Sunday, December 30, 2007

My BIG Goal for 2008 - Run a Marathon!

As New Year's Day approaches, it's time to set goals for the upcoming year.  I'm setting my sights on the big race - the Marathon!

I've been running for about three years now - two years ago I ran my first half marathon (13.1 miles, for any non-runners out there) and this past year I ran two half marathons (I ended up training for three - I'm sure that story will end up in the blog at some point!).  My running has been pretty consistent - 3 times a week for 10-15 miles per far in 2007 I've logged over 610 miles. it's time to raise the bar and train for the big one - 26.2 miles!  The first two things I'll need to do to start out are:
  1. Pick a race (there are lots of marathons to choose from)
  2. Choose a training plan that fits my current training level and schedule
If I decide on a Spring marathon, I'm already a bit behind on my training.  I could go with the Frederick Marathon in early May - which will give me 18 weeks of training if I start now.  Another thing with a Spring marathon is that most of the training is done in the winter...since I'm a morning runner that means hitting the pavement when it's dark and cold outside (or heading to the gym to run on a treadmill).

The Fall marathon will give me some more choices (Baltimore, Marine Corps, Philly, Richmond?) and give me more time to research training plans.  Also, my training will be done in more daylight hours and warmer temperatures.

As for the training plans, for now I'm looking at Hal Higdon's Novice program  The long runs at the beginning are currently in my range and they don't ramp up too fast.  The weekday runs are shorter than what I do now, but I normally run 3 times a week - not 4 - so reducing the mileage per run may be a good thing if I add an extra day.  And if I start this plan now, I could be ready for the Frederick Marathon on May 4!

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