Saturday, August 4, 2007

My New York City Marathon Training Program

Marathon training in the beginning didn't require much thought on my part. Back in the summer of 2005, figuring out the right training program meant nothing more than logging into the NYCM website, printing out the "Beginning marathoner" schedule and taping it on my closet door. And although I ran a decent time in that first one (3:26:28) despite significant cramping in both legs in the latter miles, I felt I needed a more regimented program to help me improve my time.

The next year, in 2006, when training began for Hartford, I used the Runner's World Smart Coach to design an appropriately individualized training program. But although the program was in place, training last year was limited to 13 weeks because of summer vacation plans. Nevertheless, I felt confident heading into the race because I was able to complete most of the long runs that I had planned for myself. Unfortunately, the wall hit me hard again at mile 22 in the marathon, and I finished with 3:11:16 to miss my BQ time by less than 20 seconds!

So this year, having 2 years of marathon experience, I decided to take the plunge and design my own training regimen. It is a combination of Smart Coach, Higdin and Pfizinger programs individually tailored to my specifications according to recent race times and my marathon goal. It has me running approximately 33-40 miles per week, with three 20-milers, two 18-milers and a couple of half-marathon races to practice pacing and strategy. I hope it will be enough to make up the seconds and take me to Boston.

Currently, I am in my third week of marathon training, 13 weeks before race day. I’ll give a weekly update each weekend after the long run session (usually Sundays) to let you all know how the training is going, so stay tuned.

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