Sunday, June 10, 2012

Let the fun begin

Monday ... the start of training for a small race called the Columbus Marathon.

And by Monday, I mean the six days ago Monday.

It's a little fact I realized on Thursday when I realized the big star next to June 18 on my calendar to indicate the beginning of training was based on an 18-week plan and the schedules I had most recently considered were 20 weeks.

No biggie. Just my first marathon. It's sort of like missing homeroom on the first day of school.

Much of Thursday was spent in a panic trying to decide on an actual training plan as opposed to the passive web browsing I had done a couple weeks ago.

The options:
  • Hal Higdon Novice 2. I have used Hal Higdon plans in the past, and I have found them to be sufficient in getting me across the finish line. I liked the Novice 2 plan because it started out with an 8-mile long run and did include 1 20-miler. However, I was a bit taken aback by just how much you go up and down with long runs. This plan is 18 weeks, which is nice because it would mean I wasn't late starting it.
  • "Train Like a Mother." Finish It. I've had the "Train Like a Mother" book on my desk for ages (it was sent to the newspaper) and I keep meaning to put it in the charity sale pile. I picked it up and flipped through it, and I was drawn to the plans higher mileage and variety of workouts. This plan is 20 weeks and does assume a base fitness, making it a poor choice for beginners. It also has long runs on Saturdays, which really throws me off as I'd have to rearrange the plan to accommodate BODYPUMP and Sunday long runs.
  • Runner's World. You have to pay for those found online. Eff no. I did briefly consider grabbing my back issues but that's time consuming, and I am lucky if I get through one before the new one arrives.
  • Marathon Rookie. I liked that this plan has just four days of running, my sweet spot, but it's only 16 weeks and there are no cut back weeks. I'm thinking I might like those.
  • Marathon Training Schedule II. A Daily Mile pal suggested this 18-week plan but I think it's a bit too advanced for me. It relies on a buildup schedule, and there's a 20-miler in week 8. Yikes!
  • Cool Running. I found this beginner plan to be quite interesting. It starts off with relatively low mileage but the long runs ramp up to include four 20+ mile runs, including a 26-miler. I always feel better at the half distance knowing I've ran 12 or 13 miles so the heavy mileage was something to consider.
And, the winner is ... drum roll please ...

"Train Like a Mother" (#TLAM from here on out). The plan is one that is going to challenge me. In fact, I felt my stomach drop as I made my own spreadsheet to tweak the long runs and make it fridge friendly. However, I think the mileage buildup is manageable and there are easy runs that will be good for a break.

I am curious how BODYPUMP will fit into all of this. None of the beginning marathon plans really address strength training though #TLAM does have cross training and fun workouts included. I think there are just going to be days where I do both and if I get my body used to it, I should be fine.

Physically, that is.

Note: I don't want to post the training schedule as it's in a book that people pay for. However, I could designate a day where I update you on training. Marathon Monday sounds nice ... anyway, is this something y'all would be interested in. Let me know in the comments.


  1. You most definitely didn't ask my opinion, but would it be worth having Eric A @ 3RR review it and share his insight? C & I talked to him last year about mapping out "our" (Ha - not me) training plan to help C get to her Jan Marathon. He could fit in Pump and was a big fan of having a longer run every 3 weeks rather than 2 weeks in a row with a cutback week every 3rd week like most half plans.
    I know you'll be awesome and do great!!! Don't overdo it though - take it from me - something stupid can lead to a world of pain and happen in a blink of an eye.
    Congrats girl on taking this step toward achieving a HUGE goal! I'm so proud of you!!!

  2. I admire your time commitment to train. One reason I would never run a marathon is the amount of time the long runs take. Great for you!

  3. As one of the co-authors of #TLAM, I really think you'll be psyched you picked it (and thanks for doing so!). Seriously, people have been really happy with the results and the variety and (relative) flexibility of the plans. Good luck with your marathon: let us know how it goes! Dimity

  4. Yay for marathon training! You are going to do great and I can't wait to follow along. I am building my base for the NYC Marathon in November and haven't yet decided on my training program.

  5. I'll be coaching the Columbus Marathon with Team in Training. I'll be sure to cheer you on if I see you. :)

  6. awesome!! best of luck with the marathon training. i'm so excited for you ;)

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  8. I'm trying out the Hal Higdon Novice 1... my first week is July 8... probably could've sprung for the Novice 2 but what can I say - I'm scared!

    I'll be interested to follow along with you - it's my first marathon too!

    Good luck as you start out!

  9. I would love to hear about how the training is going. I'm considering my first marathon Spring next year. So I would love to hear about your journey.

    Good luck! You're gonna do great I'm sure.