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Boston 2012 Training Plan

January 18th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts

As much as I’d like to continue living in blissful denial of the reality I’ll be running a marathon in 12.5 weeks (gulp), it’s time to figure out my game plan and get myself together. Fact is, January is almost over and I can’t put it off any longer if I actually want to give myself a fair chance at Boston.

Last night, I sat down and finally mapped out my plan. While I’m certainly not far behind my weekly mileage and long-run goals, I have substantially less base-building time than I usually like to build in, meaning I have to start ramping up ASAP. But I’m okay with this, because I needed every single day I took off after NYC to refresh myself: mentally more than physically.

If I haven’t said it enough, the NYC Marathon kicked my ass this year. Like, 50x harder than in did in 2010 when it was my first marathon. And I only ran <1 minute faster last year. I think most of this has to do with falling short of my sub-3:00 goal. I know I put in the hard work to make it happen, and race day wasn’t the day. Honestly, I can tell by my motivation towards training that I’m still recovering mentally. Time to get over myself, right?

If I hadn’t registered for Boston back in Sept. (& Big Sur, but let’s forget that one exists right now), I would have zero plans to race a spring marathon. After the blow of NYC, I would have given myself winter to chill out, maybe race a spring half, but really focus on regaining my drive to want to get back out there day in and day out and work hard towards my goal. Because I’m just not feelin’ it as naturally as I tend to.

But alas, I’m racing Boston. And I’m not the type to half-ass my training towards a marathon. If I’m putting in the work, I’m going to make it count the best I can given the circumstances. I don’t want to put myself into a position where I am undertrained. I am not going up there looking to run an easy/slow (for me) time. If I am putting in any time to train for a marathon, especially for BOSTON- the mother of marathons, I am at least going to give myself a fighting chance. Here’s to hoping I find my drive and motivation somewhere along my 6 mi. tempo planned for tomorrow night– or anytime before April 16th, really.

I’m not aiming to break 3:00 in Boston, though I wouldn’t mind if I did ;) I want to be competitive yet realistic with myself. I am aiming to run around 3:05. This seems reasonable to me given my base, motivation, work schedule, travel schedule, and downright suckiness of winter training. It might not be a PR, but it won’t be far off. I also don’t know how I’ll fare on Boston’s course: I’ve only ever run NYC.

So finally, my training plan. As you may know, I’ve got all my training plans/logs up on my training tab so you can follow along in a handy dandy Google Doc. Though, I’ve also returned to keeping a paper log thanks to the Secret Santa gift from Meggie: A Believe I Am journal!

Boston Marathon 2012 Training Plan/Log

A few notes:

  • As always, the only ‘structure’ I give my weeks is to hit a certain goal mileage and do a certain long-run. These are indicated in the gray columns. The rest is wiggle room to adjust depending on my schedule- flexibility relieves a lot of anxiety about planning. Though it does require a few mid-week calculations ;)
  • I know my body functions best on one day of rest/week. Like, total 110% rest, no cross-training.
  • I’ll always aim to get in one workout a week, most likely on Thursday nights with the CPTC team. With schedules, I might find myself doing these solo on other days of the week.
  • I’ll look to hit a high of 65 this cycle. For NYC, I found myself comfortable at 60, good at 65, pushing it at 70, and just impossible to hit 75. 65 in the winter should be a nice peak.
  • I’ve incorporated a cut-back week in mileage since that helped a ton when training for NYC. I might move it depending how my body feels.
  • No races planned due to weekend travel in March, though it’d be nice to do a half as a fitness indicator.
  • I want more of my long runs to finish at marathon pace.

And there you have it! Thoughts? Feedback? Overly ambitious? Underly ambitious? Have at me.

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14 Responses

  • Christine says:

    your plan sounds great! looking forward to following along of course! xoxo

  • Ali says:

    Realistic yet ambitious Boston goals — I support it and I like it. You’re going to be great in Boston (I’ll be there cheering, obviously, and I think I already proved how great I am at spotting you on the race course) and you just never know: A wise person once told me that PRs often happen when you least expect them.

    Excited to follow your training and hopefully attempt to keep up with you on at least a few runs!

  • Kelly says:

    Like! Especially having cutback weeks – I didn’t do enough of this with NYCM training and I think I paid the price when I got injured and really tired long before the race. And definitely ending long runs at marathon pace – that has seemed to benefit a lot of people and can definitely build confidence. I’d say you’re on the right track, lady! I hope to be there cheering too – can’t wait!

  • Meggie says:

    Going for a big goal can be draining. After I took step1 of my boards, I think I was drained from studying for, like, a year :)

    I think your goals are perfect – it will push you, but not haunt your every thought. And, like Ali said, you might PR if its a great day. But, you won’t be disappointed if the stars don’t align.

    While MP miles during LRs freak me out (tempo runs, too), they give me so much confidence. Definitely recommend that.

    Hope you enjoy the journal!!!

  • Smart. Flexible. Realistic.

    Those are the thoughts that immediately came to mind when I saw your training plan. There’s nothing wrong with setting big time goals (sub-3:00, sub-1:30, etc), but sometimes I think it’s better to be cautiously optimistic. When I aim to high, sometimes it backfires and the pressure gets to be too much. I know you’re not counting on a PR, but I have a feeling you might surprise yourself with your race time :)

    And yay for fast finish/marathon pace long runs! I like those.

  • Liz H says:

    I’m looking forward to following your training! I’ve never trained in the winter, but I’m giving it a whirl this year with a half in March. It’s sooooo much hard to stay motivated when it’s -4 outside! I like the “wiggle room” idea – I’m always stressing when stuff comes up during the day and forces me to cut workouts/runs short. Do you only run outside?

    • Ugh, winter training is not my favorite. I will always do my best to run outside, since I can barely stomach the treadmill for more than 4 miles. Once I get going, it’s not that bad! And, NY does a great job at keeping Central Park clear of snow. So far, winter has been tame! Hopefully the same stays true for Chicago!

  • Tia says:

    Hi Lindsey- Just found your blog and I am going to start following!! (Your HM time is awesome btw!) Good luck with your Boston training. I am planning on doing NYC full this November for the first time and am already excited about that. I’m going to have to set up a Google training doc like yours. That is just plain awesome! :-)

  • Tia says:

    Just realized you spell it Lindsay with an a… :-)

  • Sarah says:

    60 miles a week?! You are amazing! Super pumped to follow your training!

  • Page says:

    Google docs for the win! Good luck!

  • Lauren says:

    We’re definitely on the same page about this whole spring marathon training thing. Why did we sign up for these races again!? ;)

    I’m actually pretty excited about Boston and I know that I’ll want to get to the starting line prepared (and not having just done the minimum amount I need to scrape by) but this training cycle has been harder to get into than most. I’m hoping things are starting to get better for you.

    I love seeing other runner’s training plans – especially when that runner is training for the same race as you! Just goes to show that there are so many ways to get to a marathon! I think your plan and goals sound great – I love that you’re pushing yourself but being smart about what you think you can run, and how you’ve allowed for lots of flexibility in your training. One thing that I thought was interested is how you’ve stacked your long run weeks (for example, doing three 16 milers in a row without cutting back). Is this something that you typically do during training? I’m just interested because I haven’t seen that before – and am now wondering about it as a potential training strategy.

    • That’s a great question…honestly there isn’t much strategy behind it, ha. I do have a cutback week scheduled, since I found that helped tremendously when training for NYC, but during a cutback week I’d rather take a few extra rest days to ease the mileage down to 40 or so but still keep my long run. Besides that, since I feel like I’m on a bit of an ‘accelerated’ plan to get my mileage and long runs up gradually, so cutting a long run down to 8 on a cut back week takes away from the number of long runs done, if that makes sense. Of course, if I find I need to cut back a long run because my body needs a break, I definitely will!

  • Haha, I’m glad on the training list with a run that says “so tired, drained.” But I was kinda tired too so it’s all good! I love seeing other people’s training runs, and I like the idea of having goal mileage for the weekend with a planned long run and maybe a workout…and just filling in the rest. You never know how you’re going to feel on a given day/week, so I think it’s a great plan.

    I think your goal is great…sometimes it’s not all about a PR, it’s about knowing what your body has in store without totally killing it. A 3:05 at Boston would still be totally rocking, plus it’s a fun marathon!



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