Marine Corps Marathon Training Plan (Over 50, Over Trained, and “A Little” Over Weight)

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Bucket List, Fitness and Health, Running
Tags: , , , ,

3 Training Half Marathon in past 12 months

This post will describe my training plan for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. This will be the first Marathon I’ve ever run and I will be less than a month from my 53rd birthday on race day. The farthest I’ve run up to this point is 13.1 miles, but that is about to change. Although this will be my training plan for this race, it may not “work for everyone”. I’m am in pretty good shape, but currently in a slightly “over-trained” condition and slightly overweight for running weekly 16-20 mile runs. My legs and feet NEED me to lose weight to make this work. So this plan is tailored to deal with my specific situation. It is unlikely that I would follow this same plan if I ever run a second marathon. The point of this post is to create a plan to follow for the next four months.

I’ve run 3 half marathons in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon. I ran 2:31:00 in the first one, 2:03:19 for the second one, and 2:06:04 for the last one. This seemed like a good plan at the beginning. I felt great after the second half marathon when I added the 3rd half marathon to my schedule. But now about a week before starting full blown training for the Marine Corps Marathon I realize it was too much, I’m experiencing over-training issues. Both of my Achilles tendons are tender and have sore bumps about halfway up. My shins are sore. I think this happened because I added gel wedges to my shoes to try to help out my Achilles tendons while training for the last half marathon. I’m also more cramp and injury prone. A calf cramp during a training run a few months ago caused me to stop training for several weeks. All of this has actually lead to a reduction in my conditioning since February. I believe I would have been better prepared for the training to come if I had not run the third half marathon.

In order to overcome the soreness I’m planning to change up my normal training pattern and add more cross training. For the half marathons my plan was to run three times a week, one short distance, one middle distance, and one long run. I will still run one long run a week, I don’t think there is a substitute for that, but I’m going to change it up for the other two runs. For the short run, the goal is improving speed, so I will mix in wind sprints at the beginning, then add 1 mile runs with plenty of stretching in the middle of the 16 weeks, and go back to a traditional short run at the end. For the intermediate length run I will substitute a two-a-day at the gym with at least 30 minutes on the elliptical for each visit for a total of 60 minutes of aerobic work, and then go back to running if/when the soreness goes away. To ensure I stay focused on losing weight I will go to the gym on most days I don’t run. Hopefully the soreness will ease up and I can move to a more typical training plan as the marathon gets closer.

Week Tuesday Thursday Sunday Total
One Wind Sprints 1 hour elliptical 9 Miles 10 Miles
Two Wind Sprints 1 hour elliptical 11 Miles 12 Miles
Three Wind Sprints 1 hour elliptical 12 Miles 13 Miles
Four Wind Sprints + 2 * 1 Mile 1 hour elliptical 13 Miles 14 Miles
Five 3 * 1 Mile 1 hour elliptical 14 Miles 17 Miles
Six 3 * 1 Mile 1 hour elliptical 15 Miles 18 Miles
Seven 6 Miles 3 * 1 Mile 16 Miles 25 Miles
Eight 7 Miles 3 * 1 Mile 17 Miles 27 Miles
Nine 8 Miles 3 * 1 Mile 18 Miles 29 Miles
Ten 9 Miles 4 Miles 19 Miles 32 Miles
Eleven 10 Miles 1 hour elliptical 20 Miles 31 Miles
Twelve 10 Miles 4 Miles 20 Miles 34 Miles
Thirteen 10 Miles 1 hour elliptical 21 Miles 32 Miles
Fourteen 10 Miles 4 Miles 16 Miles 30 Miles
Fifteen 8 Miles 1 hour elliptical 10 Miles 19 Miles
Sixteen 5 Miles 3 Miles Race Day on Saturday – 26.2 34.2 Miles

I’m a little concerned that I won’t be running enough to achieve my goal of 10 minute miles for the marathon, so I may adjust the training plan if I start to feel less sore. If the soreness continues, I’ll change my goal to finishing the marathon! I’ve been working on this for a long time so I hope this revised plan works and I my conditioning improves over the next four months. My next post for this series should be after the Marine Corps Marathon although I will continue to update my MCM Training Log page.

Update 8/9/2013: I went on vacation to Sequoia and to Idaho for a couple weeks before I started training. All together I had about a month break. The month off got me past my “overtrained” issues so I’m following a much more traditional training plan. Week one started on 14 July, but I didn’t start until 28 July. My son pushed me to increase my Sunday mileage a little more than I expected, but it has gone fine. I’m well ahead of schedule and feeling great. I’m in week 5 and will run over 30 miles this week. So far so good!

Planning for this started in March 2012. My previous posts in this series:

Marine Corps Marathon (2013 – Very Early Planning)
Marine Corps Marathon 2013 – Training Plan and Registering
26.2 Miles of Music
Evolving My Marine Corps Marathon Training Plan

Posts for the three training half marathons:
Americas Finest City Half Marathon (Aug 19, 2012)
San Diego Half Marathon – March 10 2013
Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon (June 2013)


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