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I love having a "firm" training plan. I only put "firm" in quotes since I know life happens and I do end up juggling a lot throughout my training but I think this is a good foundation. For my first marathon I googled marathon training plans and edited one mildly to fit what I thought I could do in time commitment, running days, etc. This year things are a wee bit different as I am running every day. Plus I have my long runs alternating due to time commitment and childcare.
Step 1: I started my plan using the Runner's World Smart Coach app and set it to what I wanted for weekly mileage and intensity. I know I changed a lot around from this initial step but I will still look back to it since it tells me what pace my easy, tempo, and speed runs need to be at. I input my last half marathon time so it could predict realistic paces.
Step 2: I wrote this all out on a piece of paper and started moving long runs around to where I knew they were more likely to occur. I can do some on Saturdays at the gym but only have 2 hours and I really want to do most outdoors. Therefore, some need to be on Sundays and I even slipped one in on a Friday. With this I had to adjust other runs around so I didn't end up doing two long runs back to back. It sounds more difficult than it truly is.
Step 3: I looked at overall weekly mileage to see if I was still on track. I had to increase or decrease the distance of some of the other runs to keep me where I wanted to be. I also ensured it followed an increase and recovery cycle my body responds well to. If you look at it, it isn't the standard build, build, build, recover, build, build, build, recover. My body does well with irregular builds and recovery and can tolerate some big builds.
Step 4: I input the couple of race distances I plan on running and surprisingly those didn't cause too much strain to the schedule. The one 10K race was on a 6 mile day but I decided to switch my 20 mile run to before this versus the day after. It was a gut feeling thing.
Step 5: I compared monthly totals predicted from this to monthly totals from last year to make sure I was in a doable place. I am.
Step 6: I printed out a copy and posted it on my freezer door. I also input the adjusted run lengths into my phone calendar so I can keep it all straight when I am not at home.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I am so inspired by planning and love charting out my course.
Daily Affirmation: I CAN do this!
P.S. Check out my guest post at Blogitness for a great enchilada recipe!