Thanks to a tweet, I was reminded that the Boston Marathon is 20 weeks from
today yesterday. That means if I’m going to start an 18 week training plan, it starts December 16th. I knew it was coming… putting on the calendar makes it real though!
So, the question is: how should I train this winter? I’d love input.
Option 1: The advanced marathoning 18 week, 55 mile week peak plan. This is the plan that I used for the KC Marathon in October. Thanks to this plan, and an injury-free year, I’ve blown away my past mileage training totals. My feet have been doing really well – which I attribute to the anatomically-correct Skoras I’ve been running in primarily in the second half of the year. The arguments against this plan are first, that I was well off my PR (-6 min) at the goal race. Also, it will be hard to put these miles in during the winter months. The argument for it is that it didn’t get a fair shake (i.e., I didn’t give it a fair shake). I ran a September marathon 5-6 weeks prior. I was also involved in some fairly radical (for me) diet experimentation leading into both the September and October races. I switched from ketosis back to glycogen dependence just 3 weeks before the race, and I gorged on fine food at Disney the week before the race. C’est la vie.
Option 2: A lower mileage plan. TBD. I could simply replace some of the medium effort, medium distance runs on the AM plan with cross-training. E.g., run 3x a week (cross-train 3x, rest 1x) instead of run 5x (cross-train 1x, rest 1x), subbing in cross-training for those runs. I’ve done this before successfully. The argument against this plan is less running means less goal-specific training. The argument for it is that my PR came in April at Garmin after a winter of heavy cross-training substitution into a running plan. My use of the AM plan had another failing: the “leveling effect.” This is the key to mediocre training: too fast on the slower target pace runs, too slow on the faster target pace runs. With this option, I won’t have the “I ran pretty hard yesterday” excuse going into the faster tempo workouts.
Option 3: Suggestions?