In about 3 I embark on 5 months of Marathon training. And I find myself at the dreaded planning stage. I have entered the first 8 weeks of training into my diary and so far it is looking manageable but already. Before I have even started I am looking at this plan and finding ways to tweak it. Swimming and Paddleboarding are already going to force me to change my plan. There is plenty of scope for cross training in my plan but both swimming and SUP are significantly longer than the measly 50 minute windows I am being allowed by my plan.
I can also see the cogs turning on the 45 minute runs it has me doing every other day for the first 8 weeks. 45 minutes!!! Surely I can extend these to an hour.
Of course, these changes are easy to implement and I have been here before, in fact if I remember correctly it was the rigidity of the plan and my inability to make it, or myself, flexible that contributed to its epic failure last time around. I think this is why I have found a relatively generic plan, one that I do not feel guilty adjusting, because surely that is the point, right, Hal Higdon is not running my marathon, the journalist or athlete at runners world is not running my marathon, heck even the writer who came up with the intermediate plan that I am adapting is not running my marathon. I AM RUNNING MY MARATHON. ME. EEK.
On the plus side, I have set myself a marathon time of 4:15, which demands 9:43min/mile, if I am going to hit that time, and that speed is easily achievable for me at the moment. I have also evolved, athletically (both mentally and physically) since my last marathon attempt, I now understand my limits, my body, my mind. We have a running equilibrium.
This is going to be fun.