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Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Looking for a good Marathon Training program…

Submit your favourite plan for my consideration. Or submit a plan that just looks good to you. Can be from a website, book, or something you have invented or has worked for you.

I will make a random drawing out of all the submissions. Winner gets 6 Island nectar GU Roctanes from my personal stash.

I will also send a Cool Kids Run Club Tech shirt AND 6 Island nectar GU Roctanes AND 6 Pineapple GU Roctanes to the person who sends me the plan I use (or the idea/closest variation of the plan I use).

here is A little about me and my goals, so you can send me the RIGHT plan…

My 2010 PB’s:

  • 5k – 25:25 -Shod
  • 5mile – 45:40 - BF
  • 10k – 56:45 – BF (shod is 30 sec faster in 2009)
  • 15k – 1:26:30 – Shod (15.5k in 1:29:30 BF)
  • Half – 2:01:45 – Barefoot (shod is 1:58:30 in 2009)

This will be my first marathon.

I would be considered a Clydesdale, at 6’2” and 235lbs.

I am a barefoot runner. I will utilize whatever footwear required for the cold winter running here in Calgary to achieve my goal.

I would love to run a 4:15 marathon.

I can train 4 days a week. I am open to cross training suggestions, articles, plans as well.

My goal race will be on May 22, 2011. (spoiler alert here)

If I need to give anyone anymore details about me, I am happy to do so. Comment here or email me at nzeller at shaw dot ca.

I would like to have all my decisions made by Dec 27th… you know, a new year, right?


Neil LCH


  1. Neil, my recommendation is to do teh Hal Higdon Novice 1 or Novice 2 program. I found his work best for me. Link can be found here.

    I have some other plans as well available on my blog site under the Run tab.

    ~Richard (

  2. Run slow. Run lots. Don't run when you're hurt.

  3. What Andrew said. What Clint said too. Oh, one more, don't have a time goal for your first.

  4. And if those two fail, I HIGHLY recommend either Jack Daniels training or Matt Fitzgeralds, "Brain Training for Runners" - which implements Jack but in a slightly different way!! Both of those we use for the Cross Country team where I teach and have amazing results!

  5. Hal has a great program, me personally I'm hoping to BQ this year so I'll be looking for some good minimal fast footwear. Good luck!

  6. Hi Neil,
    What about trying ours I'll give you free access if you want to join in.

  7. Thank everyone. Keep the info coming. I am a sponge.

    @ Jill, thanks, I will be looking at those...

    @ Scott. I had a look, I am intrigued. How do I get ahold of you. I can be found at nzeller at shaw dot ca

  8. @ mamarunsbarefoot. I have a pre-order in with a Dist. for the Inov-8 Baregrip 200. I am really looking forward to seeing those.

  9. The Inov8's for winter and trail running of course...

    I am still in 'Like' with my kso's, combined with Injinji... for the roads. The other offerings seem WAY too expensive for me...

  10. I followed's 20 Week Marathon Training schedule ( I'd rest Fridays and Sundays and run the other 4 days as outlined in the schedule. Gord's Running Store (Calgary) recommends a similar schedule.

    This year I'll be following something similar for building millage.

  11. I run out of the Running Room so I follow their program. It's similar to Higdon. You can get their marathon schedule through John Stanton's Book on Running, take a clinic in-store or online (or once I'm registered at the end of the month I can email it to you...). It is a great beginner program and throws in hill/speed work too.

    Also, their stores do group practice runs that are free and open to everyone on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings so you would have someone to run with on a regular basis. I looked and there are 8 stores in Calgary so one is probably close to you...

  12. Heh... Alanna.

    Does anyone else want to take this one?

  13. Personally, I think every person needs individualized training for a first marathon...barring that, pick a stock program with a good rep and then find someone experienced to bounce around your training with.

  14. How much speed work are you used to doing? What about Tempo runs? I use hal-hidgon as my base with a few variations. Basically I do:

    Monday recovery (you'd want to delete this run to stay w/ 4 per week)
    Tempo Tuesday
    longish run Wednesday (about half of weekend long run)
    Track Thursday
    Long Saturday following the two up, one down that Higdon loves

    If I could have a second entry, to dovetail off of what Jill said, the Runners World Smart coach is a Jack Daniels based training plan that will actually give you very specific paces to run. I think that it is a bit on the conservative side for their paces, but it is a good start. You have to sign up for a FREE account, but then you can spit out as many free customized training plans as you want.

  15. BTW - on my long run "two up one down" i mean with regard to mileage. so, do 7, 8, 6, 10, 11, 9 etc

  16. @Alanna, I was a fan of them... they didn't like me. You wanna hear a funny story?

  17. Presumably re: barefooting? I know he's not big on it...

  18. I was already a runner before I decided to do a marathon, but I really liked "The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer". The program has fewer workouts, but you can figure out where to add in stuff. The biggest part of preparing for a marathon is getting into cardiovascular shape and covering those longer runs.

    That being said, I can't promise that it will get you a PR, but it will get you to the finish.

    Also, I don't know how true it is, but when I was preparing for my first marathon, I was told many times that I should focus on finishing and not worry about times, but obviously those people didn't know me very well.

  19. I always follow Hal Higdon's training programs.