Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Looking Ahead to the Next 26.2

In the interest of stealing ideas I've been letting my mind wander toward the Akron Marathon and how I will train this year. At the beginning of the year I mentioned I'd like to break four hours. (Gentlemen, you're welcome for the reminder.)

In the coming weeks I will unveil my marathon training plan. Until then I have some considerations to weigh.

Tom over at the Runners' Lounge has a good post debunking the 20-miler and refers to a Running Times article about the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, which supports doing three 16-milers in lieu of a 20 and insists on quality miles.

Last year the plan I followed called for two 20s of which I did one. This 16-miler idea really intrigues me. I've never been good about following prescribed plans. In fact this recent plan for Cleveland has been the most strictly followed training schedule I've ever followed. And it was my own creation, following some caveats from a few other sources. I feel healthy and strong -- better yet, I feel ready.

Before I put the cart before the horse though, I figure I better see how I perform May 18 before I design another schedule. (How many more times can I say "before"?) However, this no 20-miler thing really appeals to my sensibilities. Fellow boozers, give me your thoughts. Should I avoid 20-mile training runs in favor of the Hansons-Brooks-Tom Green-No-20-Miler plan?


Unknown said...

You definitely need to drink 20 bottles of beer. Opps, sorry for this typos. I meant, you need to do at least a couple 20 milers before you do the marathon.

Nitmos said...

I saw Tom's article and appreciate its merits for not running you down on the PHYSICAL side. I, for one, need the confidence I build on the 20 milers for the MENTAL side. It helps me destroy the mental wall of intimidation I've built up for the distance prior to race day. I don't want to stand at the starting line and think 'oh, I just have to go an extra 10 MILES today'. Of course, you may not need this. I tend to be mentally weak.

Kevin said...

Check out Steve Runner's Podcast Phidippidations ( In the last three marathons that he has run, he trained using the Hanson's Brother's training as felt that he was much stonger in his results. He did have some problems but he has set a PR in the at least one after being on a long plateau of results. I myself used the Half Marathon training program last fall and did feel better. The main issue that I had problems with was the daily running, I had some motivation issues of running every day vs the three (or four) times a week. Anyway, my two cents. Good luck.

Ian said...

I also read that article and was somewhat intrigued by it. Now I've never run a marathon so I have no valuable input here, but that's never stopped me before.

My problem with the training plan was that it had you running 6 days a week, which I don't really relish. I like the FIRST plan even though it has some 20 milers in there because with only 3 runs a week I can be more flexible about when I get my runs in. If something comes up after work on Monday, I can get my run in on Tuesday and still be on schedule.

chia said...

I think 6 days a week would kill me. But I'm chubby and weak so that's just me ;-).

B. Kramer said...

Thanks for the input, all. I'm a firm believer in experience. Last year, I don't think I would have had the confidence to run the marathon without a 20 under my belt. This year, I'm not so sure. I like the idea of fresh legs because the second half of Akron is so uphill and tough.

However, I'm also a fan of only three days of running, which I've been doing for the majority of this year.

Decisions, decisions. The 20 bottles of beer should help with that.