London Marathon Training Plan

Brr, it’s been cold here.

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Sample Coach Jenny plan

When I was trying to put together a training plan for London, I looked at many options including the Hal Higdon one that I loosely followed in the fall for Chicago and NYC. After much consideration, I decided to follow Coach Jenny’s Advanced training plan.

The main deciding factors was that Coach Jenny’s plan incorporates a rest day on Sundays which allowed for me to have the flexibility to sleep in and not worry about an additional workout during a weekend day. Also, Coach Jenny calls for a cross-training day on Wednesdays which helps break up the week’s running. I’m about to start week 6 of the plan and so far so good except for the cold. I have chickened out of running outside more than 50% of the time in the last two weeks and that needs to change, especially after buying all that winter running gear!

Here is a rough breakdown of what my week looks like for training:

—Monday: 40-50 minute easy run + strength training – usually a barre class.

—Tuesday: speed workout – I ran my first workout with the Dashing Whippets (DWRT) two weeks ago and I’m hoping to run my speed sessions with them regularly on Tuesdays.

—Wednesday: cross-training + strength training – I usually go to a spin class this day and in the class, there is a short free weight session.

—Thursday: 40-50 minute (may increase the time in the upcoming weeks) tempo or progressive run – most of these have been on the treadmill recently, but I’m trying to incorporate a second speed day.

—Friday: 40-50 minute easy run – Fridays used to be my rest days, but I actually really enjoy running on Fridays. It gives me a way to decompress from the week.

Frozen post-Saturday long run and race

Frozen post-Saturday long run and race

—Saturday/Sunday: Long run day – I prefer Saturdays for a long run because then I don’t have it hanging over my head all weekend, but depending on what our plans are, I’ve been interchanging the days as needed. I have run most of these by myself but soon the distance will be too long to do by myself. I am trying to incorporate some races into the long runs as well (this weekend, I ran some miles before and after the Joe Kleinerman 10K and ran the race at marathon goal pace) and hopefully once our schedule settles down in the next week or two, I’d like to join the DWRT for their weekend long runs.

There many things I want to focus on for this training cycle including:

—Running in the mornings. It gets dark so fast and with the cold, by the time I get out of work, I usually prefer to just run on the treadmill.

—Remembering that it is okay to have some off days. I stress out too much about not following the training plan exactly and I need to stop doing that.

—Pushing my limits more. This will be one of the first marathons that I am not training with a team and with the winter, I am getting wimpier. I am hoping by running with the Dashing Whippets that I will push myself more.

—Incorporating more core and strength training. I don’t want my body to get used to a schedule and one day a week is not enough core work. I don’t count the 5-minutes we spend in spin class with free weights (too short in my opinion). I’d really like to add another day of barre work but I have a hard time fitting it into my schedule. In the meantime, I try to incorporate more core work after runs when I am on the treadmill. Now, if I can run in the mornings, that will free up more time to take another barre class after work too.

I’ve been recapping my training in the Believe Training Journal and it has really helped capture goals and reflect on what worked and didn’t for the week. I highly recommend getting one of these even if a lot of your information is electronic. There’s just something so cool about having a red running journal!

What kind of schedule works for you during marathon training?

Any advice that you’d like to share? I love hearing new ideas.

The Holiday Season

This was a busy blogging holiday season for me and the one thing I didn’t spend much time talking about was what made it such a great break.

You can't go wrong with Nutella hot chocolate

You can’t go wrong with Nutella hot chocolate

We booked a last-minute trip to Atlanta to visit Josh’s brother and to see his parents who were also coming into town. We arrived early morning on Christmas Eve and left the day after Christmas. While it was a very short trip, we enjoyed spending time with the family, celebrating a belated Chanukah with everyone, running in Piedmont Park, and eating a lot of great food.

Piedmont Park on Christmas morning

Piedmont Park on Christmas morning

The next day after Atlanta, we had tickets to go see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with my family. We were that group of adults without young children at the 9:00AM show! It was intentional, of course, to be able to see my friend, Amanda perform (she was incredible as always). After the show, Amanda brought us backstage and we saw the sets, costumes, changing rooms, and the highlight, the camels. I decided that it is no longer possible to see shows that you don’t know people in; I’m spoiled thanks to Amanda.

With Amanda and the camels

With Amanda and the camels

Later that day, we walked around a less hectic Rockefeller Center area and ate brunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Fig & Olive. I am so glad to have the chance to introduce my family to such a great dining experience and after 31 years, I think I might finally have succeeded at choosing a restaurant my mom enjoys. Even though it was busier after brunch, we did a little shopping. No trip to NYC with mom is complete without some new clothes! This was one of favorite purchases, now I just need to wear it somewhere fun and I am also so excited about my Christmas present from my parents – a new Links of London charm bracelet.

The Tree

The Tree

The next day, we made waffles for our good friends and their daughter at our apartment. It is such blast having little ones in the apartment and seeing how they react to different things each time they are here. Months ago, she was fascinated by my foam roller and now, she’s moved on to Piglet (definitely a girl who knows the way to my heart).

The bracelet looks better next to the Fuelband, huh?!?!

The bracelet looks better next to the Fuelband, huh?!?!

The rest of next week was spent relaxing and trying new things. Josh was battling a cold, so my week off wasn’t as lonely as he was home working and sick for most of the week. I went to my first Mile High Run Club class and ran my first speed workout with the Dashing Whippets Running Team. We spent New Year’s Eve making dinner and hanging out on the couch. I’m surprised we made it to midnight, though I did take a nap during the day. Friday was my first full day back at work, it felt like it was a Monday but I’m so glad it wasn’t. I’m not ready for a full week yet.

Silly family picture

Silly family picture

And finally yesterday, we hosted my dad’s side of the family for a get together at our place. We made appetizers, went out to dinner, and had dessert back here. It a great way to bring in the new year!

Now, I am prepping myself for the first full week back to work.

How did you spend your holidays?