Training Schedule used for Goofy Challenge 2014 and 3 half marathons in the fall 2013

Note:  This page was originally my training plan leading into 3 half marathons in the fall of 2013 and Goofy Challenge 2014.  Moved to this page on January 28th, 2014 when I updated my 18 week training plan for the 2014 Manitoba Marathon.  What you see below is basically what I had written in September with some minor updates to discuss how I did in following the schedule.

For various race reports:

Run for Diabetes Research Half Marathon – run your own race (thoughts on some stuff I saw during that race)

Fort Garry Rotary Club Half Marathon

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services (WFPS) Half Marathon (personal race report)

Goofy Challenge 2014 – half marathon – race 1

Goofy Challenge 2014 – full marathon – race 2 – Goofy Challenge #4 complete

Click here for info / analysis of how I did on the 2014 Goofy Challenge

Overall I did about 27 miles more than what was in the schedule but in September and October I was over 50 miles up – I lost a bunch of mileage in November and December to cold weather outside and a busted treadmill.  Still very good overall.

Below is what I had posted as my training plan from Sept 2013 to the Goofy Challenge in January 2014:

I figured I should clean up the page a little bit compared to what it had been.  Previously it had my plan for the 2013 Manitoba Marathon (finished in June 2013) and my plan for training for 3 half marathons this fall leading into my 4th Goofy Race and a Half Challenge / Goofy Challenge in January 2014 (whoohooo!).  I have now moved off the Manitoba Marathon 2013 information and did a bit of a scheduled versus actual comparison for that race on its own page.  Also for comparison please see my plan and scheduled versus actual analysis for my 2013 Goofy Challenge run.  Both of those linked pages show a different 18 week training plan than the plan below and also have some insights into what I found worked for those races and maybe what I should have done differently (especially for the 2013 Manitoba Marathon).  You will also notice the plan below is not 18 weeks as the title of the page shows – originally when I posted this last year I did have up an 18 week plan (which is now in the scheduled versus actual page linked above for the 2013 Goofy Challenge) but when I got into training for the 3 half marathons I have/had planned in the fall I needed to extend out the plan to provide training for those races and still provide full marathon type training going into the 2014 Goofy Challenge.

This training plan is a modification of the 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 – look him up on YouTube – his All Along The Route videos are great to show you the kinds of things to expect if you have never done a runDisney race before or to give a bit of nostalgia and motivation if you have.

The Plan

Summer and Fall training going into 3 planned half marathons in September and October here in Winnipeg.  I have also extended the plan out to include a Goofy Challenge go in January 2014 – my fourth and I intend to make it my best (so far).

The 30 min spots in the training plan below are periods on the treadmill to just push as fast as I can and get as many miles in as possible in the 30 minute window.  This is intended to get my average speed up plus it will help schedule the runs better.  Weekday runs will be done on the treadmill with the intention of getting them done as quickly as possible doing higher speed running – when the weekday runs are over 6 miles though I suspect I will slow those particular runs down a bit to make sure I don’t burn out or hurt myself – on those runs I will practice race pacing too.

The Saturday and Sunday runs for the most part will be outside on a 4.5 mile route I have mapped out in my neighbourhood which is why most of the Sunday runs are multiples of 4.5 miles.

I have tried to make sure I have adequate time to recover between the 3 half marathons as well as make sure I have some lighter mileage leading up to each race (tapering is interesting to try to schedule when you are doing almost back to back races).

The swim days are days that I will be doing laps and resistance training in our backyard pool as a cross training / low impact way of doing additional exercises.  Being in Manitoba, Canada the pool will not stay open forever so eventually I will have to move into something else in the fall for the non-running days but I haven’t settle on what that will be specifically yet.  This is a new activity for me as well as the pool was installed in mid July so I am not used to using swimming as part of my marathon training but it definitely seems to be quite helpful.

Once the third half marathon is done on October 19th the plan more closely resembles the Hal Higdon Intermediate II plan that I used as a starting point with just some minor adjustments to some of the runs to make them fit the 4.5 mile route.  There are some runs that I did not adjust the mileage to fit the routes because they would be reduced too much or made too long so on those ones I will do the mileage indicated in the original Hal Higdon plan by doing whatever number of loops required and then do some out and back runs to top the mileage up to where it needs to be.

My goal with this plan is to hopefully beat my personal best in the half marathon (1:46:11 – in 2002) on one of the 3 scheduled half marathon races and then continue training from there.  (as of this edit on September 30th, 2013 I have completed 2 of them with times of 1:49:54 and 1:47:50 – only 99 seconds short of my personal best) My hope is to do the Goofy strong in January 2014 as well and try to get a personal best in the full marathon portion (4:15:01 – at the Manitoba Marathon 2005).

training schedule for summer and fall 2013
Training schedule for summer and fall 2013 – click for larger image


Some things to think about when looking at the plan

So some things I have learned (which I also put in the Manitoba Marathon 2013 analysis page):

Short runs – need to do these runs to get the cardiovascular level up and train the body to run faster.

Medium runs – I tend to go out too fast at the start of a race – the medium runs are a good time to practice race pacing to try to correct that.

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 will impact your endurance on race day.

So combined with what I learned from the 2013 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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