Well, the time has come to kick it back into high gear and train for the Bellingham Bay Marathon. This run is at the end of September, which leaves me 10 weeks to train for it. Although that is a very short time for a typical training plan, I feel that I am coming into it mid-plan, as I have intentionally kept my training level pretty high so I can jump into a plan midway.
I always do my own plans, but I use Hal Higdon's plans as a template, and looking at his Advanced Marathon II plan (which is the most challenging, but as I said, I just use it as a template), I have pretty much done everything he calls for in weeks 1-9 over the last couple of months.
My plan doesn't jump right into a 19-mile run this weekend, though. It steps up from 16-17 miles this weekend, to 18 miles the next weekend, and finally 20 miles the week after. I do a second 20-miler two weeks after that. I am only planning two 20-miles runs this time around (instead of three), for the sake of time and because I have a number of races scheduled throughout the plan.
I am also doing my final 20-mile run a full three weeks before the marathon, instead of squeezing it in close to the end like I have before. After that I have a half marathon penciled in to run at marathon pace, and a 15K at race pace.
My final rather big change from past plans is that I have a number of real rest days scheduled in. That means rest with no cross-training. I am hoping this will help balance the intensity of the schedule, and also keep my ankle and achilles tendon happy. I'm not ruling out activity on rest days--it's not like I'm going to be lying on a couch eating bonbons*--but I'm also not going to be hieing myself to the Y to pump away on the elliptical.
Here is my training plan in all its glory!
*Or am I?