Monday, December 8, 2014

Training Time

Training group week one down.  Just an 8 mile run to start, and I know I said I was going to make a decision about signing up for the full marathon after I actually got some some longer runs done...

but I think I just need to dive in and sign up, so I took a serious look at the schedule and realized doing an earlier race makes conflicts with the training plan. 

am looking at a marathon (7 a.m.) that is about hour and a half drive from home. The elevation is minimal and water stops and port-of-potties are set up every two miles. Seems like a great course, and you only have to be able to maintain a 16 minute mile to finish before the cut off.  However, highlighted in yellow below are the issues. I am going to be away for one of my 20 milers and the other is the week before the race so that will not work.

My other option is a trail race very close (like 15 min. ) to home, but it's a full of tree roots,  very narrow in some spots trail,  not a nice packed one, so I anticipate more run/walking to get to the finish. 
Some sections are a little wider like this, but there is a 7 mile portion that is almost single track trial. 

The date is perfect though for the training plan because it's 3-21-15. No adjustments really needed. 

Training Group Long Run Schedule

12/6/2014 8 - Done :)   
12/13/2014 10  
12/20/2014 12  
12/27/2014 13  
1/3/2015 14  
1/10/2015 15  
1/17/2015 12  
1/24/2015 16  
1/31/2015 18  
2/7/2015 12  
2/14/2015 18  
2/21/2015 20 This is my Disney weekend 13.1
2/28/2015 16  
3/7/2015 20 The week before my race
3/14/2015 8 3-15-15 is race week 

I am seriously wondering if doing a trail race for my first marathon is a good idea. What are your thoughts about doing the trail race verses the road race??

My other idea is to make the two 18 milers, on 1-31 and 2-14, my two 20 milers...and just sign up. 
Would that be your pick on how to tweak it for your 20 milers? 

I am not worried about my time in Disney, that is a just for fun run and we are planning to Galloway (4 x 1 ) it. Do you think doing a 20 miler a week before is crazy? 
I am all ears :) 


  1. Now that is a dilemma. My opinion is sign up for the road race. My first half marathon trail run was ROUGH even with plenty if long runs in there. I would not want my first marathon to be in trails without significant training on trails. Just my 2 cents 😀

    1. Trails can be very tough! This one will be a beast. My biggest fear is rain, I do think I would deal with that easier in a road race. Rain is a challenge I hope I don't have to deal with for my first marathon at all, but you never know. I can go train on the trail the race is on pretty easily though :)

  2. I think whatever works in your schedule is the one you should do. However I feel like missing a training run here or there is not detrimental to your full training plan. I think a trail race would be harder for a first marathon.
    Goodluck in making your decision. -L

    1. Thanks, just trying to think it all through. One big fear is rain will miserable on a trail race.

  3. I think the 3/15 race is doable if you're willing to be a little flexible and make some adjustments in the plan. Remember, there is never a perfect plan: things come up for all of us all the time, training is full of adjustments!

    Would it be okay with your group if you only joined them for the first 10 miles of your training run on the 7th? Then you could maybe move that 20 miler up to 2/28, have your Disney run the week before, and change the 2/14 run from 20 to 18 miles or something like that. I would not recommend doing a 20 miler the week before a marathon - you should be resting those legs and trying to stay healthy. The 1-2 weeks before a marathon is when you are most susceptible to injury, so play it safe :)

    The trail race is a good option too - the rough terrain might work to your advantage by forcing you to be more careful and take it easy. Make sure you do lots of training on trails to prepare.

    Best of luck in your decision!

    1. It's such a hard decision. The trail race makes things easier and I can do a bunch of my weekly runs on the trail the race is held on and the course if open for seven hours. You are right about trail forcing me to keep it easy, I always run slower when I go there, but there are some benefits to it being so close to home. I really wanted to do a regular road marathon for my first one...I keep going back and forth. I really like your idea about getting in the 20 miles on the 28th, that seems ideal :) I sure hope my legs cooperate, I am still mulling it all over.

  4. Personally, I could not do a long trail race. I've done a few shorter ones and tend to turn my ankles. Could be my shoes, I guess. I think you can tweak your 16-18 milers and still do the marathon in March like you wanted. Remember, you are not starting from scratch. You've already got a good base. Wish I was doing the Disney Princess Half. Awesome!

  5. Okay, since you asked for our opinions!!!

    I think a trail race it totally doable for your first marathon if you plan to run/walk your long runs on the trail. I say run/walk because it sounds like that's something you are trying out anyway, and plus with trail, if there are any hills, it really just makes sense to walk up them! I think you would enjoy a trail race because the whole atmosphere is just so much more zen and relaxing. It's less about TIME TIME TIME and more about a nice day in the woods.

    I'm not particularly against the two 18 mile runs but I don't think you NEED to do 2 20s. I have never in my life done 2 20 mile training runs for a marathon. Now, just because I don't, doesn't mean you shouldn't. I'm just throwing it out there! Also, I do think your 20 miler should be 3 weeks before your race. So your long runs would be like 20, 12, 8, RACE. I mean, there is your whole last month right there! Doing a 20 miler 2 weeks before the marathon is too close, in my opinion. You want your legs to be rested. Looking at the fact that you are doing Disney... this is what I would do for the end of your training:

    2/14- 18
    2/21- 13.1
    2/28- 20
    3/7- 12
    3/15- 8
    3/21- Race

    This would obviously be if you only planned on doing 1 20 miler. Then it gives you a down week between your last 18 and your 20.

    I really think you would LOVE a trail race!

    1. Thanks Karen for asking this great question (is it doable for the first marathon to be a trail race?) -- you had my curiousity piqued! I've done a few trail races, but all under the half marathon distance. I like Megan's reply above...based on my limited knowledge of running, I think a trail run/race is more challenging, so expecting to do a walk/run makes alot of sense!

  6. Hmm, I am such a new reader, I don't feel like I can give input. This is your first marathona and I was surprised to see so many 18s and 20s! Is that a Galloway thing?

    I think a trail marathon would be so fun, and if you aren't going for time and enjoy trails, it could be okay! But you will want to do a road one when you finish! :)

  7. If you can train on a trail I would go for it! But if not I would definitely stick to the road race. I've only ran one trail race before, it was only 3 miles and I thought I was going to die haha. It's definitely a whole different race!

  8. The road race on 3/15 is doable. I would try to change the two 18s to 20s and maybe up a few of the January runs as well so you have a good progression. I agree that you don't necessarily need two 20 milers, but you do need several weeks above 15 miles to get use to what that feels like. Those long runs are important for understanding fueling and for the mental confidence of knowing you can do it. You last really long run (peak mileage) should be 3 week before your marathon. Also, lack of giant weekends can be compensated for by having bigger overall mileage (running a few more miles each day). I hope I'm explaining this well. Basically, if you want to do it, you totally can, but we've go to rework that plan and look at your during week mileage as well as your longruns. It's just as important. :) So glad to hear you are thinking full!

  9. I've never done a trail race! I've considered the North Face Endurance Challenge (the half distance) in Wisconsin, but it hasn't worked out yet. I don't know. I think I'm a road runner, through and through.

  10. I like question #4: how did I get into running?

    When I lived in Honolulu (1999-2000), I was impressed with all the runners of all ages (kids, teenagers, young people, middle aged people, older people...everyone was running). And you always see the triathletes training, no matter where you go. They are running, cycling and swimming everywhere. It makes you feel a bit like a couch potato, even if you do one of those sports.


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