Calling all marathoners!

So, even though the Chicago Marathon is still seven months away, by my calculations, I’ll need to start training for it June 6th or so, which is right after the honeymoon/a trip to Fort Lauderdale for work.  Since the next two months are going to be pretty busy with wedding stuff, I want to pick a training plan so I can start to prepare myself mentally.

I’m using a Hal Higdon plan, modified, for my half, and I really like it, so I want to stick with Hal for the full.  Plus, he looks like such a nice man.  How can this face steer you wrong?

hal3 Exactly. (Source.)

I don’t know whether to choose Hal’s Novice 1 or Novice 2 plan.  I don’t think I can consider myself an intermediate yet.

This is his Novice 1 plan


And this is his Novice 2 plan.


I can’t find anywhere on his site where he describes which plan is for which goals/which types of runner.  To me, it looks like Novice 1 gives you more mileage on weekdays and shorter long runs, whereas Novice 2 cuts back the mileage on weekdays and gives you longer long runs.  Novice 2 appeals to me in that I’d never run more than 8 miles on a weekday, but I don’t know.

Marathon veterans—what do you think?

7 Responses

  1. when i trained for my marathon, i looked at hal’s total distances per week for his novice plan and then i modified it to suit my own needs – which meant only running 4 days a week and resting 3.

    here’s what i did.

  2. Of those two, I like the second one because it includes some pacework/speedwork. Not that you can’t get along without it, but I love speedwork and it really helps break up the monotony of all of those miles when I’m training for a long race!

  3. I love Hal Higdon! I trained for my full with Team in Training and it was pretty low mileage during the week with longer long runs. I like the way Novice 2 looks – and plus you already have a great base, which I think Novice 1 builds in a little bit more build time.

    My one reccommendation is to do a run longer than 20. I wish I had. Not everyone will agree, but I will definitely get in at least a 22 or 23 before my next marathon. I was totally able to finish the last 6.2, I just wish I had done one more 20+. I think the Galloway training groups (at least here) run an entire full before the actual race.

    Super excited for you!

  4. I haven’t run a marathon (yet), but I personally like the second one better. I agree with you about not having runs over than 8 miels during the week. Also, it seems to build up your long runs earlier in the plan. Seeing as you have already hit 8 miles, you will be able to handle that. Having more long runs will definitely boost your confidence for the big day!

  5. I’m also running the Chicago marathon in October and thought about using Hal’s training plans. I had two roommates last year who trained for the Twin Cities Marathon using his plans and they did great. For you, I would do Novice 2 because you’re already building a great base training for the half.

    I’m using a different training program that trains you by minutes rather than miles. If you’re interested it’s called ‘How to Train for and Run Your Best Marathon’ by Gordon Bakoulis Bloch. Even if you’re not interested in the training programs it offers it’s a great resource for tips before, during and after the marathon.

    Good luck! 🙂 and I’ll sort of see you this fall haha

  6. I think I did the first one when I ran a marathon.

    I am doing a half now with a training plan that has me running 7 or 8 miles one night in the middle of the week and honestly, I’m having a hard time with it. It might be easier when it gets lighter later, but now I’m having to do it on the treadmill and the gym is too crowded to stay on for that long until later in the evening. I suppose if you’re a morning runner, it wouldn’t be bad though.

  7. I’ve never run a full mary, but here’s my thoughts anyway. If you don’t think you’ll be able to dedicate the time to do the 9 and 10 milers during the week, I’d go with the second one, definitely. I’m sure both plans will have you fully prepared by October!

    I found out last week that I may or may not have the teaching job I thought I was going to have this fall. If my work plans fall through and I end up subbing for another year, the first thing I’m going to do is sign up for Chicago!

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