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Carmel Plan…finally done

The training plan for the Carmel Marathon is finally done! Finally! For those that read the blog somewhat regularly you know that I have been working on it for a while now. I thought about taking a new approach a week or so ago and have now settled on this below.

All the basics of my original skeleton plan remain, in terms of weekly design, basic process flow, 3 day/week core work, and all long runs being done on the course (benefit of racing local)  but I have tweaked some of the workouts, recovery weeks, and added some additional high intensity stuff.

Week 1 – 4

You will notice that week 1 and week 3 have Progression type runs for my long runs on Saturdays. This approach will continue throughout the cycle. It will be aggressive but I firmly believe that these runs will help steel my mind and body to by ready come race day. Thanks to Parents on the Run for the workouts. I had been planning on some more traditional type progression runs and one Hanson’s Simulator but I like these workouts a lot more.

One of the other changes that I made was in the ‘off’ weeks I have added a second day Tempo or Speed. One day of each now. I was never fully convinced to implement the full week blocks that I had thought about earlier so I thought this was a good compromise to try and reap some of the benefits without the increased injury risk.

The final change that I have made to the plan is to add three recovery days to every 4th week. Given that I am stepping up the intensity in the build weeks I thought it was important to recover as much as possible in my cut back weeks so that  I can fully absorb the prior weeks work and get ready for the next block.

Week 5 – 8

Week 5 will be a big week for me. My first 20 mile with 10 of those miles ran at Marathon Pace. In addition to that I will putting in a speed and tempo session this week.

But the real workout that has me thinking is that long run in week 7. 20 miles with a total of 15 miles at marathon pace.

Week 9 – 12

More of the same as the previous blocks. My highest mileage block of the marathon cycle. The Progression runs on the Long Runs fall on the 16 mile runs in this block with the 20 mile being ran at a steady  state pace. For Birmingham last year, my training peaked at 70 miles so to spend three consecutive weeks above 70 is definitely going to be taxing…but I can do it.

Week 13 – 16

Coming off the Week 12 Recovery week I give myself one more huge week before heading into my taper. Week 13 will be the my highest total mileage week of the cycle and contains Speed, Tempo and a Long Run with 15 miles at MP.

Getting through this will definitely be a challenge…much like most of the plan but hey if I want to run a 2:45 at Carmel I have to be willing to put the work in.

I am looking at a two week taper into race week and I think I will need to absorb, repair, and recovery from the three months of pounding I am going to put my body through.

Should everything go as planned I will be ready come race day!

Questions: Am I missing anything? Is it too aggressive? What do your marathon training blocks look like?


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