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RNR Marathon Training

July 17, 2011

Finally! I have completed my marathon training plan for Rock and Roll San Antonio. I’ve been trying to run more and have done a couple long runs and a little speed work to “pre-train” but up until now I didn’t have a written out plan which I’ve learned I really need in order to be successful.

I felt like I was cutting it pretty close since the race is 17 weeks from today. However, for my last marathon I trained for over 22 weeks and I felt ready by week 18 and was burnt out of training in the last few weeks. So, this time I decided to go with an 18 week program. I found two I liked for various reasons.

Runner’s World Smart Coach (here’s a sample):


What I like:

  • It supplies the paces for each run
  • It is a planned based off a recent race time and current miles per week (MPW) so it seems more tailored in terms of ability and level

What I don’t like:

  • Only 3 runs doesn’t seem like enough to me per week, meaning the MPW seems low for marathon training

Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 (sample):


What I like:

  • More running days per week and more miles per week
  • No more than 2- 20 mile runs

What I don’t like:

  • No speed work, tempo runs, or hills

So even though I swore I wasn’t going to, I decided to write out my own plan based off the things I liked from each plan.

rnr sa

I decided to use the structure and most of the distances from the Hal Higdon training, but to make one of the run days an optional cross-train day depending on how I feel. I’d like to take one full rest day a week either on Monday or Friday depending on what is convenient. I’d also like to strength train twice a week and do one cross train activity once a week.

Instead of spelling out perfectly the paces for each run I have a pace range in mind I’d like to meet. I’d like to gradually decrease my pace for the long run from 9:55-9:00 over the 18 weeks, and the same goes for my Saturday pace runs and speed runs. I also wanted to make sure I did some kind of work to increase speed (hill, tempo, or speed workout) once a week which you can see is on Wednesday.

I think running 4-5 days a week  and only running 2- 20 miles runs will  be great to keep myself feeling mentally and physically ready without any  burnout. I also changed on of the 20 mile runs to a 21 mile runs because somewhere in my mind I’m convinced this will help prepare myself for “the wall”.

My plan as of right now is to take the RNR SA Marathon pretty easy and use it as kind of a training run at a long run pace to prepare me for the Houston Marathon in January. I don’t really plan of a PR or trying to Boston Qualify but, of course, this all depends on how training goes and how prepared I feel come race day.

I’m excited about my plan and I actually already started it this week (finished week 1 today!).

So, what do you guys think? Do you write out your own plan or do you find a plan you like and stick to it? Or do you use any plan at all?


7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2011 11:54 PM

    I like sticking to plans yet doing what feels comfortable 🙂 I use runnersworld as well for my training though! It wants me running a half though while training for a 10k and I can barely run 8 miles right now. So I changed my long runs up to at most 8 miles haha 😉 Works for me!

  2. July 18, 2011 6:29 AM

    I look at a number of plans and take bits and pieces from each to make something that works for me. I just finished week 3 of training for the Frankfurt Marathon in Germany. I’m getting pumped but it’s still so far away 😦

  3. July 18, 2011 7:43 AM

    I just finished week 1 of training for this race as well! I like the plan you wrote. I struggled between going back and forth between Higdon’s plans, but I decided on using them as a guide as well. Good luck with your training 🙂

  4. shiningfromwithin permalink
    July 18, 2011 7:44 AM

    I had the same problem with both running plans so I made my own, too! I really love Hal’s and wish he included some speedwork… I don’t get why he doesn’t!? His is the backbone to my training plan though because I like the mileage and everythaaang. I didn’t want to make my own, but in the end I’m glad I did because I could tailor it to my needs. 🙂

  5. July 18, 2011 9:30 AM

    I think it was in your best interest to come up with your own plan. You have one marathon behind you already to give you the experience and so you know what you need to do. The tailor making it to fit your needs will just best serve you to meet your goals.

    Looks like a great plan and I’m very excited to see how it goes!

  6. July 20, 2011 6:19 PM

    I’m a run nerd so I really enjoy making out a plan. My first 2 marathons I followed pretty stricly a pre-mad plan. Once from my training group and the other my BFF, Hal.
    Lately, I’ve been tweaking it a bit to match my own needs. (like when my favorite yoga class is offered!)
    Now that you have a marathon under your belt, you know bestbwhatbworks for you and how YOU train!


  1. RNR Marathon Training Recap Week 1 « Fit Chick Britt

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