All my previous training while going to school really drilled one thing into my head…. MILES, MILES, MILES! But that was training for 5K or shorter distance races. I think the shorter the distance the HARDER it is to run. That’s sounds backwards doesn’t it? When competing it’s all about speed. Shorter distances require you to run at a very quick pace for the entire duration. Even at 3 miles. If you’re running a half-marathon or marathon your goal is more about endurance. Just finishing a race that is 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles is quite an accomplishment which is my goal at this point. My training needs to reflect that.

With that being said, I’m completely changing the direction of my marathon training. I have 10 months until the Marine Corps Marathon. To make sure I accumulate mileage slowly and therefore avoiding injuries, my training will no longer be how many miles and in what time, but running for a certain amount of time. My philosophy is that if I can run for four hours straight, I can definitely finish a marathon.

A few years ago I decided to go on a run and just decided to keep going. Very Forrest Gump-ish. I didn’t know how many miles I had gone until I got on good old Mapquest and figured it out. I had run 13 miles on a whim. My usual runs were only 3-5 miles. I was incredibly surprised that I could add that much mileage without slowly adding it on over time. Even more of a surprise was my time. I ran it in 1:45:13. Not too shabby. One thing I learned from that run is that my lower back hurt long before my legs or lungs did. Actually my legs and lungs felt great the whole time, but my lower back started aching. I think the purchase of a Roman Chair is in my near future. These are the exercise benches used for back extensions. Great for stabilizing your core. I really need to concentrate on cross training with high intensity/high impact workouts to stave off muscle fatigue during the long runs.

This is my plan of action. I’m sure it will need tweaking at some point. The average run time for the Marine Corps Marathon is 4:41. Oprah ran it in 4:35 (I’m sure she had her own personal training helping her run it in a respectable time.) My goal is to run it under 4 hours. If get back into the shape that I was in when I ran 13 miles I should run the marathon in 3:39. I think that’s best case scenario. Like I said, this being my first try at running a marathon, I’ll be ecstatic just to cross that finish line! This is my plan:

Starting April 15th!

  • Week 1* Run 30 minutes 3 days. Run 45 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 2* Run 30 minutes 2 days. Run 45 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 3* Run 45 minutes 3 days. Run 60 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 4* Run 45 minutes 4 days. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
  • Week 5* Run 60 minutes 3 days. Run 75 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 6* Run 60 minutes 2 days. Run 75 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 7* Run 75 minutes 3 days. Run 90 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 8* Run 75 minutes 4 days. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
  • Week 9* Run 90 minutes 3 days. Run 105 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 10* Run 90 minutes 2 days. Run 105 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 11* Run 105 minutes 3 days. Run 120 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 12* Run 105 minutes 4 days. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
  • Week 13* Run 120 minutes 3 days. Run 135 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 14* Run 120 minutes 2 days. Run 135 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 15* Run 135 minutes 3 days. Run 150 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 16* Run 135 minutes 4 days. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
  • Week 17* Run 150 minutes 3 days. Run 165 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 18* Run 150 minutes 2 days. Run 165 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 19* Run 165 minutes 3 days. Run 180 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 20* Run 165 minutes 4 days. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
  • Week 21* Run 180 minutes 3 days. Run 195 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 22* Run 180 minutes 2 days. Run 195 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 23* Run 195 minutes 3 days. Run 210 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 24* Run 195 minutes 4 days. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
  • Week 25* Run 210 minutes 3 days. Run 225 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day.
  • Week 26* Run 210 minutes 2 days. Run 225 minutes 2 days. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage legs 1 day.
  • Week 27* Run 225 minutes 3 days. Run 240 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 1 day and engage arms and shoulders 1 day.
  • Week 28* Run 225 minutes 2 days. Run Marathon 1 day. Weightlifting to engage core 2 days.
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