I Feel The Need…


…the need for speed.

Gotta love old school Tom, you know, before he went crazy.

As bloggers around the world prepare for their fall marathons I began fearing more and more that my training plan just wasn’t going to cut it.  From the newbies to the pros, everyone is touting the fact that you need to have a tempo run and a speedwork session each week if you’re going to hack the 26.2 with any credibility.   I was left feeling that after all my careful considerations, my original schedule was only setting me up to fail. 

I went back and forth between training plans for months until I found the SmartCoach Training Program on the Runner’s World website.  When I selected this plan there were several things I liked about it:

  • It was built especially for me based on my recent race times
  • It provided a time/pace goal for race day  
  • There were multiple training runs over 20 miles (necessary even if the mere thought gives me the willies!)
  • There were three flexible cross-training/rest days
  • It included both tempo and speed workouts

What I didn’t take into consideration was the frequency of said tempo and speed workouts.  When I started hearing all this buzz about speed workouts I realized I hadn’t been to the track in a while.  I pulled out my trusty training plan and saw that my next speed session wasn’t for 17 more days! And the one after that? Another FOUR WEEKS!  I don’t know what that’s about but it’s certainly not going to cut it.

Today I attacked my training plan and did something that’s always intimidated me.  I customized it.  In addition to my 2-3 cross-training/rest days, I aimed for one speed session, one tempo run, one easy run and one long run per week.  Hopefully I didn’t make it too difficult (swapping easy runs for speedwork ups the ante more than a little), but if I find myself struggling or feeling like I’m over training I figure I can just tweak it some more.

My new plan can be found here, or under the “Training” tab at the top of the site.

Do you create your own training plans or do you use pre-made schedules?  If you don’t make your own do you spend the money for proven and accalimed programs or do you scour the internet for the freebies like me?

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7 Responses to I Feel The Need…

  1. The Linz says:

    Hey lady, don’t be skird to tweak your sched a bit. I feel as those a good training plan has your own personal spin on it anyways. Good for you for taking it on and I know you are going to be great. You little speedster!! 🙂 I usually just scour the net for good ideas then create my plan. Well except for this team in training marathon plan, this one I’ve tweaked a bit but mostly following as is.

  2. I’m revamping my plan this weekend! 5 days of running is too much for me and my shins. I REALLY like the look of your plan so I might follow your format a little 😉 Hope that’s OK!

  3. BostonRunner says:

    When I make my training plans I usually like to start with a training plan from someone who knows what they’re doing (like hal higdon) and then customize it to fit my schedule, my needs and my goals. I actually tend to reduce the amount of runs that the training plan offers, I find that 5 days of running (what most training plans call for) is too much for me. I’m all about quality rather than quantity : )

  4. Abbi says:

    Good luck with the new plan! I think any plan can have some tweaking to it because everyone is different with what they can do. I’m trying to stick with my plan, but it only has days and mileage, it isn’t as detailed with speedwork, just one day at pace. Guess we’ll see how it all works in a few months…this whole thing seems so much like the land of the unknown!!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Making it YOUR plan is important! The pre-made schedules are helpful for laying things out, but it’s key to tweak it here and there to fit your lifestyle, time availability, and fitness level.

    I started out with Hal Higdon’s freebies online, now I kinda just layout my own – sometimes referencing Jack Daniel’s book “running formula” for scheduling and workout ideas.

  6. Sarah says:

    I agree with Lindsay, sometime taking the plan into your own hands is what needs to happen. It’s your training and your race! 🙂

    I myself am part of a Running Room marathon clinic and enjoy the social and ‘pre-made’ plan bit. If I ever have any concerns about the plan, the instructors are more than happy to help modify it for you.

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