marathon training commences

Marathon training season has begun! I’m entering week two of my training plan, Hal Higdon’s intermediate 2. I used his novice training plan for my first marathon, and I feel like I can amp up the mileage this go-round. Last year my goal was to finish (and not cardiac arrest). This year I have a more specific goal in mind…  to finish in under 4 hours. Last year’s time was 04:20:17 so I’m looking to shed twenty minutes off, which sounds like a lot to me. But hey, we can do anything we set our minds to, right? We’ll see. Here is the plan:

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 10.34.46 PMI cheated last week, and I ran on the cross-training day. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at cross-training. Running is my jam. I just can’t get into the elliptical or other machines. But it’s important for me to find an activity that I enjoy, or at least tolerate, besides running. I’m planning on trying swimming soon. Our apartment building has a lap pool so I really have no excuse. Anybody have other suggestions?

I’ll be tweaking the plan just a little bit. I’m changing up the pace runs and making them tempo runs. Is that a bad idea? I feel like I have to do speedwork to improve my time. I’ll probably do fartleks during some of the mid-week runs. Hal Higdon incorporates speedwork into the advanced training plans but I’m definitely no advanced runner. I’ll just do a little bit of speed on my own terms and call it good.

The things I like about this specific training program are: Three 20-mile runs and only one rest day per week. Also known as, I’m going to work my butt off.

I saw the coolest infographic on HungryRunnerGirl’s blog the other day. It shows the changes that occur in the body with endurance training from this website. Very neat and motivating. I think my favorite adaptation is angiogenesis. It’s so cool that the body just builds more capillaries that link onto each other without spilling blood… The body is fascinating.


In addition to the running plan, I’m going to follow a more healthy eating plan during the training weeks. Last year, I didn’t really pay attention to what I ate. We eat pretty healthily on a daily basis but I can do better. Specifically, I have to focus on getting more protein. I am always on a quest to get more protein. I have used the My Fitness Pal ap in the past to track macronutrients and I may use it again to ensure I’m getting enough of the good stuff. If I don’t put a conscious effort into eating protein, I could soak up carbs all day long. That does not a healthy diet make.

I’m excited that training season has started! It’s always fun to be working toward a specific goal. Who else is in training mode? Anyone out there doing the Chicago marathon? What training plan do you use? Happy Tuesday. Make today a good one!

xo, lw


9 thoughts on “marathon training commences

  1. Again, I admire your dedication to all it takes to prepare for a marathon. I’ll be cheering you on through your ‘journey.’ You go girl!

  2. That’s a strong plan! Definitely look into either doing intervals, strength runs, hill work, or farleks. I seem to have a knack for straining my calf doing intervals womp! love the infographic!
    I’m doing the Hanson plan. One thing that I bought into is that your long run shouldn’t be more than 25% of your weekly miles, so that would be the main thing I’d be cautious about with that plan.

    I am trying to find some healthy running diet too! Let me know if you find a guide you like.
    I’ll be training for the Chicago Marathon too! Goal is to get 3-3:05. Hopefully this little injury doesn’t hurt my chances. But I’ll be content with a sub 3:15

    • Yeah, Higdon has the long runs be almost 50% of the total mileage! But I thought that was one of the things he specifically suggested to do… I’m really only doing one of his plans because it worked well for me last year.
      I’ll keep you updated on the healthy running diet! Same to you- let the blogger friends know if you find one!
      Sub 3:15 – wow! You speedy. =)

  3. “Running is your JAM!” love it. This is the same plan I will use. I will start mine on Sunday! EEEEK. I am really excited though and need to make sure I stick to the plan. I enjoy cross training and get on my bike or swim often.
    I’m reading a book right now about nutrients and training your body for endurance sports. I really want to make sure I don’t bonk during this race which I’ve had a trouble of doing in the past. Marathons are no joke and training is so important. Can’t wait to see your progress!

    • Yay we’re doing the same plan!!
      Is your marathon on the 20th?
      Give me tips from your book girl. What’s the name of it?
      I can’t wait to follow your progress, too! I’m thinking I’ll do a weekly post probably on Mondays.

      • Yes, that sounds perfect. We should call it our Running week in Review. The book I am reading is an old one and kind of ironic due to recent event in the cycling world, but it is still so good. It’s called Food for Fitness: Eat Right to Train Right. Some things are a little outdated, but you can pick out some good tips and tools.

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