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938 miles is all that stands between me and a 2:45 marathon in the spring at the Carmel Marathon.

Coming off of the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon last week I found myself with some extra time on my hands as I have entered a self imposed rest/recharge period that will take me through Thanksgiving and the end of November.

It is not that I necessarily feel fatigued or worn out but following a pretty intense 12 month cycle of various training plans for Miami 70.3, Mercedes Marathon, Boston Marathon, Indy Mini, having a son, Ironman Wisconsin, and finally the IMM Half last week I feel it is best to take some time off before that fatigue or burn out sets in.

With that extra time, I have put together the skeleton for my training plan for Carmel. I want to make a big jump with this race and with a big jump comes big sacrifice,commitment , and consistency. In my past couple of dedicated cycles for a marathon I have used a condensed schedule usually between 12-14 weeks. With a renewed focus on running I believe I will benefit greatly from a full 16 week cycle.

The basic outline is below. I use the Smart Coach function from Runner’s World to make all my plans. It is free, very accurate and detailed depending on what you want to do. I have been able to go from a 3:49 first marathon to a 2:56 using it…so it works if you work! The way that the week is structured and the pace suggestions it falls in line with a McMillan or Pfitzinger type plan…but for free.

On a side note, if you have never visited the McMillan Running Calculator Page I highly recommend it. All you do is enter your current race time (distance option exist) and it spits out your appropriate training paces. It covers everything from 100M sprints for 5K work all the way to Long Run pace for marathons. 

Carmel Marathon Training Plan

The only changes that I think I am going to make is at week 12 or 13 I am going to sub out the Saturday long run for the Hanson’s Running ‘Simulator’. The Simulator is a 26.2K workout at race pace. It is long enough to be a mental and physical test but not so long that it is like running the marathon before the marathon. The other change that I would like to make is turning 2 or 3 of the long runs into Progression Runs.

I guess the last thing that is up in the air right now around the plan is the taper length. It currently has me set for a three week taper…at first glance that seems a little long to me but it has been a long time since I have done a 16 week cycle (really the 1st time for the type of intensity I am bringing to it.) so we will just have to play the taper by ear and see how I feel towards the end.

My current plan like I said is to rest and recover up through Thanksgiving. I am working out 2-3 days a week. Nothing stressful or structured. Just sweating a little to keep the brain clear. Like today, I am playing basketball with a bunch of guys from work at lunch…stuff like that is the extent of my November.

Come December 1st, I am going to begin ramping up my mileage so I am ready physically to tackle the marathon plan. You don’t want to be building your mileage in the middle of training cycle. The time to add mileage to your body is in the month or two before the cycle starts. Now granted, I will hit one of my highest mileage weeks during this cycle but you don’t want to go from 0-60 in the first couple weeks of a plan. Build before. Optimize during.

I am excited to tackle this. It is an ambitious plan but one that I believe I am ready to own. I look forward to the challenge.

Come New Year’s Eve 2012 it’s on!

Question: Thoughts on my training plan? Do you guys see anything that is missing?


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