Lincoln Marathon Training: Week 9 and a Change of Plans

I made a decision this week. I didn’t even waffle much, so I’m pretty sure it was the right decision. That decision was to switch training plans, even though I’m at exactly the halfway point of training.

Here’s why: I love to run, and I love to train hard. But running is my hobby. I’m an okay age-grouper, sure. But I’ll never be an elite or even a sub-elite. This will never be my job. And the time commitment required by the plan I was following was simply too much for me right now. I have a career, and a husband, and commitments outside of running, and they were starting to be neglected in favor of my hobby. Something is wrong with that picture.

Starting tomorrow (well, really, starting yesterday, but we’ll get to that soon), I’m switching back to the McMillan plan that I’ve followed for my last couple of marathons. My peak mileage will still be around 70, but it’ll be more spread out over the course of the week. Rather than having a 15-miler Tuesday and a 5-miler Wednesday, for example, I’ll have an 11-miler Tuesday and a 9-miler Wednesday. That difference may not sound like much, but trust me, it’s MUCH more manageable.

That’s the new plan. Here’s how last week on the old plan looked:

AM: 6-mile recovery run. I had the day off for President’s day, but woke up early (of course) and decided to just crank it out on the treadmill.

PM: 4-mile recovery plus 45 minutes strength training. I ran 3 miles, lifted, then ran the mile home. It was a bit on the chilly side, but not bad.
photo 1


14-mile run.


5-mile recovery run, finishing with the sunset.
photo 3

Followed by some core work, stretching, and foam rolling.


AM: 45 minutes strength training

PM: 11 miles with 6 at tempo. I warmed up outside, then did the tempo portion and the cooldown on the treadmill. I can’t wait for the time change!


6-mile recovery run, core, and stretching. i’d hoped to get home in time to run outside, but ended up chatting with some colleagues for too long. Whoops.


Earlier Saturday morning, I’d reworked my training plan and switched to the new one, which said 16-20 miles. Since the old one said 20,I figured I’d just finish out the week on schedule and switch Monday. Nope. I felt pretty crummy the entire run. The RD said my stomach stuff might get worse before it gets better. Well, she was right about the “worse” part, at least. That, added with the head cold I’m fighting and the snowstorm moving in, made the run pretty darn miserable. I decided 16 was just freaking fine. I regret nothing. photo 2

At least the pond was pretty.


An hour of yoga. I followed this video, and I really enjoyed it. Holy hip openers.

Total: 62 miles.

I’m definitely looking forward to this week and the not-so-life-consuming training schedule. Especially since I need to rest up and shake this wanna-be sickness before next Saturday, when I get to stay up late chaperoning a high school dance. SO FUN. (SO SARCASTIC.)

Have you ever changed training plans mid-cycle?

What’s your trick for preventing the sniffles from becoming full-blown colds/flu? Normally, I drink green tea and Airborne like it’s my job, but Airborne is off-limits for now.

9 thoughts on “Lincoln Marathon Training: Week 9 and a Change of Plans”

  1. I think you made the right choice. Running 14 miles on a Tuesday sounds really, really hard. Nobody has time for that! I hope you haven’t come down with a full-blown illness.

  2. Well, I don’t have a training plan other than met my step goal (which I have done now three days in a row!) but I do have cold advice. J didn’t seem to excited about them, but maybe you might find them helpful. Peach brandy before bed is my go to for about EVERYTHING! I put it off for so long when Marilyn told me about it that she finally went and bought me a bottle. I never looked back. The other one is a humidifier. Full power all night long.
    Maybe with this new plan we can see each other a little more. I will be living a few blocks away from you for almost the whole month.

  3. I think it’s smart and admirable that you are switching up your training plan. I think some people feel so determined to stick to the “plan” that they let other things in their life fall away or spin out of control. Balance is so important when exercise/sport is a hobby. I haven’t necessarily switched plans completely, but have changed things about my training and schedule to better cater to my lifestyle.

    Whenever I feel as though I am getting sick, I take a recovery day, drink lots of diet 7up (it just tastes so good to me) to stay hydrated, eat soup, and stay positive. Sometimes it can be mental!

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