Thursday, August 16, 2012

My training plan for CIM Marathon 2012

I did it! I finally bit the bullet and signed up for CAL International Marathon a few days before the registration fees were to increase. I'm happy to say that it's a done deal and I'm going for broke!

First day of Training for CIM. See my $2.99 soccer socks?
Beats having to pay $40 for running compression socks and it works!

So for the past few weeks I've been trying to decide on which marathon training plan to use for CIM.
As you may already know, there's a plethora out there. My personal experience with Hal Higdon's program has given me great success in New York. To be fair, I should give it another whirl, but there are so many aspects of other training plans I've read that I decided to come up with my own cornucopia of workouts. I know-I know, it seems scary, making up my own. Why reinvent the wheel when it's already been proven and tested, right? Honestly, there is not one single perfect plan out there.  ALL of the training plan works. It's just a matter of buying into it and believing. I am confident that my hodge-podge of a plan is going to work. I already feel a huge difference 3 weeks into it. I'll share you a list of what I love about my plan.  First, I want to give credit to the fine coaches who came up with these marvelous plans who are the inspiration behind my training plan among them are Hal Higdon, Greg McMillan, Runner's World. I know there's a few more that I'm forgetting.

Gosh where to begin?

I chose 18 weeks for my plan. I had 6 weeks to build my base. I didn't carry a huge volume, but what sets it apart from my previous training cycle is that I incorporated cross training throughout the week. Yoga (for flexibility), Pilates (for core), and power (for strength) are embedded early in the week while quality workouts closes the week.

The meat of the program is the long run, of course. I have decided that the most I will go is 18 miles or 3 hours, whichever comes first. I have about five of these babies lined up and three 16-milers. I'll explain my reasoning behind scrapping 20-mile runs on another post. It's a long one, no pun intended.

Tempo, pace, hill, and speed development workouts are interspersed throughout the week.

I have four scheduled tune-up races during the 18-week period: 1-miler (week 3), 5K (week 5), 10K (week 9) and 1/2 marathon (week 11). It works out that they are all spaced out nicely so that recovery won't be a bear.  I'm most excited about the fact that the 1/2 marathon is 7 weeks out from the marathon. That will give me plenty of time to recover, especially if I decide to go all out and see what this new training will allow me to do, barring any injury of course.

I've borrowed from 'Runner's World Break 4-Hour' plan the mile time trials done every month to chart my progress. This will prove invaluable in determining and adjusting my goal pace as the time progresses.

Because I consider yoga a 'light' day, or an active recovery day, I gave myself one full rest day every 14 days. On this special day, I don't do a single form of exercise.  Woo Hoo!

The most important part of this training is the cross-training combined with the lower volume of running (26-43). I still get the good quality workouts from all the short runs. There are truly no junk miles. Each quality run has a definite purpose and goal for each day.  The long runs are my favorite as I have each one planned with a different finish each time (fast finish, super fast finish,  steady state, long slow distance, Dusa or Discovery USA--I'll explain at a later post). These type of long runs keeps it exciting. I can't wait.

The theme this training cycle is treating the body with a different stimulus each time, building strength and stamina for those last crucial miles and at the same time teaching the body to use fat as fuel. I know, we've all heard that before. But what does that really mean?  Ah, yes, you have to tune in for that...

I'm well into my third week of training and all is well. I'll give a short summary of what I've done on weeks 1 to 3 on the next post. Until then..keep running happy.

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