22 weeks to a marathon

This week marks the start of 22 weeks of training toward the Vancouver Marathon. If my attempt to train for the same event last year was any indication, I’m expecting epic long runs in ugly weather conditions (like this long run in February 2011). But the weather is not what’s worrying me. I’m planning to DIY the long runs (as opposed to joining a clinic), and that means having to generate a schedule that would gradually increase my weekly long-run distances.

Screen-grab of my proposed distances for long runs as part of marathon training, represented numerically and with a chart.

Running + spreadsheet = awesome!

The essence of this plan is that from January onward, I take every fourth week as a rest week, resume the next week at the last longest mileage, and build from there until I end up with 35 km three weeks before the marathon. It generally follows the 10% rule after the mileage goes over 26 km. I figure that I’m comfortable enough with half marathoning that I can work my way quickly up to 21 km.

My training plan involves 3-4 running sessions per week; I want to incorporate some cross-training. And if that’s not enough, I’ve bought some minimalist shoes as a birthday present for myself; I want to give those shoes some mileage as well. My early race goal is for a finish time of under 4:20, which corresponds to ~6:10/km (9:56/mi).

Is the plan workable? Are there any other tips you can provide with regard to the long-run schedule?

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3 Comments on “22 weeks to a marathon”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Looks good although I don’t see any need to build to 35k. 30-32 is plenty. The long runs will become increasing hard as they exceed 50% of your weekly mileage.
    You also might want to look at the Running Room schedule and think about joining them for some of your long runs. You can run on Sunday in run club without being part of the clinic.

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Jennifer! The schedule is not set in stone; I may well cap my longest run at 32 km. I have done Running Room’s clinics, but now prefer to do my long runs on Saturdays.


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