This Runner's Trials

Try to Qualify for the Boston Marathon Training Plan

Posted by runnerstrials

In the past 36 hours I've successfuly done a longish run, lake swim and bike ride. I'd say I'm finally healed from surgery and ready to get back into training :) 

I finally have my 14 week training plan together for the Atlantic City Marathon on October 17.

I don't officially start training  until July 12.  I'm taking the next 2 weeks to build-up AND triathlon train. I almost forgot I have my first Olympic distance triathlon in fewer than 5 weeks- and one of those weeks I'll be in NJ without a bike or place to swim! Oops.

I chose the Atlantic City Marathon for one reason: it's flat. I've only "run" one marathon before, in January 2009. I didn't properly train and it was a horrible experience. I said I'd never do another one...

But something weird happened in the past year. I changed my mind. I blame it all on  Runner's World SmartCoach.

Last Fall I plugged my numbers into the SmartCoach system for a half marathon. My previous 1/2 PR had been a 1:50:25 on a very flat course. SmartCoach said I could run a 1:47 if I followed their plan.

Ha. I didn't think there was any way I could run a sub 1:50 half. But I decided to humor SmartCoach and follow my prescribed plan to a T for 12 weeks. I did speedwork. I hung out with the dreadmill a lot. I hiked a mile in 2 feet of snow to do a long run on the treadmill.

But guess what? I didn't run a 1:47 half.

I ran a 1:43:12 half on a hilly course and had the time of my life!

Then 3 weeks later I ran another half. In 1:45 and change, in the rain. A month later, I finally ran a 1:47 half... with walk breaks.

I started gaining confidence and thinking maybe I could run a full marathon again. So I consulted SmartCoach. Not only did SmartCoach say I could run a marathon, but it said I could run one pretty well, in my opinion. Below the time I'd need to qualify for the Boston Marathon- 3:40:59- which has always been a dream of mine.

I smelled a challenge with my favorite competitor: myself.

I have my doubts. In fact, I mostly have doubts! I know this is crazy ambitious. Especially since I'll also be triathlon training for a possible 1/2 Ironman in November. But SmartCoach has worked for me before, so why not give it a go? :)

Here's my training plan (it will open in a .pdf file). Based on SmartCoach and tweaked a bit by me to add swims and bike rides.

Some notes:

  • I often change the days of my workouts based on weather, work, etc. The goal is just to get in all the runs for that week.
  • I am such a slacker when it comes to strength training! Though I know how important it is. I'm going to try to get in one lifting session per week.
  • I don't always stick with my time goals- especially on long runs (speedwork being the exception). I figure, as long as I'm below them, I'm good.
  • I need to work in more "brick" workouts- a bike ride immediately followed by a run. So my training plan will be adjusted to add those when I feel like it :)

What's the craziest event  you've ever trained for? Did you meet your goal?

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