I plan to run a marathon in 2008.
Current goal: Mississauga Marathon - May 11, 2008
I'm taking a fairly unstructured approach to my preparation. I'm planning my LSDs in advance, but other than that I'm trying to listen to my body and push myself accordingly.
I'm sticking to a few rules of thumb.
Never increase LSD more than 10% per week
The temptation is always there to push harder and go farther... but I'm really trying to stick to no more than 10% increases in my LSD. I'm a bit less strict about my weekly mileage, if I feel OK I may go over the 10% increase.
If you increase your mileage more than 10%, you risk injury. Been there, done that.
Rest a few days a week, and have one light week ever month
It's so easy to get overzealous and push too hard. I completely rest 2 days a week - no running, no cross-training - to let my body heal.
Every 4th week, I replace my LSD with a run around 50% of my last LSD, then go back to increases the next week. I read that this allows your body to more fully heal itself and get used to all of the new mileage.
Run at least 3 times a week
I'm training for a marathon, so I need to run. Three times is a minimum for me, usually I do 4, sometimes 5. When I only do 3, I compensate by cross-training the other days.
Above all! Listen to your body!!!
This is the most important thing I've learned. If I'm hurting, I skip the run and do something else. It's not worth risking injury.
So what are my goals?
December: 18K - done!
February : 26K (+ Peterbourgh 1/2 marathon)
March: 32K (+ Around the Bay 30K Road Race)
April: 33K (+ Paris to Ancaster 60K Mountain Bike race)
May: Mississauga Marathon!
Yes, that is a Mountain Bike Race stuck in the middle... toward the end of my training I would like to introduce more cross-training to avoid running injuries, while maintaining my ever-increasing LSDs. It's a bit unusual, but I'm a cyclist first and foremost, so I think this will work for me.
I'll keep posting on where I'm at! Eventually with less frequency, but right now I'm a new and excited blogger. ;)