Training Schedules

When, what, how?

17 messages
09/12/2002 at 11:41
So now Ive got a place I suppose I had better think about training. So from those experienced runners, which is the best schedule to follow (Im aiming for 4:00 to 4:30)? And when should I start? Ive been running regularily for a while now, managing about 20 miles per week.
09/12/2002 at 11:43
Personally I'm following the beginners schedule (starts today) from www.halhigdon.com - might be worth checking out the intermediate ones for yourself?

Rgds

Ade
09/12/2002 at 11:55
The Hal Higdon training programme is excellent. I've used it for two marathons now at the novice level. There are also intermediate and advanced levels. If you sign up at the website you'll get daily emails encouraging you.

Warning: The 18 week training programme for London starts tomorrow, so go and take a look now, and see if it's right for you.

I met Hal a few times when I was doing the Chicago marathon in October. If you want to read about it, you'll find a report at www.runningcommentary.co.uk

Other well-known programmes are the Jeff Galloway one and the Runners World one. I can't speak from experience but I'm sure others here can. There will be plenty of other training schedules available if you search the web but remember that the 18 week ones start this week for London.

Andy
09/12/2002 at 11:57
I have been running for about 4 months now form worse than beginer to 6.5 miles in 70 mins. The only problem i see with these schedlules is that all the runs during thr week are short 4-6 miles and the longer ons at the weekend.

If i want to increase my distance i will feel like running more that the recomened 5 miles, and also won't feel like i am not improving. I am doing about 6.5 miles 3x a week at present but will be increasing it to about 7/8 miles in the next few weeks. What do people think??

Also am I on the right track to be able to do the marathon, as i have a place.
09/12/2002 at 12:18
Sara

Well done on the good progress - that's better than I managed when I started.

The training programmes are designed to prepare you for a particular event at a particular level. Believe me, they work. If you regards yourself as a novice, then you risk overtraining injuries and burn-out if you increase too much this long before the race.

The idea is that you should start low and work your way up, till you're reaching your peak mileage about 3 weeks before the event, when you tail off again. It's all a personal thing of course. If you feel that you should be starting off at 6, 7, 8 miles for your midweek runs, then maybe you're a more advanced runner than you think. There would be nothing wrong with these distances if you were gunning for a fast time.

Remember that rest and careful preparation are the key things. You're aiming for a particular event on a particular date, and it should be approached methodically. It's well worth reading the theory behind these schedules, as there will always be some rationale for taking a particular approach. As I said, if you're certain that you should be starting on 6-8 miles for your short runs, then maybe you just need to be doing the intermediate or advanced programmes rather than the novice schedules.

But otherwise, the important gauge of progress is the long run at the weekend. The midweek runs are designed to be training runs, building up stamina and speed and fitness.

Do you have a target time yet for the race?

Andy
09/12/2002 at 13:04
Ive had a look at the Hal Higdon training program and it looks quite good, a bit less scary / complex than the runners world one. But does anyone know what time you could acheive by doing the novice as opposed to the intermediate 1 schedule? At the moment I cross train on Sundays so the novice would fit in well.
09/12/2002 at 13:09
Can anyone help me? I am aiming to run my first FLM in 2003 in 4 hours, and am running the Adidas Breakfast 16 Mile Run in Kingston on 23 March. This is 3 weeks before the marathon. I've read that it's good to run a couple of 20 milers - should I run one of these about half way between Kingston and FLM or should I be tapering my training in those last 3 weeks, and do the 20 milers before the Kingston 16?
I am running 25 miles a week and doing a long 10-11 mile run on a sunday.
09/12/2002 at 13:12
Boot,

According to Hal himself, it's not your speed that classifies you as beginner/intermediate etc, it's your experience.

In other words, you could be a very fast first time marathon runner, but still follow the beginner schedule. Or a slow, experienced runner could feasibly follow the intermediate or even advanced.

Unfortunately I come into the slow, inexperienced category - so it's definitely beginner schedule for me!
09/12/2002 at 13:23
James

Not from experience but from looking at the training schedules it looks like you should be tapering after your long 20 mile run 4 weeks before the marathon.

As suggested by Adrian and RunningComentary go to www.halhigdon.com for the schedules.
09/12/2002 at 14:06
Boot - The 20 miler is 3 weeks before the race, not 4.

If it's your first marathon and you're not an experienced runner, then your primary goal is to finish the race. Your secondary goal may be to hit a particular time, but this is optional, as it's hard to know what that might be if you've not run the distance before. Why put extra pressure on?

The idea of the Hal Higdon novice schedule is to build up your stamina gradually so that you cope with the distance both physically and mentally. The actual speed you run / time you finish is up to you. As you do the training you'll begin to get a good idea of what you might run but really, it's way too early to be worrying about this now. Best thing is to get onto a training programme and follow it rigorously, reading around the subject if you want extra info. If you need particular advice you can sign up at the Hal Higdon forums and ask his advice directly. I'm sure other training programmes will offer a similar service.

Andy
09/12/2002 at 14:10
James - You could either run your 20 miler the week before the 16 miler, though this would be a longish taper, or you could run 4 miles just before you start the 16 miler, thus making it up to 20.

I ran the Worthing 20 miler which just happened to be 3 weeks before London, so it fitted in nicely.

Andy
09/12/2002 at 14:29
Thanks for ur reply Andy, I really like the amount of support that peeps on this forum give u.

Well to tell u the truth I haven't really got a time yet, although I do hope to do it in under 5 1/2 hrs (slow I know) as it is my first marathon. As long as I finish!!

I think I will carry on training am I am up to the new year to see how many miles I am up to by then and then in Jan, start on one of the schedules, do u think this is ok? also i heard that u should be able to run 15 miles at least 3 weeks b4 the marathon otherwise u should forget it. hwat is ur view on this people.

sara
09/12/2002 at 14:29
Thanks for ur reply Andy, I really like the amount of support that peeps on this forum give u.

Well to tell u the truth I haven't really got a time yet, although I do hope to do it in under 5 1/2 hrs (slow I know) as it is my first marathon. As long as I finish!!

I think I will carry on training am I am up to the new year to see how many miles I am up to by then and then in Jan, start on one of the schedules, do u think this is ok? also i heard that u should be able to run 15 miles at least 3 weeks b4 the marathon otherwise u should forget it. What is ur view on this people.

sara
09/12/2002 at 14:30
oops, sent it twice, silly me!!! :$
09/12/2002 at 15:10
Sara

Don't worry about time if this is your first marathon. Just aim to get round in your normal weekend long run pace.

15 miles isn't long enough for 3 weeks before the race. The normal wisdom is 20 miles for novices, and probably more for more experienced runners.

I don't want to nag, but you really should be reading some good marathon training books, or searching the web for solid advice. The marathon is a campaign, and you need a plan. There's no great harm in training as you are up to the new year, though remember the old rule that you shouldn't increase your mileage by more than 10% a week. You want to aim for steady increases. The new year will leave you only about 14 weeks to the race, and most training schedules are 16 or 18 weeks. Of course, you can just pick them up from 2 or 4 weeks in, but you might feel more in control of the whole thing if you start at the beginning.

If you're doing 6-8 miles for your short runs this far out from the race, you've nothing to be scared of. You sound like you'll be fine, but beware of overtraining. Make sure you're resting at least 2 days a week, perhaps 3.

Andy
09/12/2002 at 15:25
You say for 'your short runs' all my runs are the same distance at the moment!! every time i go out which is mon, tues, thurs and some sundays I do the same run, there is no long and short runs. Am i doing it wrong??

p.s - I am going to get some books etc, as i know there is a lot still to learn.
09/12/2002 at 16:09
I'm no expert Sara, having been running only a year or so, but the standard format for novice marathon training is to do 3 relatively short runs in midweek, and a long run at the weekend, with a fifth, optional, 'cross-training' day when you do something else, even if that's just a good walk or a visit to the gym.

The programme I followed started at Week 1 with 3 runs of 3 miles each and a 6 mile run at the weekend, and graduated to runs of 5,10, 5 and 20 in Week 15, after which the taper began. Every 2nd or 3rd week between the 1st and 15th week was a 'stepback' week when the long run would be shorter than the previous one. So the long runs went in a sequence of: 6,7,5...9,10,7... 12,13,10... 15,16,12... 18,14,20... 12,8,26

Go to this link, and read a bit about it!

http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00novice.htm

Andy


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