How many of you are running a fall marathon? If you haven’t started training yet, now is the time to map out your training plan!
If you’ve been building a strong base throughout the summer months, a sixteen to eighteen week training plan is ideal. Yes, you can get by with a shorter training cycle, but who wants to “just get by“?
When I qualified for the Boston Marathon last June, I had the longest training cycle of my life. It wasn’t on purpose, but in retrospect it was one of the best things that could have happened. I never felt more prepared both physically and mentally than I did when I reached the starting line of the 2013 Rock’n’Roll San Diego Marathon (read my race recap here).
The biggest challenge of the longer training cycle was staying focused and not burning out. However, I was able to overcome both of those things by having a laser-like focus on my goal and by making sure my training included activities besides running.
Aren’t convinced you want to take on a longer training cycle this summer? Here’s a list of reasons why you should consider it.
- Make-up sessions: A long training schedule allows you to miss or mess-up one or two workouts without negatively affecting the outcome of your race and gives you time to fit in a missed run elsewhere on your training schedule.
- More scheduled recovery weeks: The body needs to rest to reap the benefits of your hard work, while the mind needs a break from the rigors of training.
- Not every weekend is filled with long runs: When you have the extra weeks to build endurance, you can spend time on the weekend doing mid-distance runs at goal pace or longer tempo runs – instead of 20-milers every weekend.
- Peace of Mind: A longer training cycle will help you get to the start line feeling prepared. You’ll never have to ask yourself the question: “Did I do enough?”