I used Shades training plan for my 2nd mara this year. I decided to use it after a disasterous first mara in 2009, where I went for a time goal, rather than aiming to just enjoy it and get round and there's the first bit of advice! I got injured 2.5 months into training for the 1st one with a hard schedule (for me), that was a bit too much running (for me).
I followed the intermediate level Shades plan for the 2nd one, and most weeks I did the optional extra run, so it was 4 runs per week. Following the plan, led me to a 20 minute PB, a fantastic 2nd mara experience where I literally ran every step, a really relaxed 5 months of training and I stayed uninjured too. Shades does allow cross training, but she says it depends on what cross training you do and I guess it depends on what session you did the day before etc. She also recommends racing once a month, but I don't like racing, so I didn't manage that-I raced a lot with the last schedule though. I'm taking a break from maras for a year, but I can't wait to train for my 3rd mara using Shades' plan of course :0) ....and see if I can get closer to 3:50 this time!! :0o Hmmm....
RE: circuit training....I managed to continue my usual circuit training 2 times per week (been doing it for 10 years, so I didn't want to give it up for 5 months) and also, I continued with my gym resistance/stretching programme 2 times per week (also a big factor in staying uninjured for me), but only for some of the mara training....then I had to listen to my body, and needed cut some of these cross training sessions for a couple of months, once the LSRs got above 16-18 miles.
I'm sure Shades will reply soon, she's great and she will calculate your training paces for all your different runs (tempo, mid week long runs, long runs etc) based on your previous (most recent are best) PBs.
Flossie, it was very unfortunate what happened at Edinburgh with the surprise hot weather/lack of water because it seemed like a good event otherwise. Like you said, Dublin's not too far away now, and I am *so* excited this time. Not dreading it like last time. I've got a green shirt with "I
heart (the symbol) Dublin" on it and also my name! :0)
I remember Shades mentioning the racing thing before. Trouble is that I'm inherently lazy when it come to racing :0o and I don't think I like racing that much! Everyone says I don't try hard enough at races (but I disagree)..and that I should be puking with the effort over the line! But why????
So I've not done too many races in the run up to this mara (I did for the last one). This time just one half at long run pace (too hot and a disaster), and then a 20 mile relay leg 2 weeks ago at long run pace which went well...fuelling/hydration spot on, I didn't walk once and a "where the hell did that come from" "sprint" finish. I was bloomin' amazed at my discipline to keep to long run pace (not get excitable and go too fast) and finished in 3:07-spot on training pace-and also at my mental execution of that run. Really needed that confidence booster at that point because it was flagging up till then. I was hoping to get more confidence by running the 22 in the same way, but alas, not to be. We do weekly interval work (800m-1 mile reps) though, it's always been part of my weekly training, so I chose not to stop it for the mara training. Hope that will count speed training as well!
Flossie, thank you. It is Dublin. I hope it is special. I just got so distressed at Edinburgh last year, seeing people collapsing in the heat, and seeing others rummaging in the bushes for dregs of water from discarded water bottles. It wasn't right that people had to do that. I felt quite helpless, wanting to fix it and it kinda marred my first marathon.
Thanks again for your invaluable advice, Shades. I also just wanted to say that your training plan is perfect. I love the stepdown long run weeks and the MWLRs are great. And it suits me better, and no injuries from training like last year. I was going to follow your plan for Edinburgh last year, but I got persuaded into following a plan targetting 3:45 and training 6 days/ week. Bad idea! Last year, I began to get injured 2.5 months into training which got steadily worse and I carried the injury through to race day! Not being a particulary natural runner, I'm just not suited to running 6 days per week, I think. Your plan has been soooooo very good, along with weekly strength training sessions this time! I haven't really noticed the jump in mileage that much. That's got to be good, eh? It's marvellous! :0)
If you have half mara version, I'd love a copy! :0)
Thanks for your advice, Running for Beer, it does help. I'm thinking I'm going to just have to bin the 22 now. Just a gut feeling that I should. Also, great to read some top race reports, it's getting me even *more* excited for Dubbers, plus the guinness and apple crumble/custard combo sounds like a "need to be replicated" idea!! :0) I just hope Dubbers is an "enjoyable" experience, after a such disappointing, first experience at Edinburgh last year. Even chasing my hoped for time is not such a biggie now. It'd be nice to get the time goal, but there's always other mara's to go for it.