- I signed up for the BMO Vancouver Marathon for May 1st.
- I Signed up for the Red Deer Half Marathon for May 22nd.
- I offered my volunteer services for the Calgary Marathon for May 29th.
I feel quite good about the whole thing.
But first, the REALLY good news. I went for a 4k run tonight and it was good. Really good. I have NO lingering pain in my right foot. I did notice that my Achilles was tight for the first few hundred meters so I stopped and did a little stretching (I never ever stop to stretch during a run, but boy did it make a difference). I ran the rest of the run at a slow to medium pace (for me) and ran completely pain free. Super-Duper and *WoOt-wOoT* to me! The other thing was, I used my Iphone and the app for www.mapmyrun.com and it worked fantastic. I was really surprised how well it tracked, being stuck in my fleece vest pocket.
I wore my Vibrams along with a pair of Injinji socks and it was much better than I expected. Holy reflective cold weather running pants Batman!
Ok, I have been studying and researching, and have hummed and hawwed, but nothing is final yet as to what marathon training plan I am going to follow. I am going to lay the whole thing out here.
The choices that are in front of me, awaiting my decision include:
- What Chris K Says
- What Andrew O Says
- What Adam Says (he runs a modified Hal Higdon, see below)
- What Clint Says (Run slow, Run lots and don’t run when it hurts) um… ok. So what do you say about breathing? Do it? Come on man, you follow a plan don’t you? (I know the plan you follow Clint, so there is no need to get nasty here… LOL)
- The Non-Runners Marathon Trainer – all I can find on it is that it’s book based. Lindsay says it allows you to train less and still be able to complete the marathon. It focuses on Cardio and the Long runs.
- Run with a Hal Higdon program. I ran Hal’s free and very basic self guided program for the Calgary Half last May. It was ok. It is very popular as he has tons of free info on his site. You can get the full interactive programs ranging from Basic $5 t0 $20.00, Premium $20 to $50, and Ultimate Training plans run $99.00. I assume the levels of accountability and contribution from the site is greater with the more money you send them.
- Training Peaks. I know Coach Jill said to look at a Jack Daniels or Matt Fitzgerald plan, called Brain training for runners. Matt’s original work is found in his books, but Training Peaks seems like the place to go for just about any plan written by many plan authors at all price levels. Hal Higdon’s work is also offered through Training Peaks. Training Peaks offers specific plans for a number of specific races too. What Training Peaks is best known for is as an online workout log. It pretty much tracks every bit of metrics you can throw at it, from just about any device or platform you choose to use. It has the Mobile Apps, as well as all the product makers bending to their standards. The Basic (Free) membership allows you to upload workouts, log exercise and meals, map routes, journal etc. It is pretty much the same setup that you can get from MapMyRun, DailyMile etc… Once you pay the $20.00/month subscription you get many more features such as Calendar Sync, No advertising (huge), and Virtual Coach season planning. But just to clarify, if you want a tailored running plan, you have to pay the fees for whatever plan you choose, which can be anywhere from $20.00 to hundreds of dollars.
- Run the About.com Marathon Plan. It’s just you and a sheet of paper.
- Runners World Smart Coach – Free for DIY, $9.99 to make it interactive. Free account required for access. There is also a corresponding Iphone App. (that app caught my attention for a moment)
- Now this one popped up out of nowhere for me. It’s brand new. http://marathon-trainingschedule.com. Scott left a note in the comments inviting me to take a look at the site. I did, and it looks really good. Scott is an Olympic 1500m specialist and Coach Lee Troop is an Olympic Marathoner. These 2 guys have taken on the daunting task of building a marathon training site. It looks like these guys are really on track. You can go and have a look at the first week of each training plan for 3 levels of Marathon and 3 levels of Half Marathon without committing to anything, and if you like what you see, you can buy an annual membership for $40.00 this week! $50.00 after the launch week. The one thing you need to have when you set up your plan is your goal time. They have pretty broad ranges when initially choosing your plan, but inside the program it requires you to get more specific. Personally, I like that. It’s not a generic plan. All the built in tools give you a very specific plan to follow including exact paces for all the different workouts. The other cool part of this program is the support videos they have produced. All good stuff in my book. Additionally, they are almost ready to unveil (couple weeks from now) an interactive component called Marathon Guru as part of the membership which predicts your marathon time after each training run and which will:
- Adjust your Schedule "on the run"
- Record your sessions
- Graph your training
Click this big image, it will take you to the actual page so you can look around.
Here is what I mean when I say they get very specific. This is what you’ll see when you click on KM Pace chart for the Sunday long run.
I like these guys. I was invited to take an in depth look at the site, and with all the extra info I can get on a full featured complimentary basis, how can I really say no to this? So far this program is the leader for me. I have been in contact with Scott a number of times, so you know he is keen and proud of his product. It is always nice to see the creators of a program be so involved!
- Running Room (Clint runs or used to run with the Running Room, as well as Alanna and it is also where I got my start in running). Whatever you may have read on this blog in the past, I like the program they provide. They have a ton of retail stores all over Canada that provide in-store group instruction, as well as on-line programs that are easy to follow. Typically the instructors are volunteers, as well as the support people, but they are supported nicely by a set program that is the same all across the country. Running Room is very good at attracting and helping new runners achieve their initial running goals (group accountability is paramount). Costs are $69.00 for an instore program (includes a tech shirt) and the online program is $49.00 (no shirt). They have programs from walking, to Learn to run all the way up to Marathon. (The program is a Run-Walk deal, like Galloway’s)
I know there are MANY more online and book programs, and feel free to let me know what those are, but these are the ones that YOU brought up, so that’s that. If money wasn’t tight (and money was the original strike against Vancouver being my Marathon choice, but it’s nothing a Loonie/Toonie jar won’t fix over the next 4 months) I would hire a coach. It would probably be Jill. I like the idea of a tailored plan, with feedback and that extra bit of accountability, but I think for this one I will be able to use YOU as my inspiration/motivation/accountability.
Well, what do you think of this whole deal? I am obviously leaning toward http://marathon-trainingschedule.com so you marathon vets have a look at it and let me know what you think of it.