Manitoba Marathon 2013 training plan – scheduled versus actual comparison

To try to clean up my 18 week training plan page, I thought I would do something similar to what I did for the Goofy Challenge training plan analysis for the 2013 Manitoba Marathon.  That is, I would remove the stuff about what I intended to do from that page on put on this page instead with a bit of a run down on what I actually did do in comparison along with some lessons learned.

My training plans are based heavily upon Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II plan and Lee Hoedl’s Goofy Challenge training plan (note that Lee Hoedl has updated his plan since I originally had looked at it to more focus on the Dopey Challenge so some of what you see below may seem out of whack with what is on his page now.

Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 plan – available here:

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

I highly recommend both of the plans above and Lee Hoedl’s Disney World Marathon videos are awesome.


When I started officially training for the 2013 Manitoba Marathon, I updated and modified the first 6 weeks of the 18 week Hal Higdon plan to maintain the training level I achieved for the Goofy and to help push additional weight loss in the first 6 weeks of the plan while still pushing for the Manitoba Marathon in June.

When I wrote this up initially I figured I would be doing the first 6-9 weeks inside on the treadmill and then moving outside once the weather started to cooperate.  I wanted to use the first 6 to lose additional weight and the second 6 to help drive up my pace while I was still using the treadmill.  The hope was that this would translate into better times once I move back into outdoor running later in the spring.  Following this plan I was able to bring my full marathon time down a full 40 minutes from the 2013 Goofy to the 2013 Manitoba (approx 5 months) – part of that speed increase was due to going slower on the Goofy because of the heat that day but the 2013 Manitoba was pretty warm as well near the end so there was still probably a good 20-30 minute improvement.

Here is my plan for the 18 weeks leading up to June 16th (making the first running day Feb 12th, 2013):

manitoba marathon 2013 training schedule
Manitoba Marathon 2013 training schedule – click for larger image

Now – how did I actually do?  Well for the 2013 Goofy Challenge I did very good at not missing runs and by ensuring I did not miss the really long ones.  I didn’t do so well for the 2013 Manitoba Marathon.

In general I had 672.2 miles scheduled and only completed 445.8 miles in training – this means I missed over 226.4 miles of training.  There was a reason that, even though I beat my Goofy time from January by 40 minutes, I was dragging my ass at the end.

I missed several of the long runs – including one of the scheduled 20 milers.  I also missed several of the medium runs and a few shorter ones as well.

Basically I was missing some of each of the run types and that had impacts across the board on race day.

Short runs – I had actually hoped to be faster than I was in the end and at least part of this was missing the short runs / speed work – need to do these runs to get the cardiovascular level up and train the body to run faster.

Medium runs – I went out too fast in the first hour and this probably contributed to slowing down later – the medium runs are a good time to practice race pacing and I wasn’t doing that practising well.

Long runs – this is where you go long and slow and train your body to be ready for the distance of the marathon – missing some of these longer runs can impact your endurance on race day…and it did.

Basically I didn’t focus on the training the way I should have for the 2013 Manitoba Marathon the way I should have or the way I did for the 2013 Goofy Challenge – if I hadn’t trained as well as I did for the Goofy and been able to maintain it then this marathon would have been a lot less tough than it was.

So combined with what I learned from the Goofy Challenge I would say that you can miss some training miles and it is ok but don’t miss any of the long ones – those are vital.  For the shorts and mediums each individual one of those runs is maybe not as important as the longs but they have a purpose and if you find yourself consistently missing one or the other you should take steps to correct that.  They each train your body and your mind differently than the long runs do and that is important on race day.

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