I once again find myself planning a training session that will last four plus months. I am torn between trying one, again, that is a little less days running per week but that will require biking and other cross training or going with a standard training plan that is usually five days a week of running with one rest day and one cross training day.
There are many considerations going into this planning. First, it will start shortly after the holidays. This will mean I am going to be running through almost the entire winter here in Upstate New York. I need to take into consideration that weather may prevent me from being outside to run or to cycle. While winter weather itself does not totally stop me from being outside, I do have a few caveats. I do not run when there are plows on the roads. I try – not going to happen in prep for this race – not to run hills in winter as they are hard to descend when slippery.
Second, I need to think of whether my base will be good enough for an intermediate or an advanced training plan. Last holiday season I slacked off my running as I did not have a race planned for early in the new year. I will not be able to let myself slack off as I do not want my base mileage or my endurance to suffer prior to the beginning of marathon training.
Third, I need to decide if I am going to take a standard, free plan off the internet or am I going to pay for coaching. I have never paid for a running coach. I know there are distinct advantages to having an actual coach – whether virtual or here in person. I also know I like to plan my own training. I am not one to take what someone gives me – even if I am paying for the advice – as what I should do. I learn the hard way but have had good results to date with my own training programs.
What do you do when preparing for a race? Do you detail out a training schedule? Do you have a paid coach or do you use something you can find for free? Do you have a favorite training schedule source?