You guys. I had no idea so many of you runners dread weekend long runs as much as I do!
Fridays certainly produce a halo effect though, don’t they? I mean, even when you have to pull yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn to run 18 miles before work, it’s Friday––which is not only way better than Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but the Friday morning long run also has this ability to make Saturday and Sunday exponentially better too.
Several of you have asked me about my training plan so I put together this Weekend Lover’s Marathon Training Guide which incorporates my weekly workout agenda and long run mileage goals. I put this plan together for myself a few weeks ago essentially by modifying two different marathon training plans from two different running coaches.
Weekly Workout Agenda
My weekly workout agenda for the next 16 weeks incorporates 3 days of running with 2 days of cross-training and 2 days for rest and recovery. I intentionally omitted specific weekday mileage goals to make it more flexible. Personally, I’ve never really been able to sustain increases in both my short run and long run mileages without my legs burning out, so this time I’ll be letting my legs dictate the shorter runs, which will probably range anywhere from 3-5 hilly miles. As far as cross-training goes, I’ll be doing some full-body conditioning + agility classes at the gym in combination with power yoga and 2 strength workouts geared for runners that my darling friend Jacquelyn put together. I’ll be posting them both this coming week if you runners are interested! My active rest days will generally include 2 miles of casual walking (either while I’m commuting or strolling to the farmer’s market) in addition to some light stretching and foam rolling.
Weekly Long Run Mileage
Since this is my first marathon, I’m focusing purely on finishing the long runs which start at 8 miles and increase from there. After comparing a beginner and more intermediate training plan, I decided that incorporating speed work into a 19 mile run was probably too much, too soon––so this one is kind of a hybrid of the two. I’m hoping to stick to it fairly closely but if Week 15 rolls around and I feel like 12 miles the week before the marathon is too much, I won’t hesitate to dial it back a bit.
We’ll be doing the majority of our long runs on Friday mornings but during last week’s run, Erin and I decided to schedule our 2, 20+ milers for early on Saturday morning––purely because we won’t have the time to run, stretch and foam roll and get to work for 9AM.
That and we’re both a little afraid of not being able to keep our eyes open at work later that afternoon.
There you have it! If you missed it, check out these 5 simple breakfast foods to fuel an early morning workout. I’ll be having myself a slice or two of avocado toast before my 10 miler this coming Friday!
Runners, how’d you approached training for your first marathon? Was your plan more rigid or fairly flexible too?
P.S. I just wanted to remind you I’m a Registered Dietitian, not a personal trainer or running coach, and this is a training guide, not a personalized training plan. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen and run safe out there!