We found 45 Reddit comments about Advanced Marathoning. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
My advice is start with either Jack Daniels' or [Pete Pfitzinger's] (http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Marathoning-Edition-Pete-Pfitzinger/dp/0736074600/ref=pd_sim_b_4?ie=UTF8&amp;refRID=19PK2FVW02JWZ7FA2WGX) books. They are quick reads that have everything you need to know to get started on racing a marathon (or half). Both books are organized well so you don't really need to read them cover to cover. They cover both the science plus have appendices with exact daily plans to follow.
I guarantee you that you will be much better off spending <$20 on one of these books then wasting a lot of time trying to piece together free info on the internet.
Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger is my go-to recommendation.
If you know nothing about marathon training, buy Pfitz's Advanced Marathoning or Daniels' Running Formula and give it a read. Either of those is a good starting point, but I'd probably suggest Daniels' if you're used to shorter races. Pfitz has only marathon info (for the most part) and Daniels has everything, so comparing his marathon info to his shorter info might be helpful for you in particular, since you probably have a decent understanding about the shorter races and can use that as a baseline comparison.
Given your background, 6 months should be okay, but starting at 15mpw is not going to help. I'd look at two months of base building followed by a 4 month plan. 2 months is not a lot to ramp up to 50mpw, but again, if you've done 100mpw in the past, you should be able to go a bit more accelerated than most and still be safe.
I wouldn't even set a goal yet, to be honest. It could be anywhere from 2:30 to 3:00 depending on how you handle getting back up there in mileage.
you're not going to get tons of feedback because you've essentially asked this sub to help you steal from our favourite author.
buy the book
Why shouldn't you do that much speed work without much rest in between? Think of it this way - are you more likely to give 100% effort if you focus in on one speed session per week or five speed sessions per week?
Since we're all human, there's no way you can recover fully between each speed session if you don't rest adequately - so you end up doing each speed session at 75% of your max effort. Even though you're "working hard" by getting out here five times a week, you can see that each session doesn't get the full attention and effort it deserves - and this is sub-optimal for training.
From Pete Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning, you need the following number of rest days for each type of workout:
This book is good to help you learn about more about the science and ways to measure progress. It also includes some workouts and training plans. I believe that once you understand the "why" behind your training plans and runs, it will help you be a more focused runner. Advanced Marathoning
Sounds like you're ready for Pfitz. Many runners on here have used his book, myself included, to excellent results. Additionally you mention wanting longer runs than 16M, the backbone of Pfitz's plan is a LOT of long runs. He's known to drop "medium-long runs" on a Wednesday that are like 12-15 miles and then throw an 18-20 miler at you on the weekend.
The workouts aren't insane, but he definitely gets you with those long runs. If you stick true to the plan, choose the mileage that's right for you and come into the plan with the right base...you'll crush with Pfitz.
Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger
Fun fact, I chose the name for this subreddit based on his book which I first read when I was 17 and training for the Marine Corps Marathon. Also a fun fact, I do not recommend getting into marathons at age 17. :)
>Do you think my initial goal (3:10) was unrealistic based on my mileage in training?
This question is based on the individual, however increasing your weekly mileage safely will not hinder your performance. There are plenty of people who run much faster on less mileage, but this does not mean that you can.
>Did I simply go out a bit too eager and pay the price?
The marathon is hard. Each race day is different, and with longer distances small things like a few degrees temperature difference take a toll later in the race. General consensus is that if you're running the second half slower than the first you went out too fast.
>If training could have yielded better results, would you put performance drop down to slight illness?
I'm sure getting sick didn't help, but knowing how much it may have slowed you is impossible to know.
>For next marathon, what would you recommend I do differently? I suppose more smart mileage.
Your previous PR times seems to scale pretty well, so I don't know what specifically you should do differently outside of the normal advice that more miles won't hurt.
The Higdon plans are pretty good and I've used them myself in the past. You'll find that many runners here in /r/AdvancedRunning "move up" to the plans in Advanced Marathoning , and Daniel's Running Formula. Advanced Running focuses more specifically on marathons, while the Daniel's book pretty deep into explaining the science being training.
I have been told Higdon plan is not the best for a BQ time. I am currently trying for BQ as well and have been using Pfitzinger 70/18 plan. It's really rough because the first week you start is 53 miles. It tops out at 70mpw which is more than I have ran in a week before. I have been told maybe people have either lowered their time significantly or BQ'd using his plan.
If you are interested, here is an idea how the plan works. To get more in depth about his workouts (which ones are tempo and how fast to run on certain runs) I highly recommend his book. I've been running for about 4 years and learned so much after reading it.
Ones I have read and recommend:
Fitzgerald (one of several)
Ones I have not read but have heard good things about:
There is also an out of print (I think) book by Arthur Lydiard that is really good. And for that matter, I am not sure I linked the correct Bill Squires book. One is really good, while the other is an awful, watered-down version.
I have a pretty similar background. I ran in high school, then DIII in college, quit running for many years, got back to it as a pre-masters/masters runner. People kept asking me questions, so I started coaching for free. Then on a spare weekend, I got certified as a USATF level 1 coach, which is really fun. I really recommend it, since you're a T&F fan.
You have to buy the book.
Runner's world. Ugh. Stay away from that garbage, and definitely don't pay for anything from them. You won't get to sub 3 that way.
I know plenty of people use Pfitzinger (you'll see references to Pfitz 18/55 or Pfitz 18/70- 18 weeks, 55 or 70 miles a week). His book is only 14 bucks.
Also, I don't know if there are rules here against linking to letsrun, but there is some good stuff there about training & marathon training (more so in the past...these days, there's more garbage than good training advice).
Key marathon workouts from a Canova training program
Daniels' Running Formula
Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning
Hansons Marathon Method
I personally like Pfitzinger's book.
I recommend the plans in the book "Advanced Marathoning" by Pfitzinger. The plans themselves are simple, but definitely challenging. I think the lowest mileage plan peaks at about 55 miles, but the more mileage you are able to handle, the faster you will run the marathon. I first started out doing the 55 mile plan back in 2011 and ran a 2:52 marathon. The following year I tried the 85+ (peaking at around 110) and ran a 2:34 at Boston this year.
has an incredible amount of information. I would have said my Garmin 410 was mvp, but i have a 6th place overall finish and 2 BQ's with a $10 Timex because of this book.
Two great books with excellent marathon training plans are:
Pfitzinger Advanced Marathoning is what I base most of my training on. The first time I did one of his plans is the major turning point from me being "meh" to actually kind of decent at marathons.
Daniels' Running Formula is a staple, with a wider focus. I tend to lift specific workouts/weeks from his plans.
Hansons also has a great reputation, but I haven't used it personally. They mainly approach it as trying to train you to run the last part of the marathon.
Hal Higdon has good plans if your goal is to just finish and not die.
Most of these guys have plans for various levels of runner. The "easiest" Pfitz plan peaks at about 55 miles per week. Daniels is more "you pick your peak mileage, and then adjust according to a % for each week". It is pretty important to not bite off more than you can chew. As you learned, the most important thing is to get to the start line healthy.
I followed the training plan in this book for my first marathon:
My best recommendations are for you to respect the distance and not ramp up your mileage too quickly.
Read Pfitz. You can totally kill that PR.
Maybe check out Advanced Marathoning and pick a plan that best suites your desires and ability.
It all depends on the kind of shape they're in. This included my own mother when she was sedentary and wanted to get into shape like the people I coached. She was overweight and about 60 at the time. In one year she went from couch potato to finishing a half marathon in 2:45ish with no injuries and maintained that on her own after for several years.
For someone who is healthy, active, and only 23: read up on the best way to race a 5k, then go run the 5k. You should feel like you are about to vomit and fall over right after you cross the finish line. From there you can put together a good baseline.
Check out Daniels Running Formula for a chart/graph that you could then use for all sorts of paces. It's one of the best books for medium distance I found. If you want to specifically go for marathons, after you've done your first transition to Advanced Marathoning for some amazing training schedules.
It's very doable to aim for 5-7 hours of sleep and be plenty rested for that regimen. Also "50+" is a huge range, and there's a massive difference between the needs of someone running 50MPW (which is still on the border between a 'casual' and 'semi serious' runner) and someone running 100MPW. I was recently reading about one of the authors of this book who was averaging 70 MPW and peaked at 125, all while working 45+ hours per week and freelance writing. So it's totally possible to make the time even if you're busy. It's just a matter of what you make time for in life.
For the 5K (and shorter than marathon distance), there's Pfitz's Faster Road Racing.
For the marathon distance, there's his Advanced Marathoning.
+1 to the library (that's how I first got a hold of the plans), but FWIW, I've had great success with Pfitz's training plans and think the $18+ for the book is well worth it, given the price you'd pay for other quality training plans out there.
I used a modified version of Hal Higdon's for my first half marathon. Actually I pretty much just ran 5-6 days a week with one long run a week, adding a mile each week and topping off at 12.5 miles a few weeks before the race.
I would suggest reading Pfitzinger's Avdanced Marathoning and adjusting the training schedule to be for distances for the half. A 12 week program might be enough for the half.
Try and run on segements of the course for some of your long runs and if you can't make it to the course try and train for the same elevation profile as the race you'll be running. Best of luck, with 3 months to go you should have no problem racking that 7 mile long run up to 12+
I'm a bit rusty on the science and don't have my trusty copy of Advanced Marathoning with me but I'll give it a shot!
>But what's the point of that mileage? I prob don't reach the fat >burning (over glycogen) point that I would from a long run
Becoming more efficient at burning fat can be important but it's not the purpose of most your long runs because if all goes well, you shouldn't have to burn fat in the marathon.
Really, marathon training is getting your body storing as much glycogen as possible while burning it at efficiently as possible. That's because when you run out you start burning fat (requiring a lot more O2) and you hit the wall.
>It's also not helping with speed.
Real speed work is barely featured in marathon training. In the last couple of weeks leading up to the marathon you'll see some 400s etc as a sharpening workout but otherwise it's pretty useless because you'll never see it i the race. Longer intervals like mile repeats, 2 mi, 5k are useful to improve aerobic efficiency. I'll usually do one workout a week like this.
>And intuitively, I would think that taking a day off would be better for >recovery than doing a short and easy run.
>Wouldn't I run better/smarter if I prioritized each of my workouts (my >long runs, intervals, tempo) and gave it 100% rather than struggle to >complete them b/c of fatigue for instance?
Ah but marathon training is about running when you're not fully recovered. How else do you teach your body to recover more quickly? How else do you encourage it to store more glycogen and use it more efficiently? How else do you learn to run on tired legs? Don't take me wrong, you shouldn't be struggling to complete them but you shouldn't feel fresh either.
edit: Check out the weekly marathon training thread over at LetsRun to see what type of training people are doing. You'll see guys who are OT qualifiers and others who are like you shooting for Boston. Pay attention to the easy mileage they're running compared to the workouts.
+1 for Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning. Higdon's plans are OK, but his book is pretty bad, IMO. Also, check out Fitzgerald's New Rules of Marathon Nutrition.
A lot of people around here recommend Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning. I just started one of his plans so I can't speak too much on how much improvement I've made personally.
He lists specific heart rate zones for every type of workout that you will do on his plan. It takes out the guesswork of always trying to run a specific pace. Basically, your heart rate dictates the pace you run each workout.
I've noticed that I have to run slower than usual to keep my heart rate in the correct zone (just like OP says in his blog.) After just 4 weeks I've noticed that I'm running faster at a lower heart rate and my resting heart rate is almost 5% lower.
Its a period of time in between a microcycle (e.g. a week) and a macrocycle (e.g. 5 months marathon buildup and recovery).
Pfitzinger splits a macrocycle into 5 mesocycles for the marathon. Each mesocycle focuses on a particular aspect of preparation for a race.
A bit off-kilter for this sub, but for anybody who actually wants to train to race competitively, Daniel's Running Formula is invaluable. It covers training (speedwork, intervals, long runs, hills, fartleks, strength training), nutrition, and recovery for everything from the 800m-marathon. Chances are you won't have many clients seeking a sharp 800m or single mile time who didn't also run in high school or college, but the speed training info is invaluable, and substantially better/more detailed than the vague notion of "HIIT sprints", which I'm pretty sure 95% of beginners are doing at high injury risk and with terrible pacing anyway. Also, Jack Daniels and Steve Pfitzinger are leaps and bounds ahead of Hal Higdon for half and full marathon plans catered to people who actually want to have a competitive finish time.
Sure, I'm biased, but unless you're going to specifically be a strength coach, you might want to broaden your knowledge into fields that future clients might care about. You also might want to do some research into agility work (American football drills, soccer drills, sprinter/jumper plyos, etc.) in case some clients also have an interest in that. I vaguely know some sprint drills, but I'm mid/long distance so it's really not something I'm super knowledgeable about.
Am I shooting too high??
I'll try to keep this question as short as possible..
thank you very much for your detailed response, this totally sounds like me and wow your race times sound fantastic to me, I will be giving the 18/55 a try I think for my next serious marathon (phuket in June) perhaps I can cut the first week of the 18/55 plan to make the timeline fit.
i am assuming you are talking about this book here:
I will get that and have a read and then probably do the 18/55 first before trying the 18/70
1 More question on a practicality side, I have tried plans from books before and have never found a simple system of transferring everything into a readable format that I could pin on the fridge. do you tend to create a excel spreadsheet of simply copy the page in the book (I am assuming sometimes dates and rest days have to be shuffled around cause life gets in the way) or do you not keep a log that way?
thanks again for your help :)
It depends on your goal. You have plenty of time to train properly for a December Marathon, if you desire the challenge of moving up in distance. On the other hand, some people prefer to work on their speed at shorter races before moving up in distance. That's less common these days, but it's a legitimate strategy.
Higdon, Pfitzinger, and Hanson have good books that offer training plans. You could do well with any of them.
This the one? Advanced Marathoning?
Most marathon training books will have everything your looking. Probably the most commonly recommended is Advanced Marathoning but there are quite a few.
Aside from the plans themselves this book covers everything. It's a great resource. Diet, pacing, stretching, and the science behind all of it. It goes into heart rate training and everything. Highly recommend.
If anyone is looking for a real recovery plan, the book "Advanced Marathoning" by Pfitzinger has lots of recovery-specific plans, over varying lengths, from a couple weeks, up to 3 months, I believe.
It's a nice way to get back into it without allowing yourself to push too hard.
Obviously they include running and cross-training ;)
Here's the amazon link
I ran in college, had no idea how to train for a marathon, and just sorta winged it for a couple marathons before someone recommended me this book. I've never had better results than the season I followed the training in this book to a T. They have all kinds of distances too, so if you want to do a high mileage training season, they have that, or if you're looking for a 50-60 mile season, that's possible too.
Honestly I'd say that with a 1:57 half and five months to train, 4:30 is a pessimistic time. You'll just have to make sure to get some good long runs in, and don't jump into things too fast after the half (to avoid getting an injury).
I would look at the Hal Higdon intermediate plans or (more preferably) one of the lower mileage Pfitzinger plans from Advanced Marathoning
Just to give you the flavor of Pfitz, the peak distance week of the 18/55 plan has you running 88km (55 miles) split up as:
Mon: Rest / cross-train
Tues: 10K w/ strides
Thurs: Rest / cross-train
Fri: 19K w/ 11K tempo
The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition by Matt Fitzgerald is a good book that talks mainly about nutrition. Some people say it was written as a marketing ploy by Matt Fitzgerald, however there's still some great info in there about nutrition for training and race day.
Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger is also a great resource for all things training. Ignore the training plans in the back as they're likely too advanced for your first marathon, but the rest of the book has amazing information about physiology, cross-training, recovery, nutrition, types of workouts... Highly recommend. Then, if you get to a point where you want to take your marathoning to the next level, you'll have some great plans to work off.
Another great online resource is fellrnr.com (i've linked you straight to the marathon section) -- this guys has compiled A LOT of data if you're a data nerd, and there's also a lot of good info in there.
Just a note on using different resources -- you'll see that sometimes they can contradict each other. For example, Matt's book and fellrnr both speak to the benefits of fat loading during your pre-race carb load phase, but Pfitz's book writes this off as not necessary. This is normal, and don't get too caught up in what's right and what's not. The point is that everyones different, and you need to find what works for you.
This sub-reddit is also a great trove of information, with many people willing to answer specific questions about anything running related, so never hesitate to ask!
Good luck with your training and race!
Buy that. You’re asking questions that have already been answered by experts in the field. My honest assessment is that if you’re saying you ran 1:42 “without pushing yourself” and can crank out 8 min miles as recovery pace while still asking about strength and eating then you’re nowhere close to BQ. Learn the basics of marathoning, get a plan, and be patient. I’d say you’re 18-24 months away if you do your research and dedicate yourself.
Advanced Marathoning - 2nd Edition
Its a worthwhile read both for pacing for the plan and overall how you should be training for the marathon.
Yeah, Pete Pfitzinger wrote the definitive guide to marathon training, it's considered to be the bible on /r/running and /r/advancedrunning... http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Marathoning-2nd-Pete-Pfitzinger/dp/0736074600
In the book there are sample training regimens for all sorts of scenarios, weekly milages, skill levels, etc. Hal Higdon also has this sort of thing on his website, but I think Pfitz does a better job with speedwork.
Advanced Marathoning is dense with great information!
The first 2/3 of the book covers everything from mitochondria and glycogen to heart rate ranges for various types of training runs to how much water your stomach can digest over time and how to drink on the run. An endless number of gems really, I love to just open the book up and read a page and see what I learn.
The last 1/3 is the various training schedules based on your weekly miles...up to 55/week, up to 75/week, and beyond.
Ive bought other running books but this is the first one that was full of information you don't naturally encounter on the web.
$13 at Amazon
Desktop link - http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/marathon-advantage?page=single
Amazon link to the book, there's also a chance you can find it in a library too- http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Marathoning-Edition-Peter-Pfitzinger/dp/0736074600
If you really want a sub 3:05, I think the best option is to skip the July race & focus on August. Use the next few weeks to add to your base before going with Pfitzinger 55-70/18. Within the schedule you'll need to schedule 2 medium distance tune up races (5 miles to 15k distance) and 2 of the long runs have significant mileage at marathon pace.
The hilly marathon might fit in 4/5 weeks before your race, in which case if they have a half marathon option try to run it at an elevation adjusted pace of 7:04 and just add in some easy milage to finish your workout...