Picking a Plan

MyAsics - Get Your Plan

Somehow I went to sleep sometime in January and woke up in July!  Does it feel like the summer is just flying by to anyone else?!

I took a minute to figure out how long I have until my next big event – and was shocked to find out that the Philadelphia Marathon (November 17th) is 4 months and 10 days from this Sunday!

That’s 19 weeks.

133 days.

3192 hours.

191,520 minutes.

OK, you get the idea.  It’s soon.  And I haven’t picked a training plan yet!

I always feel a little stuck when it comes to deciding on a plan for marathon training.  It seems like I’m always somewhere between beginner and intermediate – but there aren’t many plans that cater to that.  I think I have a good cardio fitness base right now, which makes the first weeks of many beginner plans kind of superfluous.  At the same time, I definitely am not an intermediate, nor do I have the time to commit to the hours of training that many intermediate plans require.

I know that Hal Higdon’s beginner plans are really popular for people who are starting to train for a marathon.  I’ve checked out his other free training plans and am strongly considering the Novice 2 or Intermediate 1 plans.  Realistically, I don’t see myself having time to run both weekend days as proposed in the Intermediate 1 plan, so I might end up defaulting to the Novice 2 schedule.

I’ve also investigated the MyAsics training program after reading about it on Run, Hemingway, Run!  (Thanks, Marc!)  It is similar to Hal’s but is customizable based on age, gender, current race times, goal times, event dates, etc.  Pretty cool.  The only downside I see to it so far is that it doesn’t seem to be too flexible once you put in a current race time.  (It seems to presume that your mile split time for the entered race length is the fastest you can run for any length.  I would assume most people are like me in that they can run a 5k at a faster pace than their half-marathon pace, but the MyAsics plan seems to stick to the slower half-marathon pace if that’s the current race time you enter.)

Anyway, I haven’t been great about picking and sticking with plans in the past, which means I’ve never actually “trained” for a marathon, although I’ve run several.  Having a plan this time around would make the post-marathon weeks much more pleasant, I’m sure!   I’d love to hear what everyone recommends and what factors you think are important in picking a plan.  My legs will thank you on November 18th.  😉

Happy Fitness Friday!


Back on the Wagon

April’s fresh start continued today with an early morning Power Cycle class.  Sometimes, just getting out of bed and thinking of working out is victory enough, but when it is snowing – on April 2nd, no less – actually making it to the gym is darn near miraculous.  Fortunately, I did make it, and I was rewarded with a wonderful third-ever cycling class.  Again, different instructor, different routine, same challenging exercise.  How did I live without this class?!

I also spent some time tonight searching for upcoming 5Ks for motivation.  There are a few in April and May that are looking good.  I like races that have something unique about them, whether it’s a charity cause, a cool course, or a great post-race party.  I’ll be comparing the options to my schedule as I have a chance over the next few days.  Hopefully, within a week or so, I’ll have a race or two scheduled to keep me honest!

Keep your first-of-the-month motivation going!  Swimming tomorrow morning.  Please, no snow..



Friday was jam-packed with things to do.  I was on the go from before 6 AM on Friday until almost 1 AM the next morning, so a workout was not in the cards.  It was OK though, because a day of rest was in order for a couple of reasons.

First, giving my body a break gave me the chance to do something good for my soul.  I went to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform The St. Matthew Passion by Bach.  It was fantastic.  The conductor was mesmerizing, the instrumental solos were inspiring, and the voices from the Westminster Choir College and American Boychoir were just incredible.  Apparently the rest of the audience thought so, too – the artists received an insanely long standing ovation at the end of the performance.  Music does a body (and heart and mind) good!  Info about the program is on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s website.

Second, a workout-free day gave me a much-needed opportunity to rest before the 5K I had signed up for this weekend.  I haven’t been training for this race in particular, but had decided to register a month or so ago as motivation to keep up with my running.  After a week of new activities (Power Cycle!  Swimming!) I just wanted to finish the race – and maybe break 30 minutes if my legs weren’t too tired.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and the morning was perfect for a 5K.  (Is spring finally here?)  The 2nd Annual Cherry Blossom 5K followed a lovely course by the Brandywine River.  I’m happy to say that I not only finished, but also came in under the very attainable goal of less than 30 minutes.  I’m also inspired to look for some more 5Ks and 10Ks that would provide convenient motivation for my running over the next few months.  I’ll let you know if I find anything good!