Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Marathon Training Calendar

I've been running for quite a while using bits and pieces of various different training programs.  After registering for a May 1 marathon, I decided it was time to find a formal, structured program to follow through to race day.  After reading the details of a few training schedules, I decided to use one of Hal Higdon's marathon training programs.  Hal has 6 programs published on the Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide website, two each in the Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.  He recommends the Novice programs for first-time marathoners, but I wanted a slight additional challenge and selected the Intermediate I schedule because I think it gives better preparation for the 26-mile distance by using a weekly medium-distance run  on the day before the weekly long-distance run.

Of course, the schedule is written in terms of "Week 1," "Week 2," etc., not in terms of an actual calendar or dates.  After plugging my race day into the end of the schedule and working backward for a day-by-day schedule, I looked for a convenient way to set up and follow a daily schedule.

During this process, I discovered Google Calendar.  This turned out to be a pretty good tool for the purpose.  I was able to set up a custom calendar for the 18-week progam.  The header on each date tells me exactly what is on the schedule, i.e., the miles and the pace.  The Description field let me copy and paste the full detailed workout description from Hal's website.  So, I can see at a glance what is scheduled for the date, and a single click on the header title brings up the full description.  A second click returns it to the header view.  It also let me embed the calendar in this blog, which is a very convenient place for me to keep up with it.  Pretty cool.

The calendar is completely filled in now, and is at the bottom of this page. 

6 comments:

-Keep Breathing said...

Best of luck with your training! You're lucky that it starts after Christmas :-)

And thanks for the info about Google Calendar.

Vern said...

Thanks, Kathryn!

Yes, right after Christmas should be a perfect time!

The schedule actually starts out at less miles per week than I've currently been running, but that's good too. I'm resting a sore knee, and it's feeling better by the day. So I can continue to take it easy for a couple of weeks and then start the schedule. The rest plus starting back a little lighter on mileage should be just what I need!

Brian said...

Cool deal with the calendar. Always nice to see where you are going. And it makes time go by fast, too, I think. Use it as a guide, though, and give your self some flexibility for sick days, fun days, and I feel great and I'm running farther days.

Snowbrush said...

Out here where I live (Eugene, Oregon), the locals pride themselves on living in the track capital of the world or something pretty close to it. The U of O does host the Olympic tryouts from time to time, and Steve Prefontaine lived--and died--here. Hollywood made two movies about him.

I miss running, although I never raced. Arthritic knees have even sidelined me from hiking much though, and I loved hiking in the Cascades a lot more than I loved running.

Good luck with your training. Here's a Wikipedia article about a popular local relay in case you're interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hood_to_Coast

Just_because_today said...

I have always used Hal Higdon's training for my marathons. Like you, even the first time, I used the intermediate. It works for me.
I'm going to try the Google calendar (I didn't see it at the bottom of your page). Sounds like a good tool. Thanks for sharing.

Vern said...

Brian,
Thanks for the good advice. A schedule is good, but you are correct; one should not be a slave to it! Hal tries to put it in perspective, and notes that a missed workout is OK. It's the basic program that is important, not any single workout.

Snow,
Thanks for the link on the Hood to Coast race. I found it quite interesting; it looks like a challenging relay.

Sorry about your knee issues. I'm nursing a sore knee now; I know it's no fun. I don't race a lot; I run mostly by myself just for the pleasure of running.

Myriam,
I initially considered the Intermediate II, but after careful consideration settled on the Intermediate I. For my current level, the II was probably just a little too ambitious. For once, good judgement seems to have triumphed over mileage gluttony. Maybe a first for me!

Thanks for recommending the Higdon program. As I studied it, everything in it seemed so logical and well thought-out. Good reasons for each step change.

I wonder why my calendar doesn't display for you. Between this and the occasional comment posting problems, there's something going on...