The Enthusiast has her half marathon training plan. Now, I need to get my own training in order.
Last year, my marathon time improved by about 18 minutes. I owe much of that success to Hal Higdon's training plans, which I used as a basis for my own schedule. I love the long run progression on Sunday with Saturday's run being half the distance at race pace. However, one of the main adjustments I made in 2009 was to add weekly track sessions.
The results were there, but my ultimate goal time was not. I believe I missed my sub-four-hour marathon because I didn't run enough hills, a mistake I plan to rectify this year.
Monday's Tallmadge Memorial 5-K proved to me that running hills does improve speed. However, I don't believe the opposite is true.
If you compare my 2009 5-K to this year, my performance was basically the same (three seconds apart). However, my training leading up to the race could not have been more different.
Here's what I did in May 2009. Here's what I did in May 2010. I ran less and I ran slower this year, but I raced equally well.
The difference? Hills replaced the track and another year of experience on the race course. I hope to carry over these same principles to the marathon.
Instead of sprint intervals, my training will focus more on tempo and race pace runs to keep me up to speed. I'm adding another 20-miler and plan to peak at 50 miles per week instead of 43, as I did last year. And I'll be running as many hills as I can stomach. Flat ground is useless.
More hills, more miles and more experience are my keys to unlocking the door to the four-hour marathon. But can I shave off another 18 minutes? I can try.