After a lot of hard work, research and comparisons, I am finally finished with my training plan for the Chicago Marathon!! Woo hoo!! I simply took the plan that I had crafted for the Country Music Marathon, and made a few changes that I feel will best help me to achieve my goal for Chicago of running a 3:30 marathon. So here is my previous plan…
And here is my new and improved plan!
What does that mean!?
- CT = Cross Training – anything from yoga, to cycling, to swimming. Really, its anything active BUT running
- ST = Strength Training – self-explanatory
- LR = Long Run
- GP = Goal Pace – to hit my 3:30, I need to average 8 minute pace. Anything that is run at GP or pace will be averaging the 8 minute mile
What are the biggest changes?
- No Hill Training! – Chicago is super flat, so I am not going to bother driving out to hilly courses to train this time around. I am sure it will help me get stronger, but I plan to hit the weight room hard to make up for that training.
- No Pace Runs before long runs – This is the biggest change from the last plan to this plan! I hated how when training for CMM, the plan would have me running a 10 mile pace run the day before a 20 mile long run. It did not benefit me at all, and really made it difficult to complete the workouts. I completely wiped out the pace runs from Fridays, and I am very happy about that!
- Adding pace miles to long runs – Since I am not running pace runs the day before long runs anymore, I decided to just put them in the long run, so I still see benefit. I believe that learning how to speed up at the end will help me to simulate race pace (and race day) even more than I have in the past. I will not be adding pace mileage to the weeks that I kick back on long runs. I know those weeks are used for recovery, so I full intend on doing just that.
- Mandatory Strength Training – I am going to be wayyy more dedicated to getting in my strength training this go around. I need my core to be as strong as possible, and I really want to get my legs powerful as well!
I am a firm believer that everyone should mold marathon training to their life, not the other way around, which is why I have a couple long runs flip-flopped, or even completely skipped for one week (when I do my first triathlon). Depending on how I feel the day after, I may try for a long run, but if I feel crappy, I’ll skip it. I’ve been running long enough to know that recovery days are just as important as workouts sometimes. Don’t ever forget that
Remember the Jello Leg Workout from Wednesday? Well I went back to the gym last night to do the workout again, but this time I made a few modifications. I did the same amount of weight and reps, but instead of having my feet firmly planted on the floor, I threw in a curve ball….
Enter the Bosu Ball! I did all of the exercises either standing or putting my weight directly on the ball. For most of the exercises, I flipped it over and stood on the black, hard side of it. It is amazing how stabilizing your core while doing all of the same moves can really raise your heart rate, and make the workout that much more difficult! The only thing not done on the bosu ball were the side lunges. My form is still a little rough for those, so I don’t want to alter those until I master them, so I avoid injury as much as possible.
***Remember, I am not a personal trainer, so please do these exercises at your own risk. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. Be smart, and listen to your body when working out.***