Marathon Coaching

I was IMing with Devaney about his upcoming marathon Honolulu Marathon on December 11th and about a strategy that he could use to approach his training. He has (as of Monday) purchased a second home in Wilmington and plans to move down there this summer with Andy. He already has one house that is in a state of repair (so to speak), but his new house is all but immaculate and is ready to live in while the other fixer-upper is fixed up. His dilemma is that he has never trained for a marathon by himself. When he ran his first marathon back in 2001, he was part of the Aids Marathon group that was training, at the time, for the Marine Corp Marathon. This charity offers expert coaching, as well as organized long runs on the weekend to build up the mileage needed to complete the marathon. Most of the people are first time marathoners and sometime first time runners for that matter. Anyway, there is organized training whether you use it or not… it gives you an incentive to get out there and run on the weekends.

So Devaney's dilemma is that he has no official race group, as he is purchasing his own way to Honolulu. Also, he is in the middle of the relocation as well. I have kept asking him for the past two weeks, whether he has started running yet. HE PROMISES me that he is purchasing new runner shoes this week and will start running this sunday on the 29th.

I fit into this marathon training because I was the one who made up a schedule for his long runs so that he could be ready to go on December 11th. It actually started with finding a half marathon in Wilmington in November that would be a perfect pre-marathon practice, so to speak. In that he can use the race as a gage on the marathon will go and the race being four weeks out, will have plenty of recovery time that the racing will not hurt him. Since he has running experience, he can do that without any fear. The only thing would be a running injury, but really, that is always on the horizon. I mean, who gets pneumonia 3 weeks before a marathon?

So I hope that I have given him a schedule that he will stick to without missing much. It's a 28 week program that starts him from scratch and builds up to the mileage needed. I don't have him doing more than three 20 mile or more runs, the longest is only 22 miles. I follow the reasoning that the longer you are out running the more susceptible you are to injury, so you are better off stopping your long runs based on time rather than trying for exact mileage, say 24 or 26 miles. Plus, I don't think that he'll go out and want to run 20+ miles by himself more than a couple of times. Maybe so because he has an ambitious and acheivable time goal but he will have to hold himself accountable for the midweek runs.

He wants me to host another Mr. Arfns Marathon this February. The First Mr. Arfns Marathon was actually created because of Devaney back in 2001. His training was having him running 26 miles on Sept 30, 2001 which was the Sunday after my 30th birthday. So to accommodate the fact that he needed to run that mileage and I was training for Richmond, I created the Mr. Arfns Marathon that ran from Volunteer Landing to the Wal-mart in Turkey Creek. It turned out to be really nice and we had people join us for various distances along the course. I think that a Mr. Arfns Run (as I called it) would be in order for the first part of February as I am in training for the 2nd annual Knoxville Marathon in March. So, I might have to gen-up a course and see how it goes.

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon