Confession: I’ve never properly trained for a marathon.

Sure, I’ve gotten long runs in on the weekend and did some mid-week runs. Its not like I just showed up on race day expecting to go the distance. However, I’ve never seen a training plan through start to finish.

The first obstacle is always the mid-week medium run. Straight up, I have never done one. I can’t figure out how. During my winter marathon training its dark when I go into work and when I leave. I don’t run in the dark solo, ever. The thought of 60-90 minutes on the treadmill, while perfectly safe, isn’t appealing.

Profession: For this, my 4th marathon, I vow to follow a training plan to the best of my ability.

I’m going to keep it simple – Hal Higdon, Novice 2.  To that, I’ll be adding in 2 days of Total Body weight training class as my cross trains, and we have a few hikes planned as well.  My training buddy Kelly is also signed up for the race, so she and I will be completing the midweek runs – keeping each other accountable and safe.

Hypothesis: Marathon training takes far fewer miles than anyone truly thinks.

Of course I hold this as a truth, given my history with the 26.2 distance. With each race I’ve significantly bettered my finishing time, while also taking training less seriously.

The opposite could also be true – what if, properly trained, I was capable of far more than I can imagine? Hence the purpose of the test. Do all the runs. Log all the miles, then sit back and compare the results.

Training starts this week. The mileage is supposed to be 3 – 5 – 3 – 6, but that’s a significant cut back to what I’m currently running. So my question to you is this:

Is it cheating the marathon plan to do more than prescribed? Or is the mileage to be considered a minimum?

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