Training For A Marathon: Building Up

I just wrapped up the last long run of my mostly unorganized winter basebuilding and maintenance plan, and my 18-week marathon training plan is about to kick off.

Over the past few months, I’ve been training regularly. I run almost every day with a typical week consisting of: one harder workout, a medium-length (8-9 miles) long run in the middle of the week, and a weekly long run (between 13 and 16 miles). Some of the long runs I’d do with large blocks of faster-paced segments, while others were just steady-state. During the rest of the days of the week, I’d just fill in with some easy miles. I’ve sat comfortable within the 40-45 miles per week range for most of the past few months, with at least a couple of weeks breaking 50 miles.

It is the middle of the Alaskan winter, and I’ve relied on the relative comfort of the treadmill for most of my runs. When the weather does cooperate and I get my miles in outside, it feels amazing. I’ve managed to steadily build fitness over these past winter months and have even surpassed most of my PRs within regular training runs.

There’s still a lot of winter left, but my diligence has proven to me that I’m capable of solid training work during this time of year. My marathon plan will definitely put this to the test. There will be some difficult runs that are just going to kind of suck, whether I’m outside or on the treadmill. But this is only going to make the peak weeks of my training cycle feel that much better, as they’ll arrive when it’s solidly Spring.

I ran 175 miles in October, 177 in November, 185 in December, and 162 in January. I should hit about 170 this month, and then it only goes up from there.

What do you think?

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