2nd May – Belfast Marathon – Badbark - Sub 3 21st May - White Peak - Gul Darr - 320 - 3.30 21st May - White Peak - Poacher - stay honest. 29th May - Comrades - BI - sub-9 29th May – Newry Marathon – Badbark – Sub 3 30th May - London 10000 - under 40' 11th June – Portumna 100k Ultra – Badbark – Sub 9 hours as my ‘A’ goal. Finish with any time as my ‘B’ Goal - (My only DNF 2 years ago after 85k) 18th June - Race the Wall 100K - Lorenzo - no real idea, but I've told people at work that I'm aiming for under 12 hours so I'll stick that in. 19th June - City of London Mile - PMJ - sub 6. 25th June – Victoria Park Belfast, 12 hour race – Badbark – Run till I drop 24th July - Outlaw - thread smackdown - Slokey Joe and Moof 25th September– Berlin Marathon - G-Dawg - Sub-3.10...why not!? 25th September– Berlin Marathon - MsE - TBC 23rd October - Abingdon Marathon - Lorenzo - sub 3:05 23rd October - Abingdon Marathon - LB70 - 3:09:59 23rd Oct - Abingdon - Jason T 3.14.59
LB70 - I think that the sequence of long runs in the FIRST plan over the 16 week experienced marathoner schedule are the best of any plan. They gradually build up the speed and include 5x20 and 2x18. VTr's points about building up your aerobic engine by slowing down your other runs are important too. I've only fully come to appreciate that since returning from injury. The marathon is mainly aerobic, so plenty of training that develops that system should help convert your good short run times to a speedy marathon.
LB70 - I have used FIRST training plan, with some success, but also with some reservations. If you're going to use it, you need to get the book, as the plan on Runner's World web is rubbish. There's also an excellent app, which gives you all your training paces. You need to be prepared to cross train and I reckon that cycling is the best, as you can go long and build up your aerobic capacity. The plan is very, very specific with its pacing. The runs all have easy warm ups and cool downs, but the main session target pace is always challenging - so you have to be up for it. I've run about 10 marathons using the plan with times between 3:05 and 3:14. I like cycling and running, so it was a good plan for me. However, there are no easy or general aerobic runs. All the running workouts are hard. It is a low running mileage plan (even if you add a couple of other easy runs), so you need to do a ton of cross training, or you will perish in the last 10k of a marathon. You actually end up putting more training time in than a running only marathon plan. I'm not sure it's a brilliant plan for an old codger like me and think that my horrible hip injury of the last 2 years was caused by too much very fast running in the FIRST plan. I've a spare copy of the book, which you can have.