So this is the most direct that I have ever been towards following a structured PR plan. That doesn't mean that I think for sure that I'm going to get a PR but I'm shooting for that, so I thought that it would be beneficial for those that want to try to do the same to see how I'm going about this. I like to have the same type of workouts on whatever prospective day of the week because that allows me to have more structure and know what to expect. This is also not what every program looks like AT ALL with my run coaching. Here are all of the disclaimers that I want to put forward with the way that I'm training, so that you know how you can tweek your programming to be what works for you.
First, this will be my 7th marathon distance. I have only officially done 4 stand alone marathons but I have done an ultra, and an ironman which has a marathon at the end. The point of all of that is to say that I know what to expect. I was listening to a podcast for advanced marathoners, and one thing that it stated about the advanced is that you can play with fire a little more. You aren't just looking to finish. You know how to prevent injury with yourself so you are capable of pushing yourself further (do more 20 milers, etc) and have an actual paced race plan vs someone who just wants to finish.
Second, I am lifting, but I didn't include the hybrid portion on this. I will be doing legs on my speed workout days. The reason for that is that you want to work the same energy system on the same days therefore you aren't doing speed work and then sore from that the next. You knock out two birds with one stone. I will be doing a shoulders/biceps day on Wednesday and then an all upper and core day on Friday's. My long run is Saturday, rest Sunday.
Third, I ALWAYS switch days around due to scheduling conflicts/life. I know that some are rigid on their plan but I'm not. It works for me and that's fine. If someone wants to run on Sundays then that's fine. I'll just adjust some things so you might see me in the next 12 weeks doing something on some other day, and I just relatively try to get the right mileage in. This is all for fun (though I take it very seriously) and so I try to make sure to not be so rigid it becomes unfun. :)
Fourth, my peak week is 2 weeks out. This is what works for ME after trial and error. I like to peak and then have a two week short taper.
Fifth, my mileage is going to seem super high. This is new for me as I normally peak at 50. I will judge this how my body is feeling and I might not get that high, but I want to try because I want to build that mitochondrial density as much as possible for my body to be able to utilize oxygen in the best way so that I can hold faster paces for longer.
Starting at about week 6, I will start adding some workouts into my long runs. I typically try to do a fast few miles at the end of long runs and then a cool down mile. With speed work and tempos that are longer than 8 miles, this is not an increase on the actual amount of fast miles that I will be doing. I don't want to do anymore than 6 miles of speed/tempo but I will be adding miles on either side (warm up/cool down) that are slower to get in more miles. Again, this is something new that I'm trying for me and everyone is VERYYYY different just like someone would be different with nutrition.
With shooting for a PR, the numbers don't just magically happen. You have to train accordingly to the speeds that you want to hit. If you go to http://www.runnersworld.com/pace-calculators/training-paces then you can put in the distance that you want to go with the speed that you would like to hit and it will give you the paces that you are going to need to hit by the time that you peak for your race. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it typically plays out that way.
So for my lofty goal, I would have to hit the paces:
Easy Run- 9
Speed workouts- 5:45min/mile (SHEW lol)
Long Runs- 8:15-8:30
One thing to note is that you'll see the long runs and easy runs are MUCH slower than the speed workouts and tempos. You do NOT need to go fast every day and your paces should vary a lot. You want to work hard on your hard days and let your body rest on the other days.
Lastly, I have increased by 10% relatively in mileage each week so this week will be at 40 then I'll move to 44. It's not a perfect 10% increase, but you definitely shouldn't really do more than 10%. Also, you'll see at the end, I do a deload week before I do my peak week.
I think that's all the things that I wanted to say, but there might have been more that I'll think of later and wished I had said! ;) haha! I'm excited and know it's intense but I'm ready and can't wait to see how my body adjusts.