Philadelphia Marathon Training Plan

Welp, it’s finally done.

Philadelphia Marathon

I’ve been working on this damn training plan for MONTHS, tweaking it here and there, adjusting paces and LR distances. The RLRF FIRST plan I started with was for a 4:45 finish. After an exciting and successful night at the track, I changed it to 4:40. And then there were those failed 800s last week that knocked me right back down to reality. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to adjust my goal. I’d rather start out on the conservative side of challenging, rather than the setting-myself-up-for-disappointment side.

After much debate, I settled on a goal: SUB-5.

If I feel stronger in a couple months and the paces just aren’t cutting it, I can always bump them down. I’d rather, you know, not have my confidence crushed on Day One. I also removed all pace goals from long runs. When it’s 90 degrees, I’d rather focus on not dying than stalk my watch to make sure I’m going fast enough. So my long run goal is distance. And distance only.

Here’s the plan I’ll be following from now through November 18th:

Philly Marathon Plan 1

Philly Marathon Plan 2

click image to view full doc in Google Drive

What training plan do you use? Galloway? Higdon? FIRST? Or do you make your own?

What distance do you use for your longest half/full marathon training run?

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  1. I also use the RLRF First plan. Love it – like that the running workouts are intense, but that it also leaves enough time for cross-training & recovery. This plan is notorious for having difficult pacing, especially in the beginning! Agree about being flexible regarding pacing, especially during the summer. Good luck – can’t wait to follow your training experience on this plan!

    • I completely agree. The 3 quality workouts make your runs really efficient and you end up logging less “junk miles”. Thanks for following along Lora – I’m really enjoying reading your journey to NYCM so far!

  2. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing – it’s SO tough to get into training when you feel like you can’t hit your goals or do anything right. It’s necessary to push yourself, but it’s also necessary not to set yourself up for failure. Your goal seems totally doable for you, and that’s what counts!

    I struggle with training plans too. Right now I’m running 3-4x a week but making them higher quality runs. I started off doing 5x a week and it basically killed me – this is the only way I can stay involved with the plan instead of getting pissed at it kicking my ass. It’s all about what works for you!

    • Exactly! I’d rather put in a few quality runs and actually look forward to running, than run 5 days a week and dread every minute of it. Enjoy the miles, Faith! 🙂

  3. You’ve definitely got a good plan of action! The marathon plan I picked up says “intermediate” on it, and I’m thinking the mileage may be too much for my beginner status, so I might take down some of the longer mid week runs. How did you put this baby together?

    • I used the paces for the 4:55 finish FIRST plan for speed & tempo (changing a few tempo distances), but the LR distances I chose myself. For the most part, I like to build up mileage for 2 weeks and then cutback on the 3rd week. This helps me from getting burned out, both physically & emotionally. Knew I’d come into training at 10 miles so I went up from there!

      What marathon are you training for? Here is a general FIRST plan with instructions of how to adjust the paces for your own speed, in case you’d like to check it out.

  4. My longest training run so far has been about 22-23 miles at the most. I do well when I throw in a couple of additional 20 milers and then take it from there. I am very lucky that the group that I coach which is through Luke’s Locker has their own training plans and I follow the plan they give us. Been doing that for years and that what works for me. When I train solo for spring marathons I try to loosely follow on of the Hal Higdon plans. Mostly I just listen to my body and make adjustments where they are needed. 🙂

  5. How exciting!!! I KNOW you can sub-5. You’ve got it in you!

    • I thought of you when I was deciding on my finish time. Back when I posted my 2012 goals and listed 5:15 as my goal, you commented I probably had it in me to even go sub-5. At the time it seemed ambitious, but I think I was just limiting my potential – playing it safe. Thanks for the push I needed to realize I could set the bar a little higher 🙂

  6. Looks like a great training plan!!! And I make up my own training plans…the longest run in my training for a marathon is 22 miles.

  7. Soooo excited for your training plan to officially start!!! I hope tomorrow’s long run goes well and you get some good weather for it!!!! I’m ready for fall running weather to get here ASAP; this heat and humidity is getting old.

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