My Next Big Goal: the Milwaukee Marathon
I haven’t done much distance running in the last couple of years. Okay, scratch that. I haven’t done much running, period, in the last couple of years. It’s time for that to change. I officially have my next big goal: the Milwaukee Marathon on April 11, 2020!
I am equal parts thrilled and terrified to take on them marathon again. My only successfully finish line was back in 2015 when I ran the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan in shy of six hours. Woof. that’s a lot of time one my feet! Still, I am forever proud of that finish line. However, my last two marathon attempts ended in DNFs, including one trip to the ER. I’m ready for redemption! As of this week, I am officially in training mode! Based on dates, my plan technically starts in two weeks, but I added a couple base-building weeks, just to get used to being on a schedule again.
My Training Plan
I’m using Hal Higdon’s Marathon 3 as a basis for my training plan. Most of his plans include too many days of running per week for what my body can handle. I liked that it includes three 20 mile runs, rather than the standard one. While my goal is certainly to complete all three, this gives more flexibility. If I fall behind on my training for some reason, I can still catch that missed peak long run.
I feel this plan is much more balanced with strength training and two rest days. For the Monday rest days, I may take a yoga class, depending on what my body needs. For the first part of training, I plan to combine Orangetheory classes on my running days. On those days, what miles I don’t cover on the treadmill portion of class, I’ll finish outside after. I don’t know how well this will go or if it will be sustainable in the later weeks of training, but I want to try this approach to start. I know myself well enough to know that I won’t get crucial strength training in otherwise.
With so much time away from distance running and knowing my current fitness levels, it feels too early to set a time goal. Yet, because my plan does call for some runs at marathon pace, it seems I need to do just that! While I would love to aim for something faster, what feels within reach right now is a sub-5 hour finish; this is an 11:26 minute per mile pace. As I regain my fitness, I may modify my goal later in training, but for today, that feels like something I can do.
Photo credit(s): Canva; Milwaukee Marathon Facebook event