Monster March Training Schedule

For runners training for the Boston Marathon (April 21, 2008), March is the feared Monster March. While we start training in January and slowly ramp the mileage in frigid February, it is March when every weekend entails a 14+ mile run; on cold snowy Saturdays! Brrrrrrr!

The long runs planned for each weekend in March start at about 16 miles and end with the longest training run of 21 miles on March 29th – three weeks before the Marathon. After this, we reduce mileage during the three-week ‘taper’ and run 26.2 on Marathon day. So in April, you only have one 26.2 mile run. But in March, every weekend is a 14 – 21 mile run. And that does not include the mid-week lower mileage runs!

Thus surviving March is key for a successful marathon! If you get through March, without getting injured, sick or the equally dreadful – over-training injury, the actual Marathon can be very enjoyable, though exhausting!

Despite my ankle injury in January, I have nearly caught up with the mileage in my training program. But I find myself running at a woefully slow pace: about 1 minute slower! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And March finds me tired all the time. The long runs (with associated stretching, prep, driving to the course, etc) take up entire Saturdays. Sundays is for rest and catching up on sleep. I need an extra hour of sleep each day – to just recover from the trauma of running! You could catch me dozing off on the T and even at work. And socializing has shrunk to zero. I need my rest!

And the amounts of food I have been putting away is quite disgusting! In prep for the Saturday long run, I order a take-out pasta dish meant for two, and gorge on it myself. I actually get tired of eating, and will take a little break from dinner, do some cleaning and then come back to finish dinner. Yeah, gross!

Here’s my weekly training schedule. Notice emphasis on Stretching:

  • Monday: Stretch (~15 minutes); 45 min intense spinning;
  • Tuesday: Stretch; 4-miles fast on Treadmill; stretch;
  • Wednesday: Stretch; strength training (upper and lower body); stretch;
  • Thursday: Stretch; 4-miles fast on Treadmill; stretch;
  • Friday: Stretch; light strength training; gluttony!
  • Saturday: Stretch; long run; stretch; nap; ice knees and ankles; early to bed!
  • Sunday: Stretch; 90 min Iyengar Yoga; Eat well and rest at home!

Surprisingly, recovering from the long runs has been very quick; must be the banana I force myself to eat immediately after the run, along with a bottle of water.

If you need more tips, don’t hesitate to holler! ๐Ÿ™‚

14 thoughts on “Monster March Training Schedule

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  1. Excellent Article!

    If I could write like this I would be well chuffed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The more I read articles of such quality as this (which is rare), the more I think there might be a future for the Web. Keep it up, as it were.

  2. Anu – this flu is relentless and is still taking its toll on me!
    I have missed the last two weeks of running and am in no shape to even run 2 miles, let alone the scheduled 21 miles for this Sunday!

    Looks like I will not be able to participate in this years running of the Boston Marathon!
    *very depressing*

    but … there is always the New York Marathon Lottery for the Fall!

  3. Yeah, it is a big time sink! and my energy levels are at their lowest in years!
    I got the flu two weeks ago and it still seems to be lingering! Perhaps its that constant running I am doing – no rest!

    Good to hear Anu that you are sticking to your 2 mi. By the time summer comes, you will be ready to crank it up.

    Hope those experiments are going well.

  4. Thanks Asha –
    I ran the Boston Half Marathon last October and the full one last April in the Nor’easter.

    This one is going to be tough and thanks for your wishes.

    run Arun run!

  5. Ha hA Maya:
    I am sure if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything! and certainly the family is keeping you busy (and posting all the awesome foods) :-))

  6. Wow, impressive!! But just looking at the schedule is making me tired, can’t imagine myself goin thru it :(….Am a lazy bug…

  7. The base is a little lesser right now a month after Mumbai half but sure to pick up soon ;-).
    Marathon season here is Oct-Jan – want to simply be very comfortable with Halfs first. There is an awesome sounding midnight Half in Bangalore next month but I may be vacationing then.

    Please please remember to mail me dates in advance.

  8. Thanks Shantanu –
    Spinning is essentially indoor/stationery cycling; The instructor leads a groups of students through an imaginary course up mountains and down hills and a lot of out workouts. Gets you a good cardio-workout without banging the knees! Great!

    I think you are ready for the full marathon – and don’t worry about the weight, as you run, the weight will drop; and hope you are keeping a good running base (about 3-5 miles, 2-3 times a week). From here, you can then start any training program quickly.

    Also in the off season, you could work on upper (and lower) body strength training ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I will be in mumbai in July. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. wow! no tips sir – just continue to inspire us.
    what is spinning?

    for this year too it’s just going to be halfs for me – want to loose a little weight before picking up post-summer-season training again.

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