In January I posted a tentative race schedule for 2015, but I never actually finalized it. Honestly, apart from my marathon (entry deferred from 2014), I haven’t signed up for any races. I registered for Shanty 2 Short’s about 5 days before the race. I think I was worried that I would get injured again and not be able to run. Last year was the first year that I DNS a race, and I think that has been playing mental games with me ever since.
But now that I have the first race of the season under my belt and it was a huge PR…well, I’m ready to start thinking about what comes next. My big, number 1 goal of the year is the Grand Rapids Marathon. I want to do everything that I can to ensure that this race is awesome.
One thing that I learned during this training cycle, is that I just can’t plan for every eventuality. For example, losing one week to an illness was rough, but I was able to adjust my training plan accordingly. Losing a second week to a minor injury left a lot of training on the table (which I’ve actually decided is a good thing, but more on this later!). I don’t want to run into a similar situation during my peak weeks of marathon training, so I am letting myself get started with my training a bit earlier than originally planned.
For my marathon training, I will be using the 18/55 plan found in Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning (not an affiliate link). This plan is 18 weeks long and peaks at 55 miles, hence the name. The 18 week plan is divided into 4 meso-cycles, the first of which is 6 weeks long. Which works almost perfectly with training for my next goal race, the Charlevoix Half Marathon on June 27 (7 weeks away). I will be adding a week to this first meso-cycle to accommodate my race schedule.
To get read for the half marathon, I will be focusing on extending my weekly long run distance by 1-2 miles per week and shift my speed work from 5k effort intervals to longer tempo runs and strides. It worked out perfectly that this is also the exact start of the 18/55 plan. While 7 weeks is really not long enough to be a true half marathon training plan, I am hoping that the past 10 weeks of 5k training plus the seven additional weeks of training will be enough to get me a new PR.