Just nine days after running the Philadelphia Marathon and my official training schedule for the 2016 Boston Marathon begins!! We are exactly nineteen weeks and 5 days out from race day, April 18, 2016.
So, what does a ‘typical’ marathon training schedule look like? Good question. There really is no ‘typical’ schedule. If you google marathon training or talk to many different runners and coaches, you’ll come up with a huge variation of opinions and schedules. Often, training schedules go from beginner, to intermediate, to advanced, to competitive, but even those can vary tremendously. And, before any marathon training schedule even begins, a runner is encouraged to have a base ability to run 20-25 miles per week consistently for a month.
For the past 4 years, my marathon training schedule has been somewhere between an intermediate and advanced 20-week program. I typically put in the miles of the advanced schedule, which maxes out at over 50 miles per week and includes long runs that are over 20 miles. But, I have neglected to focus on the speed/hill training and also the cross-training of an advanced schedule, which makes my running calendar look a little more like an intermediate schedule.
A typical training week for me includes 6 runs and one rest day, which cover anywhere from 30-something miles to 50-something miles, depending on where I am at in the schedule and how far out race day is. An average run each of 5 days/week includes anywhere from a short 3-4 mile run up to an 8 mile run. And, then the 6th running day is my long run which begins at 10 miles the first week of a training schedule and works it’s way up to 24, or even 26 miles. I follow an “every other” training program which means that instead of increasing my long run by one mile each consecutive week – 15, 16, then 17 miles … and so on… I do 14 miles, then 12 miles the next week, then 16, then 12 the next week, then 18 miles, 12 miles, 20 miles, 12 miles, 22 miles, 12 miles, 24 miles… and so on… increasing my long run by 2 miles each time, but with a shorter 12 mile run the week in between. This works out best for my busy mom schedule and also my mental stability, knowing I have that 12 mile long run week in between my really long runs :). After the last long run (20+ miles), a 3-week taper period begins leading up to race day, which means reduced overall miles and also shorter ‘long’ runs. This time-frame can play with your mind! It is somewhat of a relief that you don’t have to do anymore of the long runs, but you also can start to feel unable to complete the upcoming 26.2 miles of race day with each passing day since your last long run.
For Boston 2016, I have 2 coaches with Team in Training that have put together a general training schedule that can be modified for each teammate based on fitness level. Due to already completing several marathons, I’ll be increasing the mileage included in their schedule. BUT, since I am not running Boston for any time or with any pace in mind, rather just for the enjoyment of those glorious 26.2 miles and knowing that we raised money and awareness for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I am going to mix up my traditional schedule and include some of their cross-training recommendations. This time around, I plan to run only 5 days a week (yikes!!) with my 6th day being a cross-training day. The cross-training day will include an hour work-out of weight training, core exercises, and one of either biking, uphill walking, or yoga. I am super excited for this change! Wish me luck!
Please make a donation in support of my efforts to run the Boston Marathon with Team In Training and help get us all closer to a world without blood cancers, http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/boston16/adourte