Marathon Training Plan

Do I HAVE to stick to one?

15 messages
06/03/2013 at 14:27

ok, so im going to be controversial.  im training for a marathon and my race plan is simply to eat better and gradually increase my miles each week (increasing my long run on a sunday morning by 1 mile each week) and thats it, im fit and healthy at the moment and touch wood injury free.  Whenever i read these forums people stick to a very strict plan, running a certain amount on a certain day, eating certain foods. Im not bothered about my time, im running for charity and just want to get around in one piece.  I suppose my question is am I on a one track road to failure or can this actually work?

06/03/2013 at 15:15

Nope it works! Just keep doing what your doing and mainly just listen to your body.

Use your body as your training plan, plans are too stict and get you hurt!

Hmm maybe im also being controversial? Then again I run in sandals so I was never going to be "normal" to begin with!!

06/03/2013 at 15:31

Why NOT use a plan?  You don't have to stick to it rigidly, but it will guide you.

Are you planning to just keep increasing your long run my a mile a week up to 26 miles?


cougie    pirate
06/03/2013 at 15:37
I doubt many people stick to a very strict plan. Its going to be a small percentage.

You need to adapt any plan to suit yourself. The better you train, the better the race experience is.

Training plans will help you on your way if you listen to the learnings of the years, apply them to your life and listen to your body.
06/03/2013 at 15:39

no upto 20-22 miles, and to be honest, i work 60+ hours a week and have a nagging girlfriend, I have to hit the gym/go our pounding the pavements wherever I can, my routes do vary, hills etc and I have done 4 10k races and have a half marathon in 2 weeks so im feeling fit and upto the challenge so i just guessed im doing ok as I am so why try to change it if you know what I mean?

06/03/2013 at 15:41

Not controversial at all.

I'm running a marathon and I want to achieve the best possible result from the finite amount of time I can train.  I'm following a plan devised by respected coaches that makes sure I make the most of each session that I run, and benefit from their wealth of experience.  This plan did involve purchasing a book but was still cheaper than a pair of my running socks - others follow plans available freely on the internet.

My diet is, in my opinion, better than the UK average but not specifically tailored to marathon training.  I've read a few articles on "super" foods etc, but I just try to eat a varied diet and get my 5 fruit/veg a day.

Your plan may or may not work for you - but it doesn't sound like it will give you the maximum benefit from your training, so you probably wont achieve the best result from the effort that you put into it.  

I'm a bit puzzled why you wouldn't want to take advantage of the readily available expert knowledge that can help you become a better runner?  But its your choice ...

06/03/2013 at 15:45

I followed a plan strictly for my first few marathons but after that I just winged it - however there is winging it and there is winging it. When I didn't know what I was doing, I like the safety net of using someone elses hard won knowledge. Why not benefit from their mistakes rather than replicating them yourself.


My 'no-plan' still involved me writing out the progression of Long Run mileages on the appropriate sundays on my calendar so that I could see that I had enough time to fit everything in that I wanted to do.  i.e. a gradual progression up to 20 and then 4 or 5 of those with back off weeks every now and again.

cougie    pirate
06/03/2013 at 16:21
What paces are you running for these runs Tom ?
06/03/2013 at 16:35

I run approx 8 minute miles, depending on how hard i push myself

06/03/2013 at 16:47
I like to use a plan as it keeps me motivated. When I haven't used one I ended up just doing a 7- 8 mile run at 8mm 4 times a week and then a longer run at the weekend. I wasn't getting anywhere as there was no variation. My plan is flexible but it makes sure I do the difficult sessions as well as the easy ones. I also like to log my mileage as I have experienced injuries in the past where I have upped this too fast.
cougie    pirate
06/03/2013 at 16:58
You see Tom - what you shouldn't do is run all of your runs at one pace. That's why training plans can help you.

8 min miles for the long run will be too fast for most people - unless you're aiming for three hours or so ?
06/03/2013 at 17:01

Tom, whats your 10k and HM PB?

PS Apologies, re-read my original post and it sounded a bit pompous - I was just trying to explain that there's a wealth of information out there that can help you, but its up to you whether you heed it.


06/03/2013 at 17:15

my 10k is 42.03 and ive got my first HM next weekend, no its fine all input is welcome, im just worry im not doing enough but i probably am.  i suppose my aim is to just get fit enough to actually do a marathon if i finish in 3 hours or 6 hours doesnt really matter too much

06/03/2013 at 17:56
I don't have a plan
When I do run, I want to get the most out of the session
I am bothered about my finishing time.
I run a business and have to be flexible about fitting in my running.

You are not being controversial, you are just questioning if you are doing the right thing with your approach. I do as well s o, with this in mind, I have studied a lot of plans, read lots of books, and have a reasonably clear idea on approriate sessions to get in to run a marathon. I don't chase down mileage targets, I just aim to make the training appropriate and specific.

If my goal was truly to just get round, then I would seek out one or two plans, study them to see the typical progression in mileage, and the type of sessions included, and just bear it in mind when getting the opportunity to get some running in. I've not tried a 'get round' target so can't advise. But, on the day, when you are on the start line, try not to rethink the target time - that could be the road to failure! So be strict with yourself on the target
Edited: 06/03/2013 at 17:58
06/03/2013 at 18:04
cougie wrote (see)
I doubt many people stick to a very strict plan. Its going to be a small percentage.

You need to adapt any plan to suit yourself. The better you train, the better the race experience is.

Training plans will help you on your way if you listen to the learnings of the years, apply them to your life and listen to your body.

And rid yourself of the nagging girlfriend.

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