Now that I’ve got Boston on the brain I’ve been rethinking my training strategy. I’m still a fan of Jeff Galloway (he’ll always have a place in my heart given he got me to Medoc), but I question whether the run/walk program will get me to Boston. It’s a fabulous program for one’s first marathon: the “to finish” plan requires only 3 days/week of training with relatively low mileage (although he does recommend running the full 26.2 miles before the race). And because you’re interspersing walk breaks with your running, you recover much quicker (and reduce the risk of injury).
But something tells me Boston will require much, much more.
After perusing the Runner’s World discussion boards on marathon training I picked up a copy of Pete Pfitzinger’s “Advanced Marathoning.” As the name implies, it’s definitely more hardcore than Galloway. They offer several training options: 12-, 18- and 24-week plans with 55, 70 and 70+ miles per week (not every week includes that mileage, rather, you work up to it). However, they do recommend a hardy base — you should be running at least 25 miles/week within the past month and should have comfortably completed a run close in length to the long run called for the first week.
I won’t be following this plan for Disney, but will start the 18-week, 55-mile plan once I’ve recovered (I’ll be giving myself three weeks) for the North Olympic Discovery Marathon in June (where I hope to BQ). The first week calls for 32 miles with a 12-mile long run; while I knew it would be an increase in mileage, I hadn’t realized how much.
I had been reading Runner Gal Leana‘s post on breaking 100 miles for the month of November (way to go!), which prompted me to figure out how much I’ve run per month. I was shocked to see the results: even during my marathon training, not only did I never break 100, I only broke the 80-mile mark one month! My average monthly total has around the 75-mile mark. Part of it has to do with sickness and injury, but most of it has to do with laziness. While I’d be diligent about getting my long runs in, I was pretty lackadaisical about the midweek runs. Obviously I was still able to finish the marathon, but again, if I’m to run in 4 hours, 59 seconds, I’ve got to step it up.
At first I chose a very optimistic goal for the month of December: 150 miles. But considering my hip/hamstring issues, I should be more realistic (most training plans don’t recommend increasing your mileage by more than 10% each week). So I’ve revised my goal: the bare minimum is 100 miles, the “Way to Go Betsy!” target is 125 miles, and the “Wonky Body Mechanics Be Gone!” target is 150 miles.
I’m happy to say I’m off to a good start: 22 miles for the month! (Although I hope to not have to do a lot of it, I’m including treadmill running. With the nasty weather we’ve had over the past couple of days, I decided to do my 4-mile run this morning indoors). But I’ll be outside — rain or shine — for Nancy’s 8 on the 8th!