Marathon training day 1!

Today is an exciting day because it is day one of my 20 week marathon training plan, with all roads leading to the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon . I know what you’re thinking… calm down, it’s day 1 and you have a long ways to go. And I know I do. However, I cannot help but smile when I think about the path I’m starting down. There will be good days, great days, and terrible ones, but in the end I expect to be toeing the line (figuratively… we all know I’m not starting at the front of any race) on Saturday, November 16 ready and raring to go.

Day 1 of training had me doing a 3 mile run. I ran on the roads around our house and aside from it being hot and getting chased by three dogs, it was uneventful. Actually that’s all that’s on my schedule this week: four 3 mile runs. I’m not a big fan of only doing 12 miles total for the week, so I think I will bump up my long run to 6 miles or so. I plan to do that until my current mileage blends in with the training plan (around week 5), instead of dropping all the way down to a lower weekly mileage.

For the first 4 weeks my plan has me running four days per week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. This is very different from my usual Tuesday-Thursday and then Saturday. After the first four weeks I will start running five days per week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with my long run being on Saturdays. I am looking forward to this change in pace, as my previously mentioned “usual” way of running is the only format I have ever used when training for a race.

Yesterday I celebrated my last day of freedom from a training plan with an 8 mile long run with my running buddy, Kim. We met up for a run at my all time favorite trail, the Huckleberry Trail. I snapped this picture when we were halfway through our run. It was overcast, but really humid as you can probably tell.

Our turn around point was right at a section of the trail that I refer to as the bacon strip. It has several very small rolling hills, and it looks like every picture of bacon I have ever seen. Kim pointed out yesterday that when you cook bacon at home it never actually looks like this, though. Or maybe yours does… ours always come out flat.

I made it extra large because it’s already kind of difficult to see, but there are three hills in this picture. The last one is at the far end. For anyone who is familiar with the Huckleberry Trail (I know there are at least three of you) the bacon strip is the area right after the mile 2 marker, when you are heading towards the mall in Christiansburg.

I plan to do some of my long runs at the Huckleberry Trail during marathon training. I love running on this trail, I know it like the back of my hand, and there’s always so many people out and about to say ‘good morning’ to. For now I’ve got my marathon training plan in hand (yes, I printed it out…that way I can cross off each day as I go), so don’t ask me to do anything that’s not on it. I may move runs to different days during the week if needed, but that is it.

This training plan will be the longest one I have ever followed. To help cope with the monotony that comes with a long training cycle, I have a few races planned that match up well (if not exactly) with my long runs. They’re over on the left sidebar if you want to check them out. I have found in the past that this really helps. Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon or bust!

P.S. Sorry if some of you saw a bit of this post yesterday. I was working on pre-writing a bit. I always go back in and add the details before posting, but having the outline/shell of the post written helps during a busy week.

What’s the longest training plan you have ever followed?

How do you deal with the monotony of training?

What are you currently training for?

Have you been dealing with humid weather lately, too?

9 Comments

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  1. Currently training for a 10K in October and possibly a half in January. I’m following a plan for the half and it’s also 20 weeks. I’m worried about monotony too, so I like your idea of scheduling other races while you’re training! Also it is SO HUMID and gross here. I’m hoping for a window today so that I can get 4 miles in. Happy running!

    1. I’ve found that having races to look forward to during training, even if you’re going to run it as a “training run” (as much as I hate saying that), helps break it up some.

      Hope the humidity dies down a bit for you!

  2. Is this your first marathon? I can’t remember. I’m a month ahead of you. Heat and Hip are making it not as much fun as I hoped but I will make it. And like you I have my favorite trail, although I really wish the last two miles were NOT all uphill. Good luck girl!

    1. Yep, it’s my first! I hope your hip starts feeling better soon. That trail sounds tough, but I bet it makes Chicago feel easy peasy!

  3. When I coached for the Aids National Marathon Training Program, we coached our runners through a 26-week program. When I trained myself, I usually followed a 20-week program for fall races, and 16-week plan for spring races. Like you, I would cross off the day after my run just to help me be able to see at a glance where I was in my training.

    I’m currently training for the Hokie Half to run with you!!!

    I am a slimy mess when I come in from my runs. It’s not been all that hot in the early mornings, but the humidity has more than made up for the lack of heat!

    1. Wow that is a long training program. Was it designed for runners who were just starting out (no base)? I love crossing off the days!

      I can’t wait until the Hokie Half!! 🙂

  4. I like routine, but I also like it when things within my routine switch up. Like I enjoy knowing that I run tues-thurs, sat, sun, and that Tues/Thurs are my hills/speed/tempo/general hardness days and that Saturdays are always long run days. But within that, I love mixing things up. I have a bunch of different hill courses, different routes, etc,

    I’m thinking I should come run the Huckleberry trail sometime because 1) it’s name is awesome and 2) it definitely looks like my kind of trail.

    And finally…YAYYYYY!!! I’m so excited for you and to hear all about this training cycle for you! I wish our races weren’t on the same day so I could come cheer!!

    1. also, I went on a run this morning and thought the air was drowning me it was so humid. I decided I will take elevation over humidity any day. ANY DAY.

    2. I agree, I like always knowing certain days are ‘run’ days while others are ‘XT’. But I think this new training schedule is also giving me some much needed variety, since I have used the same format for the past 6 years.

      You totally should! It’s just shy of 7 miles long, so we can run the whole thing down and back. And then we can get Carol Lee donuts 🙂

      Are you running Richmond?? I can’t remember!

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