This past week my twitter running friend, @amandaJeberly (Go follow her!), asked me how I trained for Dopey and since it wasn't as easy as linking to a training plan I thought I'd share it here.
For starters, I love Hal Higdon's training plans, they are simple and usually just post a distance you should run each day. His Intermediate Half Marathon plan helped me complete my first half marathon all the way back in 2010 and his Intermediate I and Intermediate 2 marathon plans have helped me complete all 7 of my marathons to date. For all you Goofy runners out there, his Intermediate 2 plan is PERFECT since every weekend has back to back long runs where you double your Saturday mileage on Sundays.
Here are the reasons I like Hal Higdon's plans:
- I'm not a big cross trainer so I don't mind running 4-5 days a week
- The weekly mileage peaks at my breaking point (more than 50 miles a week and I start to fall apart)
- It's pretty easy to swap around days without ruining the program (sometimes my Thursday run becomes my Friday run)
- Not a ton of other stuff to remember (speed work outs, what to run at the track, etc)
- I've never been a walk/run or Galloway runner
So, when starting my search for a Dopey Plan I had to take a look at Hal Higdon's Dopey Training Plan to see what he recommended. This plan had more rest days that I was really looking for so I decided to frankenstein a plan of my own by combining it with his Intermediate 2 marathon plan.
NOTE: I am a fairly seasoned marathoner (the 2014 WDW Marathon was my 6th marathon) and feel comfortable doing this, I would not recommend this if you have not trained for a marathon before. The marathon is the most important piece to the Dopey puzzle since this is the toughest and longest distance. If I were you I'd follow Hal's Dopey plan to a T.
The key to success when approaching any back to back race weekend is getting in back to back training runs (Sounds like a "Well, Duh!' statement but you'd be surprised). If you don't see this in the plan, DO NOT FOLLOW THE PLAN. If the plan conditions you to only do 1 long run with a rest day before and after, you are not setting yourself up for success. You need to learn how to run on fatigued legs.
So here's the plan I created for myself using the Intermediate 2 marathon training plan:
In this plan, the week leading up to the last 20 mile run is the most important since this is your "dress rehearsal" for the Dopey. Also, I've put in some optional rest days in the final 2 weeks just in case I'm feeling a bit more tired after dress rehearsal week. It's important leading up to the Dopey that you trust your training and get rested during taper!
Note - I've swapped a week to fit in the Avenger's Half Marathon in Disneyland. Also, in reality I will probably have a fall marathon that will mess up this plan complete for the first 8 weeks :)
Also, just to make it easy here are the links for the Official Galloway plan, Galloway Dopey Plan. He has a ton of great tips which I've read through many times!
What does your Dopey Training look like?