I totally thought that I started marathon training this week, but just kidding. It doesn’t start until next week.



I’ll be following the Advanced Marathoning training plan by Pete Pfitzinger. I fell in love with this book and training style when I first trained for the Madison Marathon in 2009. Since then, I’ve tried a few other plans… including the Hansons Marathon Method, and just haven’t found one that fits me as much as this one does.

What I like about it:

  • Consistent build up of mileage: I love that mid-week runs get long (like up to 14 miles long!), because I feel like that’s really important to build your strength — both physically and mentally. 
  • Balance of types of workouts: In addition to focusing on the distance aspect, there are some speed work sessions and a big focus on “strides,” which are ~100M and built into shorter runs to help to teach your legs to turn over faster. I want to build in some major hill work this time around (just have to cross the street and I am in some rolling hills) and will do that with some of the shorter weekly runs.
  • Rest days: I am not the type of person that can survive with 0-1 rest days. I need two rest days to feel good, and the Pfitz plan has that. Works perfectly for me (especially the Sunday rest day because usually I get no more than 3,000 steps all day… which I tell myself is good after racking them up the rest of the week). 
  • Three 20 mile runs: This is SO important to my mindset and something I love most about this plan… having three 20 mile runs builds up my confidence so much; even though I’ve done this nearly 20 times now, I like to do three just to prove to myself that I’m in a good state. 


I think the most important thing to do when you are looking for a marathon training plan is to find one that fits your personality and body the most. I know people swear by Hansons Marathon Method, but I could not stand it (I used it for 2013 Boston Marathon). Other people do really well with Run Less, Run Faster. I’ll always hear from people that I need to try this training method or that one, but I feel content with where I’m at. 

Especially since I know my weakness is not getting the runs in – it’s everything else. The nutrition, the cross-training, the strength training. I am hoping to focus more on that this training cycle and see the results fall into place. Sub-3:30 here we come!


What’s your favorite type of training plan? Have you figured out what works best for you? 

How many rest days do you take a week? 


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