The Competitive Runner
Home > Marathon Training Plan Monday, February 08 , 2016 - 15:53

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A Boston Marathon Training Plan
Marathon Training Philosophy

First a word of caution. This training plan was designed for one person by that same person: me. It may or may not be appropriate for anybody else. Hell, it might not even be appropriate for me. The plan and subsequent results are here as a public experiment. It is not a training schedule put forth with a recommendation that anybody use it. Take from it what you will, but understand that everybody is different and you or your coach are responsible for determining if this plan, or any part of it, is appropriate for you.

Joe Friel, Jack Daniels, and Running
There are a number of training philosophies that are built into this plan. Most importantly, the underlying foundation for this plan is from Joe Friel's book, The Triathlete's Training Bible. Yes, this is a tri book and not a running book, but Joe Friel's philosophy on training makes a lot of sense to me. I suggest all endurance athletes read his book. The philosophies and training schedules are easily translated into other sports. Much of the nomenclature used in this training schedule should be evident to experienced athletes, but if not I suggest you read Joe Friel's book. The individual workouts come from Jack Daniels' book, Daniels' Running Formula. If you have not read this book, you should.

Rest Weeks
I am a habitual overtrainer. There, I said it. The training plans suggested in The Triathlete's Training Bible build in rest weeks every forth week. Most marathon training plans include few if any rest or recovery weeks. To help my aging body recover from difficult workouts and difficult weeks, I will schedule a recovery week every third week. The Daniels' Running Formula, is unfortunately short on recovery weeks.

Marathon Pace Runs
I hope to run a lot of miles at marathon pace or MP. The bulk of these miles come in four MP runs as in Jack Daniel's marathon training plan, but others will come at the end of long runs when my legs and enthusiasm will allow.

What about Pete Pfitzinger?
Yes. I have also pulled some workouts and the timing from Pfitzinger's book Advanced Marathoning. This is another book no serious runner should be without.

Cross Training and Walking
You will see a lot more cross training and walking than suggested by other training plans. The objective here is to allow for a more substantial aerobic base while saving my legs from some of the abuse of running. Joe Friel says there is no such thing as a recovery run. Many runners will disagree with that, but I believe that recovery runs can be replaced with recovery cross training with little impact on performance. The percentage of cross training will diminish as I approach the Boston Marathon, however. Most of my cross training will be done on a bike trainer and rowing machine, although I will also try to get in a few miles of walking each week.

With other pressing demands, it is easy to not get enough sleep. That has certainly been my history. My goal is get 8+ hours of sleep a night. Even this is light, but in the past I have frequently run on 6. Six is not nearly enough for the amount of running I do. With more sleep, perhaps I get fewer injuries.

This is an obvious one. Better nutrition means better health, which in turn means better training. For me that means staying away from refined sugar, and instead eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I intend to get more protein than I have in the past, although I will still follow a high carb diet.


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