Wednesday, July 4, 2012

NYC Marathon 2012: Which training plan?

I realized recently that the New York City marathon is a mere four months away, and that I'm scheduled to begin training on July 16th! My running for the first half of 2012 was decent--I managed a fairly stable amount of miles per week, and I ran an okay time at the Presidio 10 miler back in April (considering the hills, crowded course, and bizarre race management, I'm glad that my finishing time was at least in line with my half-marathon PR). In February, I started taking one to two DM classes per week as well, and my back has never felt better. My hips, core, and arms are much stronger, too, and I fully credit these classes with a (so far) injury-free year.  I'm willing to suffer through sixty to 120 minutes of intense pain every week if that's the outcome...although it's amazing that a class that leaves one essentially sweat-free can be so excruciating.  

Still, I grew a little nervous when I realized how close we are to November 4th, and so two weeks ago I increased my weekly mileage and days running per week up to twenty-five and five, respectively, and continued aiming for two DM classes per week. My pre-training training is going well, but with less than two weeks to my actual training start date, I have yet to choose an actual training plan. Cue the endless questioning and mounting anxiety. Should I go with the three day a week plan developed for one of CC's friends, as it may keep me injury-free (but also might not give me adequate training time on my feet)? Should I go with the five day a week plan similar to the one Peter Sagal used when he broke his PR by more than ten minutes last fall, as chronicled in the wonderfully titled "Time of the Ancient Marathoner" (even though a four day a week one might be more my style)? Should I go with Grete Waitz's elegant "hurry slowly" four day a week plan for marathon beginners (even though this won't be my first marathon, and I'd like to run a faster race)?

Peter Sagal: An Ancient Marathoner with a not-so-ancient PR 
(photo credit: Runner's World)

Since I have yet to reach a decision, I've been distracting myself with questions/anxiety about other marathon-related issues. For example, it's been several years since I ate/drank on a run--what will my nutrition plan be this time, and how will I carry it (if at all)? When should I buy a new pair of shoes for training, much less the marathon itself? Should I send in my orthotics for an overhaul before the marathon, or wait until after it's over? Should I fly to New York two days before the race or three? Should I do my long runs on treadmills when I'm traveling, or try to figure out an outdoor route in places with which I'm unfamiliar? 

Fortunately, the best way to answer any of these questions is to go for a run. Once I'm out the door and cruising down Lake Street, or dancing up the stairs on the coastal trail, all the answers become clear--specifically, just choose a training plan. Cross every other bridge when you come to it, and most importantly, don't forget about your superb advisory council of expert marathoners JSH, CMA, EG, CC, and SR. (And KP, who's already proved her worth by reminding me to sign up for a ferry to the Staten Island starting line. She, JL, and I are all boating over together!).  

On that note, more to come starting on the 16th. Gulp.

1 comment:

  1. Runner's World Veteran Plan. You WILL feel amazing afterwards (post-marathon that is!) and, it's the plan I've been on since 2005. LMK if you need me to motivate. So stoked for you. This race is incredible.