Training for My First Marathon, Week 1

Posted: April 5, 2011 in Articles, Personal

Last Sunday, after watching “Spirit of the Marathon” for the Nth time, I got curious about the runners featured there. Exactly what time did they finish the Chicago Marathon in 2005? I was only able to search for Lori’s results – 4:21:29. That’s pretty decent for a 42K debut, and around the neighborhood of my target finish time for the upcoming Milo Marathon. Lori said she followed Hal Higdon’s marathon training program, so I took a quick look at it and figured, “Why not?”

Up to this point, I’ve never followed a strict program made my professionals. It was just me running every other day (if I can will myself out of bed), going as far as I can, as fast as I can. I’ve been able to survive three half marathons this way, getting faster every time. However, I have a feeling that going under 4:20 for my debut will require more than my bara-bara approach to practice.

I’ll be using Hal Higdon’s 18-Week Novice I training schedule with a few modifications:

1. I increased the weekday mileage so that weekend long runs constitute no more than 50% of the total weekly distance.

2. I’ll be crossing the 20-mile barrier (approx. 32K) three times instead of just once for better stamina, the longest being 38K.

3. The total distance to be covered in 18 weeks is 1000 kilometers, including the marathon itself, roughly 20% higher than the original plan.

4. The average weekly mileage is around 35 miles / 56 kilometers.

Because I settled on this with only 17 weeks to go before the July 31 Milo Manila Eliminations, I’ll just count my previous training week as Week 1, in which I ran 10K, 12K, and 15K every other day for a total of 37K. Not a bad start, I should say. Mondays and Fridays will still be rest days, for the legs, at least. I’ll use them for arms and core strengthening. On Sundays, I’m sure I’ll be too tired for any heavy cross-training, so those will probably be used for short walks and a lot of sleeping. The full schedule is detailed below:

I’ll observe my body’s response in the next few weeks and make adjustments if necessary. I’m curious as to how I’ll be able to cope with 3 days of consecutive running when I’m so used to putting some space between all my runs to avoid injury and fatigue. Well, I’ll find out soon enough. Watch out for my weekly updates!

(Side note: Manny Pacquiao trains 8 weeks for his fights. Newbie marathon runners train for 18 weeks? Grueling!)

  1. […] The full training sked is available here. […]

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