Summer Training Plan / Fall Marathon

I've decided: I'm going to try a fall marathon. I gave myself a while to think about it, so I could be sure that I'd be committed. It's really demanding to train for one, and I wanted to make sure I was mentally ready to start another cycle. It's been really nice to take time off, workout when and how I feel like. I feel like my life is finally back in order and I'm caught up with my responsibilities. That's a great feeling.

But, I know that I have a great base right now. I'd like to use that as a stepping stone, building on top of it. I'd really like to see what I could do if I put together another 3-4 months of high mileage and hard training. Is 2:55 possible? 2:53? I'd like to get closer to whatever my "limits" are, and there's no way to find out without trying.

I haven't decided which marathon, yet. I'm waiting to hear back from the Des Moines marathon. I asked about a comp entry and assistance with a hotel stay -- I think my times are quick enough to qualify me for both, which is really nice. If they're able to help with that, I'll run that one. It's flat and fast. It's October 13th. Otherwise, I'm torn between Chicago (another flat and fast one) or TCM. I wish TCM was a little faster of a course. I'd be running a fall marathon simply to try for another PR, and that'd be a lot harder to do at TCM. I really like the local crowds, though... We'll see what happens. TCM is the US Marathon Championships for the women, so it'd be fun to see where I finished against the best in the US.

I've sketched out a training plan leading up to a race in October. It's pretty intense, not going to lie :). I'm following the same plan that I did for the last 6 weeks before Fargo. In those 6 weeks, my training times and my race times (even on short distance races like the 5K) dropped SIGNIFICANTLY, so I think I've finally found something that works well for me. I'm excited to see what it'll do for me if I follow it for 4 months instead of just 6 weeks. If I don't burn myself out, I think it'll make me REALLY strong and fast. I'll have to be careful. I'm not too excited about these high mileage during summer. I'm not a good runner in the heat. I've always used my lunch hours to get in my second workout for the day... that's really hard to do when it's 90 and humid!

My mileage will be higher for a much longer period of time. For Fargo, I was above 70 miles/week for only 3 weeks. I'll be at or above 70 miles/week for 10 straight weeks in this new plan. There will be 5 weeks above 80 miles/ week. I'm not sure what I'll top out at yet... right now I just have it at 86. I may increase that, but I want to see how my body responds to the increase in sustained high mileage first.

Now... the big question will be: how much skiing will I be able to do?? Dryland work especially drains the legs. I talked to Chad Giese when he was in at Finn Sisu on Monday, and he suggested doing more on skis now, while I'm in between and when mileage isn't as important. As I get into later june, July, August and September to concentrate on running. The base that I'll have will carry me through into skiing. Then I'd switch over in October to skiing. I like this thinking. Although I'll be behind in October, it'll still give me more time than last winter (when I started skiing seriously in late January).

In the meantime, I'm going to try to start putting in some mileage. I'm excited for the long weekend to put in some good training hours. I'm planning on two a days through the weekend... one running workout and one skiing. Nothing hard yet. Should be a lot of fun!

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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