Brian has run a total of 11 marathons, his first one being in April of 2003 where he finished in 4:19:21. When he ran Savannah and Memphis last year, he trained, but did not put any specific push on his training aside from preparing himself to run 26.2 miles. He ending up PR-ing both races…and it got him thinking: just how fast could he run 26.2 miles and could he possibly run fast enough for a BQ?
He ended up running 3 marathons this past spring; however this time he did put a specific push on his training and, again, PR-d with each race. Here are his times for the 5 marathons over the past 9 months:
- 11/5/11: RnR Savannah Marathon - 3:54:38
- 12/3/11: St. Jude Memphis Marathon - 3:50:41
- 4/15/12: Hogeye Marathon - 3:48:29
- 5/27/12: Andy Payne Marathon - 3:47:40
- 6/23/12: Chalevoix Marathon - 3:36:43
So what did he do? 2 main things:
- Running: I created the running piece of his training plan and used a combination of Hal Higdon and Run Less, Run Faster. His plan eliminated junk mileage and all of his runs had a specific purpose: long, hill/speed, and tempo/pace. He also had specific paces to hit for each run. Aside from running, he had one day with cross-training in it.
- Strength training: Brian created the strength training piece of his training. He lifted 3 days a week (one day for upper body, one day for legs, and one day for an all-over). He wanted to a unique focus on getting stronger, especially in his legs, to help him run faster. His strength training was no joke either, it was vey aggressive and he did reps by time instead of a number with a timed rest in between and all of his exercises worked multiple muscle groups. Simply put, he worked his tail off. Hard.
So we are back in another training cycle again and you probably all know what he is after - taking his best shot to get himself a BQ. He is running the White River Marathon in November. It is a small race in Arkansas that will put weather (hopefully) and course elevation on his side to get a BQ...
For his age group he's going to have to run fast….as in crossing with a sub 3:10. So, once again, we've collaborated on his training plan. He recognizes that he may have 2 races in front of him before earning a BQ and it may be a spring race instead of the race in November….but he's going to do what he can. The biggest difference with this training plan is the number of 20+ mile runs in it. There are three 20 milers and two 22 milers. Aside from that, we stuck three runs a week and the option of adding in a fourth run on Mondays with his upper body workout, three days of lifting, and one day cross-training.
|No training plan for us would be complete without noting all the travel! Yellow = travel.|
Good luck, Brian! I know you have a BQ in you :)
What's your approach to training? Do you put a strong push on strength training in addition to running?
How many 20+ mile runs do you like to include when training for a marathon?