Custom-Fit Training

Last night I sat down on the couch, after a full evening of designing wedding albums, and pulled out all the papers, pencils, white-out (yep!) and red pens! Like Liza said on Twitter, it is like back-to-school time for runners!!!! Customizing the upcoming training plan!

See, somehow I decided to throw a 20 mile race into the first month of my spring marathon training. What that means is that I’m reaching a 20-mile peak at least a month early, and need to make sure that the rest of my training doesn’t result in over-training with too much time on my legs.

Having run one whole marathon in my life, I’m certainly no pro at this! But I do feel like I know myself and my mind & legs extremely well at this point. Even in my first-ever marathon (a 4:08 time), I combined a bit of Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 program with the not-novice-at-all Hanson’s Method for speed work. I don’t follow recipes well. 

This time I printed out some of the later Higdon plans – mostly Intermediate ones – and I’m juggling the concepts of speed-work and heart-rate training (heart rate first, speed-work later).

The Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler takes place on February 14th, and the Vermont City Marathon is on May 24th. Factors considered:

  • I’m already trained to 13-16 miles, but need some chance to rest my legs right now.
  • Marathon training would have begun around January 15th
  • 20-miler training would begin around now
  • We’re disappearing to a remote island for a week after the 20-miler, for our 10-year wedding anniversary! Perfect timing!
  • I’m ultimately not running either race for a time goal, though I know I’m capable of a 4-hour marathon.

I’m giving myself two weeks to chill, with an official training schedule to begin on December 15th.

One last weird-o thing that hits me with customizing my own plan is that weekends are the absolute worst for me to do long runs! It’s literally the exact opposite for everyone I know, but I work from home, for myself, five days a week. On weekends I like to devote time to R&R with loved ones. OR, most of the year I’m photographing a 10-hour wedding day every Saturday! But my training plan this winter hits a couple of perfect races on the weekends, such as a half and the 20-miler, so I will go with it for the time being.

Does anyone else have this problem, and adapt to a different day of the week for long miles? Honestly, I wish I could run my longest on Wednesdays! Have you customized your own training plans, and want to share your successes or failures? I’d love to hear more!

One Comment on “Custom-Fit Training

  1. You are amazing! I can’t even imagine what goes into training… I still haven’t run a 5K yet…but I hope to! 2015 is the year. You are my inspiration!

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