“Building a plan requires you to be mindful and forward thinking in order to succeed.”
Your Initial Base
I run about 3-4 times a week when I am not working up to a race event. Starting next week, I will be training for the first of three awesome events: Vancouver Eastside 10k, Granville Island Turkey Trot, and the Fall Classic, all races are held in my hometown of Vancouver BC. Then, after a short period of down time, I will start five months of training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, the longest of the RunVan series!
Reaching For The Sky
Training for anything over 10k requires something extra. For my first half marathon, I learned quickly that I had to take my road time a lot more serious, especially when adapting to LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs.
The BMO Vancouver Marathon will be my first full marathon event. I am applying the training habits I learned for the half, and simply increasing my efforts. LSD runs must now reach around 30k (omg!), and the number of training days per week will be increased. But rest assured, I am not creating my training plan on my own.
Motivation From John Stanton
At the 2015 BMO Vancouver Marathon expo, I met John Stanton, author of, “Running: The Complete Guide to Building Your Running Program“. What a nice guy! John is the creator of The Running Room, a running athletics store found throughout Canada with some store in the United States. He advised me to consider the marathon training plans found in his book. So, guess what? I did!
John has complete training plans for the 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon distances. Each plan is 13 weeks. In any give week, he recommends a combination of steady runs, LSD, hills, and tempo training. It also includes days off! Whoot!
Taking John’s Advice
I took the recommendations by John and put them into my Polar Flow calendar as training targets. I changed it up a bit to fit my own needs, but stuck to about 80% of his plan. I also added some yoga sessions and cross training at the gym. Yoga and gym time help break up the weekly grind of the countless road hours it takes to be prepared for any running event.
There are many resources through books, iPhone apps, and websites that lay out very good marathon training plans. I like to gather information from multiple sources and create my own path. Maybe that is a big bold, but hey…that’s just me!
The only mistake you can make is to not consider the mounds of resources available to you by people that have already conquered the 42.2 klicks. I suggest building a pile of resources to thumb through.
Get The Book
Following is a link to get John’s book at discount. It was a major stepping off point for me, both for motivation, and sound advice to building a solid training strategy. I highly recommend it.
Also consider enrolling in a Running Room Race Clinic. Several of my friends have used their group oriented sessions to boost their performance. They have clinics for all levels of runners, and races you are preparing for.