18 Week Training Plan

Note:  Updated July 7th, 2015.

I used to use this page as the place to showcase my current training plan but I see more and more folks hitting it looking for a more generic training plan for the Goofy Challenge or the Dopey Challenge. With that in mind I figured I would update the page and make it a static training plan for the Goofy Challenge. There isn’t much adjustment needed for this plan to make it fit for the Dopey Challenge as well.

In general the plan includes 5 running days a week with the longest weekly mileage maxing out at 50. The runs will fall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. With Sundays being the long runs with the longest at 20 miles.

To adjust the schedule for the Dopey Challenge, I would take the Wednesday run and move it to Tuesday instead. The Tuesday and Thursday runs would get moved to Thursday and Friday respectively. Saturday and Sunday runs would be untouched. This allows you to get used to running 4 days in a row. I’m not sure it is entirely necessary to do this as I think the Goofy Challenge plan will get you through the Dopey Challenge as well.

The links below show plans I used as I have progressed in my running – the plans get progressively more advanced as you go along. Below those plans is the generic 18 week Goofy Challenge training plan.

I also link below plans from Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway and Lee Hoedl. My previous plans were all based heavily off the plans from those folks for the Goofy Challenge and I highly recommend them.  Also check out Lee Hoedl’s youtube channel for awesome “all along the route” videos of the Disney World Marathon weekend races.

Also follow this link to see a list of 5 things NOT to do at the Walt Disney World Marathon!

Previous plans:

When I first started this blog in late 2012 the training plan was a fairly straight copy of the Hal Higdon Intermediate II training plan that I was using to get in shape for the 2013 Goofy Challenge…and to get in shape in general. I was about 257 pounds when I started this plan and was down to about 233 when I left to Disney World for the 2013 Goofy Challenge races. The Hal Higdon plan is great for building up the endurance needed to do the half marathon and full marathon races on back to back days. You can see the plan versus how I did on this page.

I then decided I needed to keep getting better and still had a long way to go to get back in shape. So the training plan evolved to cover a half marathon in the spring of 2013 and the Manitoba Marathon on Father’s Day 2013. You can see how that went on this page.

I had realized that for that training period I wasn’t focused enough – so I set myself a goal of doing 3 half marathon races in the fall of 2013 as a lead up to doing the 2014 Goofy Challenge in January. This went very well and really helped get me back where I wanted to be. You can see the comparison and details of that training plan here.

After the 2014 Goofy Challenge I realized I did not want to back off on my training intensity like I had the previous year after getting back from Disney World. So I pushed myself fairly well and managed to set a new marathon PR in June at the 2014 Manitoba Marathon and a new half marathon PR in May at the WPS Half marathon. The plan used for that training period is described here.

I knew after having finally gotten myself back in a good position I wanted to challenge myself and do one more Goofy Challenge when I was really ready for it. In the end I signed up for the 2015 Dopey Challenge and a couple of half marathons for the fall of 2014. To really scare myself I also signed up for a 12 hour endurance trail race (the Lemming Loop) in early October. The plan I used for that period can be found here and it was quite a bit of miles. Definitely not a novice plan. In the end I pulled off 1971 miles in 2014. A fairly impressive feat for a guy still in the 220 pound range.

I am working on writing up my current training plan and will add it here when I am done.


Plans I used as initial inspiration:

My previous training plans are all a modification of the Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 plan – available here:


and the Lee Hoedl Goofy Challenge training plan – available here:


Jeff Galloway training plans (focused on his run/walk/run method) are also very good and are on the runDisney site:



Goofy Challenge 18 week training plan:

And with that…on with the plan.

The Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday runs will occur on the treadmill where I will be able to push the speed and do more hill work than the local paths and streets allow. Tuesdays are about speed – mostly done as intervals. Wednesday runs I try to push faster (not as fast as Tuesdays) but fairly quick in order to training for what is needed for faster half marathon. Thursdays are about hills by increasing the incline on the treadmill. Saturday and Sunday runs will be on local streets and trails will be about distance and getting the body used to running tired and won’t be about speed that much. You can definitely add speed work on some Saturdays if you are inclined – and several plans would recommend doing so – but I find I end up just trying to relax and enjoy being outside. The long runs on Sunday usually take a strong effort and are less about enjoyment – so I try to enjoy Saturday runs. Sunday runs are long and slow – definitely not done at race pace – these are about training your body to move the wall progressively further out. (if you are just starting out run/walk/run cycles are your friend on the Sunday runs – that being said run/walk/run as per Jeff Galloway are a valid training and running technique and shouldn’t be discounted).

Goofy Challenge 18 week training schedule

Goofy Challenge 18 week training schedule



  1. Mike Irwin says:

    Hey Ted we met at the airport in Toronto, wanted to say thanks for the info your blog provided. I was nice and comfy waiting for the start when people around me were shivering.

    • Ted says:

      Awesome! Glad to hear you got some use out of my ramblings.

      It was great meeting you Mike – you have a very powerful and inspiring story!

      I hope your running went well!

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