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Whatever you do, I suggest you read both Pfitzinger's "Advanced Marathoning" and Daniel's "Daniel's Running Formula". They both have a load of info that is very useful.
I'm also working towards a BQ (need a 3:50), but I've come up with my own training plan that is a merging of Pfitzinger and Hal Higdon's online stuff.
I'm also getting training plans via e-mail from a local coach (thank you family members for the Christmas gift). He's emphasizing strength training with me- much more so than the book did. I had a very noticeable improvement in my 5k times @ my last duathlon. Woo hoo!
I wanted a BQ very BADLY.
My new marathon PR is 3:35:34 ran at Houston this past January.
Most of this I credit with hard work and sheer determination, but I did work with http://www.kellyleljeblad.com and she was GREAT. A good coach can really help.
Of course it also helps to have a flexible wok schedule and a family that is supportive of your goals.. At least in my case.
I mix up my workouts; some are for speed, some are for hill training, and the long runs are ALWAYS practice for marathon. I treat every long run like a marathon, from my eating habits, to clothes, to nutrition on the course. Write down what works and what doesn't. I also run 3/4ths of my long runs at marathon pace. Many coaches say to run it 10-20% slower...doesn't make sense to me; if you never practice your marathon pace how do you expect to run that fast on the day of the race?!
Stay motivated like Speedy says! If there is a day you don't feel like running long or short, do it anyway! You'll be thankful later!
They are worth your time, but make sure you find someone who is willing to listen to you...that is the best part about being married to my coach, or rather having my hubby be my run coach. We've been together 9 years, married for nearly 8 (WOHA!) and he knows how I act when my body is revolting and knows my limits almost as well as I do. The flip side is that he knows when I'm not pushing as hard as I can.
Tiger for Life -- War Eagle!