LA Marathon 2011 Training Schedule

by Gong Liu December 07, 2010 18:37

The following is my 16-week marathon training schedule adapted from Mark Bravo's Intermediate Level Plan.


Here are some highlights about this schedule:

  • It requires only 4 running days per week, while most marathon training schedules, including the one I used for my first marathon, require 5 running days per week. This allows me to incorporate more cross training which makes it less boring.
  • The schedule is very long-run centric - more than 40% weekly mileage is from Sunday long run. It includes three 20+ milers while most beginning/intermediate level schedules only have one or two 20 milers.
  • I like the fact that the schedule builds in some "stepback" weeks, which allows recovery and prevents injury.
  • I also like the fact that resting days are on Saturdays. This way I have fresh legs to run the Sunday long runs.
  • Since this is my second marathon, I have a time goal in mind. Based on my latest half marathon time (2:07:00) and my best half marathon time (1:56:25), my predicted full marathon finish time should be around 4:15:00, or marathon goal pace (MGP) 9:44 per mile. Most Friday runs and the last 20 miler should be done in this pace. MGP will be recalculated based on the finish time of the first 20 miler. 
  • I add Tempo and Hill running (TH) to the schedule. Tempo run pace will be determined based on 80-90% of maximum heart rate. I'll do this in the gym on a treadmill because I'll have better control over the speed and incline there.
  • Cross Training (CT) includes cardio machines (stationary bike, elliptical trainer, stairmaster, etc.), weight training, core training, and dynamic stretching. Easy Cross Training (ECT) will be done with less duration and intensity, and can also be a resting day if necessary.   

Now that I have set the goal and made the plan, all I have to do is to follow it through without injury, hopefully. 

Motivational Quote

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle when the sun comes up you'd better be running." -Anon


Take on the Forrest Gump Route

by Gong Liu April 18, 2010 19:55

My cross country workout tracker has proven to be a smashing success. Here is what I have achieved since I started the tracker a little bit over a year ago:

  • Lost more than 20 lbs
  • Body fat has dropped 5%, from 20% to 15%
  • Got some impressive cardiovascular readings for my age
    • Total cholesterol: 160 mg/dL, HDL/LDL: 67/85 mg/dL
    • Blood pressure: 106/67 mmHg, close to that of an athlete according to this chart
    • Maximum heart rate: 172 bpm
    • Resting heart rate: 40 bpm, not bad at all compare to Lance Armstrong's 32 bpm
  • Finished my first half marathon with an above average Age Grade
  • The training of my first marathon is well underway
  • I am in the best shape I've been in since my 20's

To maintain these benefits in long term, I need to take on something grander, more ambitious. What I have in mind is the Forrest Gump Route. According to my research, the route consists of 5 cross country trips with a total distance of some 15,000 miles. Supposedly, Forrest Gump did it in over 3 years. Since I have a full time job and a life other than just fitness, I will allow myself to cover the same distance in 5 years through daily workout. And like my previous cross country workout, every activity by any means counts, running, biking, hiking, cardio machines, swimming, you name it. Here is a breakdown in percentage of mileage I try to maintain:

  • 60% - by bike or stationary bike
  • 25% - by running outdoor or on treadmill
  • 15% - by cardio machines, hiking, etc.

I credit much of my improvement in physical fitness as well as mental strength to the intensive marathon training. I would like to do this once a year just to reassure my fitness level. If I can run a marathon, I must be in good shape. Here are some local marathon events that I have targeted on:

  • Orange County Marathon 2010 (Done!)
  • Los Angeles Marathon 2012 (Done!)
  • Orange County Marathon 2012 (Done!)
  • Long Beach ICB Marathon
  • Rock 'n' Roll Marathon San Diego
  • Surf City USA Marathon

Goal Statement

So here is a summary of my goals:

  • Traverse the Forrest Gump Route in 5 years through daily workout
  • Long term commitment to fitness and healthy diet
  • Run a few marathons along the way

The Tracker

I will use the following tracker to track my progress. I will update it on a daily basis. So please come back and check it often. Just zoom in and hover your mouse cursor on the little red dots to see my daily activities.



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