Fleet Feet Distance Project: Winter Marathon Training
Fleet Feet is super excited to partner with Mike Cohen, one of CT’s premiere distance coaches, to offer a winter marathon training program. Whether this is your first marathon or your twentieth; whether you just want to finish or to PR (BQ!), this is a great program to help you achieve your goal.
The 15-week program begins on Saturday, January 6 and culminates with either the Boston or Newport Marathons in mid-April – though, you may extend the program for another spring marathon of your choice. To get the most out of the program, you should be able to currently run at least 8 miles (run/walk is OK!).
There are three program levels to choose from: novice, intermediate and advanced. All three programs feature personalized coaching, pace guidance and meet-ups with Coach Cohen whose goal is to get you to the start line feeling prepared, excited and injury-free.
While this program requires independent training, we will offer two organized group runs per week from Fleet Feet Sports on Saturday and Wednesday. The Saturday run will be your longest run of the week and will be led by our favorite FF Marathon Coaches including Jeanne Corey, Fernanda Jacobs, Mike Riccaby and Kim Marchand (who is famous for designing hilly routes to train on). We also encourage you to meet-up with your fellow trainees who run similar paces to complete your other prescribed runs.
Additionally, trainees may opt for a special 15-week membership to CrossFit Hartford’s Endurance Training Center which features specialized cross-training workouts for runners and access to Concept 2 Rowers & Assault Bikes should you want/need to substitute a run for an equally great aerobic workout that doesn’t stress your legs as much, especially when it is too cold or icy to run outside.
Information Night/Meet the Coach: Wednesday, January 3 @ 6pm
Program Starts: Saturday, January 6 @ 8am
Program Length: 15 weeks
Goal Race: Newport Marathon (April 14), Boston Marathon (April 16) – race entry fee NOT included with training program registration
Coaching Fee: $200 (you may purchase a special 15-week membership to CrossFit Hartford's Endurance Training Center for an additional $200)
Upon completion of the program, you will earn a sweet 26.2 Run Club patch!
Coach Cohen's Program and Training Plan Philosophy:
My coaching philosophy is to blend the application of physiological principles found in exercise science with reliable training principles. I do not become a proponent of the newest "shiny object" of training or become a proponent the latest fad marathon approach. However, I pride myself in maintaining current knowledge of the field of exercise physiology and training theory and as a result, my coaching today is not the same as it was 25 years ago.
That being said, this Fleet Feet Distance Project is not designed for the professional athlete who can devote her/himself to an all-day cycle of training and sleep. Rather, it was developed for the realistic life of an adult who may have a job, family life and daily responsibilities.
These training plans are divided into three different plans intended for different levels of runners. All plans have a three-week introductory phase, which eases you into the start of the actual training marathon plan. That means that the actual plan is a 12-week program. It presupposes that you have been running consistently prior to embarking on this marathon journey (excuse the terrible pun). Additionally, I will provide you with suggested core and body-weight strength work.
Novice--This is not necessarily a novice runner (as the marathon distance should be respected) but a runner who is attempting the marathon for the first time. This is also a plan for an individual who attempted training before, but has gotten hurt overtraining following a more aggressive schedule. You should be able to accomplish a 10-mile run and realistically target a 5-6 hour marathon. This schedule has one day of no running and an additional optional day for running, rest or cross-training of your choice. No real speed work is included but some planned marathon paced (PMP) running is included.
Intermediate--This plan is intended for the athlete who has run several 10K races, possibly a half-marathon previously and targets a marathon time of about 4:30 or faster. It is a schedule that begins (initial 5 weeks) with running 5-7 days per week. The final 5 weeks prior to the taper is predicated on a 6 day per week schedule. Additionally, this schedule has 5 runs of 15 miles or longer built into the plan.
Advanced--This one is not for the "faint of heart". Designed for the seasoned distance runner who has completed one or more marathons, this plan can have the athlete running about 70 miles per week at its high end and in excess of 40 miles at the high-week minimum. The athlete will be mixing faster-paced runs with threshold training and PMP runs. A total of seven runs at the 15-mile level or greater also make this aggressive plan for a marathoner running 3:45 or under.
An elite marathoner once told me, "Anyone can run a marathon, if they can survive the training". What a tragic comment on distance training! I want you to enjoy the journey of achieving this milestone. My intention is to strike a balance between too little training that leaves you struggling race day and too much training that reinforces the sentiment above.
My overriding goal is for you to arrive at marathon day, injury-free, as well as physically and mentally healthy in a positive frame of mind set to realize your reasonable goal. Together, let's make magic happen!