Initially, I was going to go into this whole marathon thing very casually, with a loose plan to just gradually increase my long run mileage, do some moderate speed work and continue to do my strength work and conditioning and beyond that, kinda just wing it. But I decided it wouldn’t hurt to look at some training plans and at least have an idea of how (slow) I could expect to finish.
All I did was pull a couple of plans from that free RW Smart Coach thingy (turns I have exactly 16 weeks!) and modify them to fit my current routine (Tuesday speed work, long run Sunday, etc.) I created a moderate plan calling for just three days of running a week, and a harder plan calling for four days of running with a little more intensity and higher weekly mileage. And I switched a couple of days around to make it work with my schedule. I figure I can aim to work from the more challenging plan and drop down to the moderate plan if and when I need to.
As far as the speed work, I think I’m already in good shape. On week one, the ‘hard’ plan calls for a tempo with 3 miles @ 9:17. I did a tempo Tuesday on the treadmill with 3 miles at 8:30. The long runs will be more challenging, but the hard plan only calls for a 10:49 average pace the first week, which is more than feasible. It actually made me feel like maybe I’ve been pushing too hard on my long runs.
Anyway, the hard plan projects a 4:04 finish and a the moderate plan a 4:11. Running a 9:19-9:35 pace for 26.2 miles sounds absolutely ludicrous to me but I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ve heard from a couple friends who said they used these basic plans and finished within a couple minutes of the projected times. But my previous and only marathon finish was 5:36 so…
Obviously I have no idea what I’m doing and I welcome your guidance.