I’ve been asked a number of times recently about what my training plan is for the Chicago and NYC Marathons since they’re just three weeks apart. The short answer is that I am following a hybrid training plan.
My team is training for the NYC Marathon on November 2, 2014 and there are a handful of us also training for both Chicago (October 12, 2014) and NYC. I like the idea of running as many runs as possible with the team, as a result, I am following multiple training plans.
1. Athletes to End Alzheimer’s team NYC marathon training plan – I am pretty used to the structure of this plan as it prescribes roughly 5 days of running a week. Tuesdays are speed work sessions and then later in the season, we add tempo runs to Thursdays. Long runs are on weekends. Mondays are cross training days and Fridays are full rest days. There is recommended mileage for a beginner, intermediate, and experienced runner and the highest mileage tackled by someone on the experienced track is one week over 50 miles. For the most part, I am following this plan for Tuesday through Thursdays and for the long run days, I am adding a couple of extra miles to the experienced mileage. The team will run two 20-milers before race day (with the second on the weekend of the Chicago Marathon) and I will plan on at least two 20-milers as well before Chicago.
2. Hal Higdon Marathon 2 Advanced Training Plan – Hal and I did well together for the Long Branch half marathon this spring so it was easy to consult his training plans again for the marathons. In addition to cross training, I am building a larger base and as a result, I am running on Mondays and a longer run on the off day during the weekend. Instead of arbitrarily running miles, I wanted to roughly follow a plan to ensure I am not over training. The advanced 2 marathon training plan calls for easy runs on Mondays ranging from 3-5 miles, full rest days on Fridays (which I love!), and pace or easy runs on the non-long run weekend day. Last week was my highest mileage so far in training at over 35 miles, this is roughly 10 miles more than where I was at the same time last year.
3. Doing what I want and listening to my body training plan – Instead of trying to instill too much structure to training, I am following the “I do what want and hopefully listen to my body” plan as well. Since I am running 6 days a week with my hybrid plan, I don’t have dedicated cross training days. As a result, I have been doubling up on certain days to fit in barre classes. I find that it has worked best to run easy on Mondays followed by a barre class and/or take a class on a morning before work then run after work. I am fitting in around two barre classes a week still. This doesn’t leave me much time for other cross training like spin and hot yoga. I am also trying to pepper in some races as well into this schedule so I can complete my 9+1 for next year and add variety to the weekends. This past weekend, I raced the JFK Miles for Minds 5K in Edison, NJ where I set a new PR of 25:54 and placed 3rd in my age group! I am also signed up for a couple more NYRR races between now and September. I am really trying to listen my body (and not my brain) and not overdo it. For the easy run days, if I am not running with the team, I am trying to run on a treadmill so that way I am forced to go slower and the indoors/air conditioning really helps with the humidity and rain we’ve had this summer. If I know I need to miss a run, I am doing my best to reschedule the week to fit everything in. Last week, I had an event on Tuesday evening and missed the team’s Cat Hill repeats in Central Park, so I ran my hills on Wednesday in Hoboken and just swapped the days around.
4. Hal Higdon Multiple Marathons Training Plan – Part of the reason, I am running more on the weekends is to build the additional base mileage so I can hopefully bounce back faster from Chicago. In between the two marathons, I will plan to loosely follow the “four weeks between” plan even though there will only be three weeks in between. This will really depend on how I feel coming out of Chicago but hopefully I will be able to bounce back into easy running quickly.
Lastly, the other day at the local running store, I was asked which marathon I was looking forward to most and my answer was both, but for different reasons. I know that is a cop-out but it is really the truth. I am excited for Chicago because everyone says it’s supposed to be flat (ha, we’ll see), but really because I am planning on racing Chicago and aiming for a PR here. It will also be exciting to spend some time sightseeing in the city and running through some of the neighborhoods. I am excited for NYC because I am hoping to take it less seriously than I did last year. If all goes well in Chicago, I am looking forward to enjoying a long run through the boroughs and soaking in the atmosphere of the course. After all of this though, I am extremely excited for some rest!
Have you run back-to-back marathons?
Do you have any training strategies?
And what fall races are you looking forward to?