Return to Training + Which Training Plans I’m Considering

After two weeks “off”, it’s time to return to distance running training! For my first marathon, I used the Hanson’s marathon method, which worked pretty well for me, but this time around I’m looking at other options. First, because I want to incorporate cross training, as I discussed in my last post due to some lofty goals I have for next year, and Hanson’s doesn’t leave much time for or recommend cross training. Second, because now that season is here, my work schedule has become much more demanding and I probably won’t have 6 days a week to dedicate to running. That being said, I recently purchased two books on marathon training, Daniels’ Running Formula and Advanced Marathoning to take a look at some other training plan options. I came across this really cool website, Fellrnr, which has a comparison of most of the major marathon training plans on the market right now.

According to Fellrnr, the best marathon training plans for me would be either the FIRST Training Method or the Daniels’ Running method, and I’m leaning towards Daniels after reading the book. (I wish I had come across this website prior to training for my first marathon! While I don’t regret using Hansons and would probably use it again in the future, I like how he breaks it down as to which methods are most beneficial for which type of runner). I particularly enjoy speedwork, have limited training time this cycle, plan to focus on multiple sports, am hoping for a sub-5 time and fall into what the website classifies as the ‘Ringer’ category, otherwise known as a person who’s run one marathon but has lots of experience and success racing other distances.

Anyway, enough about that stuff, let’s get down to the good stuff: my return to training last week!

Sunday, November 12: No run, took the day off to enjoy not having to wake up early to run.

Monday, November 13: This was my last day of an actual training “break” in terms of running, but I did take a CrossFit class and here’s the workout we did:

5-5-5-5-5 Back Squats (75# weight)

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 10 DUBS (double unders) or 20 singles
  • 15 wall balls, 10# ball
  • 15 leg raises
  • 20 push ups

Cash Out:

  • 200m sprint
  • 20 sit ups

My legs felt dead after that workout.

Tuesday, November 14: This was the first day I got back to running! I really enjoyed coming out to the RunTampa group run to hang with my running buddies again. It was fun and it’s always a great route. I ended up with 4.2 miles tonight. Even though my legs were pretty sore from yesterday, I felt relatively good while running!

Wednesday, November 15: Originally I planned on going to CrossFit again today, but I opted for another rest day after waking up feeling like my legs would still fall off.

Thursday, November 16: Today was a pretty rough day work wise; an employee of mine quit with no notice leaving us extremely short handed for the holiday weekend this weekend! I don’t understand why people can’t be mature and respectful and give their two weeks notice…it’s not hard to finish out your time at a place of employment, even if you don’t like the job. I know because I did it when I worked at Lowe’s. Anyway, all I have to say is karma is a Bitch with a capital B and I hope I’m around to see this person get theirs! I went for a run with the UTC RunClub tonight and am really glad I did…it was good to get out with my old running crew and run the stress off. We had fun- even though we practically threw up a ton of bugs running around the lake!

Friday, November 17: This morning I did another CrossFit class, but I modified it somewhat to not include so many squats due to having a 5k race the following morning! Today’s workout:

5-5-5-5-5 Push Press, 35# to start, then 55# for the last two sets

  • AMRAP for 9:00
  • 15 DUBS, or 20 singles
  • 5 Sumo DeadLift High Pull, 18# kettlebell
  • 7 KB swings (Russian style, 18#)
  • 9 Ring Rows

Saturday, November 18: I went to the Game Day 5k to promote Fit2Run and also ended up running the race. I went in not expecting much because I hadn’t run much the last few weeks since the marathon. I was pleasantly surprised when I managed to hold an 8:53 pace for the first mile, and it was after that that I decided to go for it. I knew if I could hang onto that pace for the next two miles I would be able to PR. I focused on my breathing so I wouldn’t get a side stitch- even though it was cool in the morning, it got hotter as the race went on and there was no shade along the route. Shortly after the two mile turnaround I ran into one of my seasonal runners who spends the summers up north and the winters in my hometown. We made a deal to not let each other slow down and she told me if I was feeling it I should go because I looked strong. I stayed with her until the final quarter mile then sped up. It was definitely a struggle at the end, but I held the pace and finished in 28:01! My previous personal best was at the Jingle 5k last year and was 29:10 so this was a good minute faster! It also gained me a 2nd place AG award- my first ever in a road race! I was really happy about that.

This week was a good intro back into running. By Tuesday, I was ready to get back out there. I think taking 10 days off post marathon was a pretty smart thing because it gave me some much needed rest and I gradually eased back into running.

How long did you take off post marathon? What marathon training plans have you used? 

Linking up with Tricia + Holly from the Weekly Wrap and Erika, Marcia + Patti from Tuesdays on the Run!

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10 thoughts on “Return to Training + Which Training Plans I’m Considering”

  1. My last couple of marathons, I trained with my CrossFit coach. I can’t do the high mileage that Hansons calls for. But my coach incorporated that “running on tired legs” philosophy via CrossFit, and it worked pretty well for me!

    1. High mileage isn’t for everyone. It worked for me this year, but I’m thinking next year will be a different story. I love how crossfit is helping my running so we will see how much stronger I get doing that!

  2. Congratulations on your marathon and your 5k AG award!! I used Hal Higdon’s Beginner marathon training plan for my first marathon in 2015. I am using a faith based marathon training plan now that has a devotion along with my mileage for the day. So far, I like it but I skipped my shakeout run today because I was tired from yesterday’s long run. Hope your new training plan works well for you!

    1. Hal Higdon is great I’ve used his plans numerous times in the past! I’m only in week one of Daniels but I’m liking it so far. It offers great flexibility so I can get my mileage in but meet my work scheduling needs.

  3. I’m hoping to run a Spring and Fall marathon next year and I’m also thinking about what kind of training plan I would like to follow. There are so many options!

    1. What plan did you use for Chicago? I like experimenting with different plans. Helps me to see what works best for me.

  4. Marathon plans are so unique to each runner. Just as we all have our preferences on mileage (quantity and frequency), the truth is some of are better equipped for certain training plans. I trained for a marathon and had much higher mileage than Id ever had before…and (looking back) I think I was over-trained because the taper wasn’t much of a taper, and race day was treacherous (I think due to my fatigued state). So….I know high-mileage is not my gig, and I’ll never do that again. You’re smart to take your time in comparing plans, to see what will be YOUR best fit. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks! Trial and error is the only way to truly find out what works and what doesn’t for you.

  5. Training plans are so individual! I’m a running coach and some people actually do very well with only 3 quality runs a week. For a marathon, I prefer 4 or 5 days plus cross training. Many people do great with Hansons… but being older and more injury prone, I couldn’t use it. The main thing is that you enjoy the training process, whatever method you choose. Thanks for linking!

    1. This one gives me control over how many extra days I run past the three- so I could do four or five if I feel like it/have the time. But I don’t have to if I don’t…which I like. I’m going to give it a shot and see what happens! I’ll be doing weekly training updates so we will see if this works for me.

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