Plans at the ready as now’s the time to start training for the Dublin marathon
Training plans will be among the topics discussed and such advice is usually welcome for first timers if only because there is so much out there. Apps have added still further to the options over the past few years but there are some tried and tested sources from longer established sources.
David Carrie’s plans for Irish Runner magazine are well regarded and the Dunleer-based coach will get about 100 hopefuls successfully over the line this year. That said, his plan for novices stretches over 22 weeks so that, even if week one involves only six miles completed over five runs, this week’s schedule of up to 16 miles would be a little daunting for anyone starting from scratch.
Now 82, long-time Runner’s World contributor Hal Higdon has certainly had his share of disciples. As it happens, today might be considered day one of his classic 18-week plan if you’re applying it to Dublin.
Week one, however, involves three three-mile runs, a six-mile one this weekend and an hour’s cross training somewhere along the line; slightly more demanding stuff than some of the other options.
There are quite a few billing themselves as 16-week plans, though, including one developed at Iowa University in the 1980s, tweaked ever since and published as The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David A Whitsett, Forrest A Dolgener and Tanjala Mabon Kole.
Like Tere Stouffer Drenth’s in Marathon Running for Dummies, it presupposes an ability to run for three miles or roughly half an hour and spells out a preliminary six-week programme to get that far if you can’t. Once you can, though, it makes particularly encouraging claims about your chances of completing the distance come race day.
The official Dublin marathon website also provides 16-week plans, starting around the first week of July, which again look manageable enough if you’re sure of your health (check with a doctor if you’re not) and you’re not too hung up on your finishing time. Clearly the demands will vary with targets between four hours and eight and the most sensible starting point is simply to target getting through in one piece.
Deenihan, by the way, did just that in marathon number one with, as he puts it, just a few weeks’ training under his belt. For what it’s worth, though, he started training for number two the January before the marathon.