RunBayou: 2009 Houston Marathon program

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Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan - Tom Landry

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2009 Chevron Houston Marathon
Training program

This training program is designed for folks wishing to run the best marathon they can on January 18, 2009...the day of  the Chevron Houston Marathon. Although the program incorporates the Houston Marathon warm-up series races and/or other distance races that occur during the training, the goal race is the marathon.

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Marathon program overview - Overview of the program

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Mileage and Phase chart - Shows the trends of weekly mileage, phase dates and lengths, weeks until the marathon, and warm-up series races.
Note: The trend of weekly mileage is what is important...not necessarily the actual mileage.

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Training program overview - Overview of phase objectives

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Training Calendar - Provides a calendar view for each week in the program.

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2006 Weekly workouts - Details for each week of the 30 week program.

 

Marathon Program: Overview

Although anyone can benefit from the Runbayou philosophy of training, this program is primarily designed for runners who want to improve their marathon times. In other words, they've run at least one marathon and are interested in improving their performance in subsequent marathons.

What is your goal?

The Runbayou 2009 Houston Marathon training program is divided into three phases:

bulletPhase 1: Mileage buildup (~6 weeks or more of easy running; gradually building up your weekly mileage)
bulletPhase 2: A continuous 18 week training plan (Two quality/speed workouts per week)
bulletPhase 2: Two week taper (maintaining quality workouts while lowering weekly mileage)

To get a better understanding of the Runbayou philosophy, please take a look at the...you guessed it, the Runbayou philosophy.

Important Note: Previous Runbayou training programs were made up of 4-5 clearly defined phases (see below). The idea was to help focus the runner on a specific physiologic system during any given training week. For example, each training week typically has two quality/hard workouts: the primary workout (i.e., an interval workout during the Interval phase) and a secondary workout (e.g., a threshold workout during the Interval phase). If you had to miss a workout, you were encouraged to not miss the primary workout.

So, are phases pas? Is periodization out? Is this some sort of new running cult? NO.

The 2009 program will still incorporate the idea of periodization. However, the transition into the "phases" will be more gradual. Why? Because remembering you're in week 10 of an 18 week training program is soooo much easier than remembering you're in the fourth week of Phase 3 of a four phase, 24 week program.

No, what are phases?

Phases

Phased marathon training is a good way to conceptualize what and how you are improving specific physiologic systems. In other words, phased training is the practical application of the theory of periodization.

Although we will not call out the phases, during the program, it's helpful to know what they are.

Base building for ~6 weeks or longer

bulletThe objective of this phase is to build aerobic capacity by increasing the capillary beds in your muscles.
bulletThe runs are easy and weekly mileage is increased slowly...~10% per week.
bulletIdeally, your weekly mileage in the last week of this phase will be approximately 70% of the peak weekly mileage you will do during the program.

Hill bounding

bulletThe objectives in this phase are to increase the strength in your legs and ankles and improve your running technique.
bulletIn addition to easy running, there are two (2) hill bounding sessions per week.

Repetition pace training

bulletThe objectives of this phase are to improve leg turnover and running technique.
bulletThere are two (2) repetition/speed sessions per week.

Interval pace training

bulletThe objective of this phase is to improve your ability to run fast over longer distances.
bulletThe quality workouts are interval and threshold drills - fast running over longer distances.

Marathon specific training

bulletThe objective of this phase is to integrate the past training into marathon specific workouts.
bulletThe quality workouts are marathon paced long runs and threshold workouts during the week.

Taper for ~2-3 weeks

bulletThe objective of this phase is to rest and prepare your body to peak for your marathon.
bulletThe quality workouts are similar to phase 4 workouts while decreasing your weekly mileage.

Marathon Race Day

bulletThe objective of this day is to race your best.
bulletYou've done the work; you're at peak fitness; it is time to show it off.

Mileage and Phase chart


30 week marathon training program

Legend

bullet2009 Houston Marathon Training Program - Title of the chart
bulletMiles - Miles per week; this is only a relative indicator; your mileage may vary (ymmv)
bulletWeek of training - Weeks begin on Monday and end on Sunday; The dates indicate the end of the week (i.e., 7 Aug is a Sunday, the last day of the first week of Phase 2)
bulletStart of Phase boxes - Indicate the end of the first week of a phase and correspond to the large blue dots
bullet Phase 1 - Mileage base building, 6 weeks or more
bullet Phase 2 - Hill bounding, 6 weeks
bullet Phase 3 - Repetition, 6 weeks
bullet Phase 4 - Intervals, 6 weeks
bullet Phase 5 - Marathon specific, 4 weeks
bullet Taper - Taper before the marathon, 2 weeks
bulletBlue dots - Indicate total miles per week run; Large blue dots are the beginning of each phase
bulletBlue Line - Indicates weekly mileage trend
Note: Mileage generally increases for 2 weeks and then decreases for 1 week
IMPORTANT: Mileage per week drops at the beginning of each phase AND on a race week; this is by design and helps reduce the stress when introducing new workouts.
bulletRed dots - indicate distance of the long run for the week
bulletRed Line - indicates the trend of the long runs for each week
Note: Long runs are ~33% of total miles per week.
bulletGreen triangles on Red Line - These indicate the following races; 10 miler, 20K, 25K, 30K and/or SunMart 50K/50 miler respectively.
bulletGreen circle - Indicates the 2006 Houston Marathon.

Training program overview

For optimal results, do the phases in order. This will minimize your risk of injury and maximize your performance in the marathon.

Here are the program phases, dates, and objectives

Phase 1 - Base building for 6 weeks or longer (Weeks 30 - 25 on chart)
June , 2008 to July , 2008

bulletThe objective of this phase is to build aerobic capacity by increasing the capillary beds in your muscles.
bulletThe runs are easy and weekly mileage is increased slowly...~10% per week.
bulletIdeally, your weekly mileage in the last week of this phase will be approximately 70% of the peak weekly mileage you will do during the program.

Phase 2 - Hill bounding for 6 weeks (Weeks 24 - 19 on chart)
 August 1, 2005 to September 11, 2005

bulletThe objectives in this phase are to increase the strength in your legs and ankles and improve your running technique.
bulletIn addition to easy running, there are two (2) hill bounding sessions per week.

Phase 3 - Repetition pace training for 6 weeks (Weeks 18 - 13 on chart)
 September 12, 2005 to October 23, 2005

bulletThe objectives of this phase are to improve leg turnover and running technique.
bulletThere are two (2) repetition/speed sessions per week.

Phase 4 - Interval pace training for 6 weeks (Weeks 12 - 7 on chart)
 October 24, 2005 to December 4, 2005

bulletThe objective of this phase is to improve your ability to run fast over longer distances.
bulletThe quality workouts are interval and threshold drills - fast running over longer distances.

Phase 5 - Marathon specific training for 4 weeks (Weeks 6 - 3 on chart)
 December 5, 2005 to January 1, 2006

bulletThe objectives of this phase are to integrate the past training into marathon specific workouts.
bulletThe quality workouts are marathon paced long runs and threshold workouts during the week.

Taper for 2-3 weeks (Weeks 2 & 1 on chart)
 January 2, 2006 to January 14, 2006

bulletThe objective of this phase is to rest and prepare your body to peak for your marathon.
bulletThe quality workouts are similar to phase 4 workouts while decreasing your weekly mileage.

Marathon Race Day
January 18, 2009

bulletThe objective of this day is to race your best.
bulletYou've done the work; you're at peak fitness; it is time to show it off.

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Last modified: 07/27/08