A two-week plan

With 17 weeks until the day of the Richmond Marathon, it's time I start writing down my goals each week. For the past year, I've been keeping good track of how long I run or the miles I log, but I've been so-so about setting up goals. I've always had a little help with that, and am continuing to get help for the marathon. Basically, I'm taking three different training plans and coming up with my own. For the first few weeks, I plan to take it two weeks at a time and evaluate where I am.

So, here are my goals for the next two weeks, as the countdown hits 16 weeks on July 21. Of note for next week is a 5 mile race I'm doing, so I'm moving my long run to earlier in the week. Otherwise my long runs will be on Saturdays. And usually I'll have two rest days planned each week, along with a cross-training day that includes minimal running to warm up. Also, my running week begins Monday and ends Sunday.

Monday, 7/16: 3-4 miles
Tuesday, 7/17: short run (less than a mile) + weights with upper body
Wednesday, 7/18: Group run (mileage likely about 6 miles)
Thursday, 7/19: 7-8 miles
Friday, 7/20: Rest
Saturday, 7/21: 5 miler
Sunday, 7/22: 2-3 miles, hike or rest
Week goal: 23-26

Monday, 7/23: 1-2 very easy miles + weights
Tuesday, 7/24: 4-5 miles
Wednesday, 7/25: group run (about 6 miles)
Thursday, 7/26: 4-5 miles
Friday, 7/27: Rest
Saturday, 7/28: 10 miles
Sunday, 7/29: Rest
Week goal: 25-28

I don't want to get too hung up on exact miles. I have found it best to be as flexible as possible. Certain days I might only feel like 3 miles instead of 4, or I'll fall somewhere in between. My group run will likely vary in distance and intensity, so I need to be prepared to change up things because of that. Last summer when training for the Virginia Ten Miler, I got too focused on being exact and at times I just felt like I was forcing myself to run when I should've taken a day off or ran fewer miles. I've learned that lesson already. Then there's the weather, which in mid-summer can always throw things off. Life can also get in the way -- I already know that in a few weeks I'll be back in Ohio for a wedding, so I'll have to adjust accordingly.