Musings about Marathon Training

Some random thoughts . . .

  • I’m proud of myself for sticking with the RLRF training program for this long. I tend to not follow anything after a while. Last spring life got in the way; other times I lost interest in the training plans and wanted to go back to doing my own thing. The fact that I still like RLRF and look forward to training means that he program works for me.
  • I appreciate the customizability of the RLRF training program app. You give the app your latest race result and it’ll create a 16-week marathon training program based on that time. As you gain fitness or perhaps get injured, you can adjust the given time that the program was based on. Since the start of the program, I’ve made a number of adjustments based on how training has been going. After a couple weeks, I realized that the plan was too hard, so I input a slower 5K race time. After a couple weeks as I regained my old level of fitness, the target paces were too easy so I adjusted it once more.
  • A problem that recently arose in RLRF is the difference in difficulty between the speed work and tempo runs. Currently I have it set so that the tempo runs are challenging, but doable, however, RLRF is assigning speed work that is impossible for me to do. The only way I can do the speed work is if I “cheat,” for example, by taking longer rest/recovery intervals. If I change the program so that I am able to do the speed work (challenging, but doable), then tempo runs are much too easy for me, to the point where it isn’t a tempo pace for me at all. I haven’t noticed anyone else using RLRF experiencing this or talking about it, so I’m assuming that this problem is specific to me, rather than a fault of RLRF. I haven’t firmly decided what to do to address this situation. As of now I adjust by “cheating” but I’m evaluating the merits and faults of changing between two different programs. I could do the paces for the long runs and tempo from the faster RLRF program and do the speed work from the slower RLRF program. This is something for me to think about.

Another post of mine is up at Salty Running. This time I’m talking about why Maine is a great place to do a runcation/racecation! Head over and read what I wrote and/or tell me what I should see/do while I’m up here. And yes, lots of lobster is on the menu!

13 thoughts on “Musings about Marathon Training

  1. I like melding different training plans to make my own, as well. I find that it allows me more flexibility and makes it more fun.

  2. I like doing that too, but I thought I would follow a training plan for my first marathon. Once I have some experience, I think I’ll feel more confident about taking the things I like about different plans to create something for myself.

  3. You are doing a great job. The marathon is a beast and definitely makes sticking to a plan more doable. I personally love the structure of marathon training. I never follow a plan outside of one but see how it works so well when you do. Keep up the great work!

  4. Eat some lobster for me!!
    You are totally rocking this training. I’ve been debating doing RLRF for my next race and I’m loving hearing the positive experiences that you are having with it. 🙂

    • We sure will!

      I love reading about other people’s training because it gives me ideas for my own. I saw your FB post asking about Hanson’s. You should ask Colby from It’s a Marathon and a Sprint because that’s what she’s using.

  5. If I recall correctly, I had to really fight to make it through those speed workouts. Sometimes I didn’t make the target times/paces, but I kept trying with each interval and I think that even just that effort resulted in speed gains for me. I think that if you are coming close enough it might still be okay, but if you are trying your absolute hardest and not making it, then it could be too aggressive.

    • I managed to get close with this week’s interval training. I think I’m always going to struggle with the speed work, whereas the tempos are far more doable for me (I still work hard, but I can meet and even go slightly faster).

      • I could see that being a good thing, tbh, because if the speedwork was easier for you, you’d have less opportunity for growth. I suppose the issue becomes balancing the push for progress with caution over the possibility of getting injured or burned out. If anyone can come up with a magic formula for that, I’m all ears/eyes!

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