program for runners training for Fall 2016 marathons. The timing couldn’t have been better. The program will be tailored to suit each runner even at the basic level, which was important to me. And the cost for the program is very reasonable. Since cost was the main reason I’d never considered a coach (in person coaching is not something I could spend on at this point in my life, with running a very recreational love of mine) I was excited to see the options out there. I’ve been following Meredith’s training with Laura and thought the type of plan and feedback was just right. I decided to sign up.
I won’t be starting until June, as I’ve decided to stretch training over the 5 months from June through October. I think that should give me enough time to build slowly like I wanted to, while also giving me a little break in May that I didn’t know I’d need until now. I’m not injured, but I am coming off a month-long period of a 10K sandwiched between two half marathons, so a few weeks to run easy and not worry about what I’m doing is on the agenda. After that I’m looking forward to embarking on my first marathon training plan! (Probably only. But it sounds better this way 🙂 )
Do you tend to use training plans or just run according to how you feel?
Any marathon training tips for me?
What kind of training progress would you want to see shared on the blog?
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