…I guess I can think about some serious base training.
And by serious, I mean run more than 15 miles in a week.
I spent quite a bit of time browsing McMillan Running and, while I currently have NO idea which plan I’ll ultimately use for marathon training, I was drawn to the logical breakdown of how to determine what base training should look like.
Step 1: Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
- Tortoise vs hare: Definitely a tortoise. I much prefer Long Slow Distance to repeats on the track (although I do love me a good tempo run now and then)
- Major weakness: I don’t stretch enough and I hate doing repeats on a track.
- Strength: All about lots of comfy miles
- Considerations for base training: I want to rebuild endurance without burning myself out
Step 2: Evaluate Your Race Distance
Although I am running a 10k in July, my ultimate goal is a marathon in November. If I had to, I’d say the marathon is my “A” race while the 10k is my “B” race that I’m pretty much running for funsies.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Goal
In an ideal world, I’d beat my previous marathon time of 4:55. But I want to balance that goal with the fact that I’m running New York with my best friend and I want to be able to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience with her without stressing to much about time or pace. I know we’ll want to take in the sights and enjoy the NYC vibe. With that being said, I want to be prepared so I don’t hit the wall and end up hating every mile.
Step 1: How Long Until Race Day?
A freaking long time. More specifically, 8 months. McMillan recommends at least 12 weeks of base training and, considering that I’ll be starting marathon training at the beginning of July, I have a good 16 weeks to focus on endurance and building mileage healthily.
Step 2: Assigning phases to each week
- Weeks 1-8: Endurance
- Weeks 8-12: Stamina
- Weeks 12-13: Speed
- Weeks 14-16: Peak (aka cutting back before Peachtree/giving myself a little break before marathon training begins)
- Note to self: These aren’t strict…if I feel like doing a tempo run or repeats during weeks 1-8 I’m not going to stop myself. But it gives me a good training backbone
Step 3: Weekly Mileage
- 2-3 “up weeks”
- 1 “down week”
- McMillan recommends regular races during down weeks but as of right now, I don’t have any races planned until July
Step 4: The Long Run
- At least 1 run a week that lasts between 1:45-2:30 hours
- “Two hours is better and should be the rule during the base-building weeks prior to beginning the specific training part of your program”
Step 5: The Primary Workout
- Should coincide with the phase of base building, ex: “If the phase is Speed, then the primary workout will be a Speed workout”
Full disclosure, there are steps 6-8 listed on McMillan’s article. But going along with my strong desire to not get burned out before an actual training cycle even starts I decided to draw the line at step 5. I also plan on re-reading my Hansons books and just overall immersing myself in some good ole running love over the next 16 weeks. The more fun, the better…amiright?!