It seems that every time I sign up for a marathon, I find myself wondering what training plan I should use. For the two that I’ve done so far, I’ve used the same training plan. The first time I used it, I chose it because it looked like a great plan for a new marathoner. And it was. The second time, it was because I sort of felt like I had hemmed and hawed a bit too much about starting an 18-week program (you know, I just didn’t manage to get started on my training that early), and because I felt like maybe I wasn’t in good enough shape to do the length of long run I had to do right off the bat. I was still pleased with my performance in the marathon, though. Clearly it’s a good plan. This time around, though, I really want to try something new, and mostly just for the experience of trying something new.
I always get a little bit silly when it comes to training plans. I’m very picky about them, and I always want something with high peak mileage and more than just one or two 18-20 mile runs. Of course the problem is, I never really put myself in a position to do a training plan like that. For the past three years, before beginning my training for Philadelphia, I’ve been in somewhat mediocre shape. I think I’m just bad at training during the summer. One of these years, though (like, next year), I’m going to set myself for a great training plan.
For now, I’m still sort of undecided about what I want to use as a plan, even though I’m 16 weeks away from the big event and, in my opinion, at a point where I need to start training. So I have. Unfortunately, the week hasn’t gone that well and I’ve a pretty small amount of time to myself. I’ve also been pretty sleep deprived. As a result, my first run of the week was today. That’s not the end of the world, though. This still gives me four quality run days for the week, and a chance to do better next week. But there’s still the issue of which plan I will use.
First, I tried the Runner’s World Smart Coach tool. This gave me a plan where I was running three times a week with peak mileage at around 30 miles a week. I know I’m not in the best shape right now, but I know I can push myself harder than that, and I’d like to. So I’m not crazy about that plan. Then I looked at this plan, which is like everything I’ve ever wanted from a training plan. But I think it’s sort of beyond my abilities, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure. So I looked at the beginner version, which just didn’t appeal to me. I think it had something to do with the mid-week 10-mile runs, which I just don’t have time for, and the jump from 32 miles one week to 39 the next, and the random switching from 4 runs a week to 3. I also looked at some Hal Higdon plans, because I always secretly dream of being in good enough shape to do the Intermediate-II plan. Or even above that. The main problem with those plans at this point is that they are 18-week plans, and like I said, I’m at week 16. And I’m more novice level than intermediate right now 😉 So honestly, what I might do is tweak the novice II program a little, and start with an 8- or 9-mile long run this weekend, and see if I can just go from there into the rest of the program. If I can’t, I still have the novice I program to fall back on. Or even the Rookie plan that has served me so well in the past. I know everyone reading this is just as intrigued and obsessed by training plans as I am, so I’ll keep you all posted.
In other news, here’s an update about the Danskin SheRox Triathlon (in Philadelphia, anyway): chips can be mailed back at no charge, and you can get a medal in the mail. Yay! No mention of discounted registration fees for next year, or anything like that. Sad face to that. I know I could just email and ask directly, but lately I feel like I’m having to be the squeaky wheel in nearly every aspect of my life and I’m kind of tired of it. So this is something I might just let go.
Also, New York smells *really* bad today (and it’s a variety of different stinky smells, not just one in particular), which is weird because it’s not even that hot today.