Training Plans and Sticking (It) to Them

Training Photo

week 14 of my Chicago Marathon training, and i have to keep reminding myself why i am doing this.  you want me to do what during the work week? 9 miles on a wednesday? oh great. 4 am it is. again. 

even 3 miles sound awful at this point.  but i have to stick to the plan.  otherwise on race day those 26.2 miles will be a total nightmare.

back in the day i bought magazines and books to instruct me on how to train for a race.  and to make matters worse i was never a reader.  i would read books, sure, fiction mostly. but “how to” books, i would just skim. missing the important info. to give you an example, in college i went to all my classes, took notes and past tests, but never opened the book i was required to buy.

super lucky nowadays that just a couple of clicks on the internet we are able to find a free training plan, anything from a beginner to a 5k to a marathon and above.  and they are usually short and sweet.  i like that.

i have been following Hal Higdon’s training plans for over three years now. and for this marathon i have been following his Novice 1 Marathon Training Program. you can print the plan or buy the app, whatever works for you. i have stuck with his plans, because they leave me exhausted, but not to the point i cannot function the rest of the day. and not so sore i cannot train the next day.  knock on wood, no overuse injuries, so far when following his plans.  so i trust him.

i am old school.  i print the training plan in duplicate.  one for my frige at home and one to post in my locker at work.  i cross off the days that are completed and make a note on the schedule, if a training day gets skipped and why.  sometimes i feel under the weather, and sometimes it is literally the weather.  snow and ice scare me.  i am clumsy.  and rain? love it, but i have a fear of soaked running shoes.  i have to let them dry, and then there is the fear of things growing inside my shoes.  yuck.

Rain Shoes-Training

i am a member at a gym near my work, super cheap. 10 bucks a month. but it is 45 minutes away from home.  so weekends if extreme weather prevents a run outside i can get a little stressed, especially during training. i really don’t want to drive 45 minutes, so i juggle some training days around and all is well.

training for a marathon seems like a whole new ball game. like skipping a run will be disastrous for my marathon. so better to just juggle a day or two.  i am guessing the long run days are not an option, and i need to be careful of juggling those around.


since i am a marathon training newbie, any advice or stories are welcomed of course.

did you run a race in the rain?  what did you do?  did you have to switch out shoes, socks?

Training 2



p.s. if you are new to running or racing, i would suggest following a longer training plan vs a shorter one.  easier on the muscles and your mental status.

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