marathon training series: my training plan + workout routine
Okay y’all! I am overwhelmed by the response I got from last week’s marathon training post! SO many questions and comments from you guys. I’m so excited that y’all are as excited about this new series as I am. Last week I covered what my must-have running clothes and shoes are [which, thank you for y’alls suggestions! I actually just ordered a pair of Brooks that I’m excited to try]. I get so many questions about my workout routine or what training plan I’m doing, so that’s what I will be covering today!
I have used Hal Higdon training plans for almost every single race I’ve ever done – including half marathons. He has SO many training plans for everything from 5k races to marathons. One of the reasons why I like his training plans is because he gives you options. It’s not just a standard “marathon training plan”, like one size fits all. He has options based on what type of runner you are, how experienced you are, and what’s realistic for your lifestyle. For this marathon, I chose to do his novice 2 marathon training plan. I thought about doing one of his intermediate plans since “this isn’t my first rodeo” lol and because i’m not a “novice” runner per se. But, I looked at the intermediate plan and it had 5 days of running per week in that plan…which I don’t necessarily want to do. I want to continue lifting weights / doing cross training WHILE training for a marathon. So, I chose a plan that had 4 days of running per week in it.
To be honest, I’m not following the training plan to a T. I am mostly using it as a guide to know where I should be at in my “long runs” in relation to race day. Every Saturday I do a long run, and I am using his plan to know how I should be increasing my mileage.
So on Saturdays I do my long run, and then [per the training plan’s suggestion], Sunday I try and do a “cross-training” day. For me, that typically means a flywheel class or something to help get all of that built up lactic acid out of my legs after a long run. Hal Higdon says that cross training “is any other form of aerobic exercise that allows you to use slightly different muscles while resting (usually) after your long run. The best cross-training exercises are swimming, cycling or even walking.” Wednesdays I typically do another decent run (6ish miles)…and other than that, I’m currently doing Orange Theory, or other HIIT workouts throughout the week! If you aren’t familiar with Orange Theory…it’s an interval type workout where you do one block on the treadmill, one block on the rower, and one block in the weight room. So, on days when I do Orange Theory I’m getting a little short run in – anywhere from 1 to 2.5 miles probably.
I currently work out 5-6 days a week [Fridays are my rest days, and then sometimes I’ll take one other day off during the week as well, just depending on the week and how I’m feeling]. Not every single week looks the same, but here’s an idea of what my current workout routine looks like [I’ll start with Saturday since those are my long run days]:
- Saturday: long run [for marathon training]
- Sunday: cross-training [usually a spin class. I take it easy on these days though because my legs are usually pretty tired after the long run the day before]
- Monday: either a rest day or I will do a strength-training day. [I tried Fierce45 in Boulder which is high intensity pilates and loved it!]
- Tuesday: Orangetheory class
- Wednesday: long-ish run [usually around 6 miles, depending on where I’m at in my training plan]
- Thursday: Orangetheory class
- Friday: rest
This is the first race I’ve ever trained for where I’ve run this little throughout the week. But, prior to signing up for the marathon, I had started to incorporate way more weight training into my routine and really enjoyed it + felt so much stronger. So, even though I’m training for a marathon, I wanted to continue to incorporate strength training into my routine. I’m hoping it will help me stay injury free during my training and on race day, and also help me increase my pace a little! As I continue to increase my mileage and get closer to race day…if my body is feeling like it needs to run some more mileage during the week, I will adjust my routine accordingly!
Other runners out there – what training plans have you done and enjoyed?! Honestly I’ve ONLY ever done Hal Higdon programs because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and I’ve always had such good experiences with his! But let me know if you have other recommendations! Thanks for reading!