Marine Corps Marathon - Let the Training Begin

I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon a few weeks ago.  The race takes place in October and I'd like to a) break 3 hours, b) qualify for Boston (i.e., sub-3:05), or c) beat my current PR of 3:15.  I was disappointed that I couldn't break through on my last marathon with Hanson's Marathon Method, even though I hit every single segment of every single workout for the entire 18 week program.  I still bonked right around mile 18.  That's the second time I've used Hanson's method, and while my results were much better the second time around, I feel the need to change it up.

So after some deliberation, I decided to go with the Jack Daniel's 2Q plan.  The concept is simple - the plan prescribes two quality workouts per week, and you fill in the rest with whatever easy miles you can to hit your target weekly goal.  I chose this plan specifically because the month prior to the Marathon, I have my Giant Acorn Triathlon, which is an Olympic distance race that I also need to train for.  So I want a plan where I can do some biking in lieu of easy running. 

If you've ever done the Jack Daniel's 2Q plan, you know how crazy it can be, if you've not, let me show you what a prescribed workout may look like:

W01Q2 - 8E+2X(2T W/ 2MIN REST)+1T+2E

That is the second workout in the plan and it's a single 15 mile run that translates as follows:
8 miles @ easy pace (7:28-8:26 min/mile)
2 sets of 2 miles @ threshold pace (6:26 min/mile) with 2 minutes rest after each interval
1 mile @ threshold pace (6:26 min/mile)
2 miles @ easy pace (7:28-8:26)

As I was translating the jargon into Garmin Connect workouts to load onto my 920XT, it hit me how crazy these workouts are.  I haven't run over 10 miles in as long as I can remember, and I haven't done a workout since I was training for my last marathon.  My fitness is still pretty decent, but I can't imagine being able to go out this week and knock out that workout.  I can barely imagine going out this week and running 15 miles at an easy pace.

So, I decided that I need a training plan to get me ready for my training plan, and for that I'm willing to fall back to Hanson's Marathon Method.

I filled in my Garmin Connect calendar with 18 weeks worth of workouts, starting at the marathon and working my way backwards, then I realized that I have 9 weeks before I get to the first workout in the Daniel's 2Q plan, so I took the first 9 weeks of Hanson's Marathon Method (the same exact workouts I did for my last marathon), and just sort of shoehorned them on, and that starts tomorrow.

It does start out with a bunch of easy runs, but it is literally daily running.  I've been pretty good about getting in sessions 4-days a week, but I'm not sure about getting in two more each week.  My current sessions are typically anywhere from 30-60 minutes, and while that is good for the first couple weeks of Hanson's plan, it ramps up to much closer to 2 hours for Daniel's 2Q plan.  When I trained for my marathon last year, my son wasn't born and I could do the workouts first thing in the morning before my wife and daughter woke up.  Now my son is waking up at about 5:40 (we're working to get him past 6!), and since I'm the one that gets him in the morning, I can't exactly get a 2 hour workout in before he's up, and I can't start it if he's going to wake up while I'm out, and I don't have enough time to start it after he's up. 

Luckily I have a couple of months before getting to those workouts, so I just need to figure out the shorter ones for now, and that is manageable.  Not easy, but manageable.  And maybe in two months, Austin will be sleeping until 7am like Ellie was when I trained last year.

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