Peak Dopey Challemger training week is behind me. Just holiday fun, taper, and Disney World countdown to go!Read More
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?
Post Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Post Walt Disney World 10k
So Wednesday morning I was on my way. After a layover in Miami, I arrived ready to go in Orlando. Up to this point I had had a lingering cold but was hoping it would just go away. I was here and nothing was going to stand in the way of my races!
My parents had already gotten my race packet and shirts but since I still had some time to run to the expo to pick up my Raw Threads pre-ordered items and get any Dopey merchandise (if any was left) I decided to do that. I got my rental car and got to the expo around 7 so I had an hour to see what I wanted to before closing.
I picked up my tanks from Raw Threads (I LOVE this brand, their stuff is soooo soft and sooo comfortable!) and got pins, a coffee mug, the Dopey necklace, and one of the last women's cut "I DID IT!" Dopey shirts. I suppressed my normal superstition of buying this shirt before the race because I didn't want to not get it. I made sure to put it in the back of the drawer when I got to the hotel, out of sight and out of mind.
The layout was a little different for the expo this year and some of the vendors were in the outdoor areas around the stadium. It was still really crowded in the expo though since a lot of the sponsor vendors had what I call "premium" booths with lots of space and displays. Champion and New Balance both had booths like this. They were very impressive.
After all this I finally made it to the Marriott where my parents were and tried to sleep before my first race and relax.
Sorry to keep you hanging, it's been a crazy week. Lots of fun, lots of running, and lots of great memories! I'm still basking in the glow of all the endorphins and medals.
So before I get into the nitty-gritty day by day, here is my performance in broad strokes.
|Total time 8hr 57min 12sec|
Woot woot! All under 16 min mile paces! Not my fastest races but they all had negative splits so I might be getting the hang of this distance running thing.
It's amazing to think that in 2011 I ran my first marathon this weekend and now I've run the Dopey Challenge and continue to run. So will I run it again? Yes. Next year? Probably not, only if I can find a friend with a similar pace to do the races with me. Like my training runs, it can get lonely spending nearly 9 hours running.
The hardest part: Waking up super early 4 days in a row.
The best part: I have never been prouder of a race accomplishment and never worn a medal with more pride.
The most fun: Getting a pic with Dopey at mile 24/46.6!
I did have a blast though, as always runDisney put on a great race.. err... races!
Race by race is coming up!
It's also expo day! I promise to take lots of pictures!