My 15 week Marathon training for the Big Sur

My 15 week Marathon training for the Big Sur

I’ve been looking at the calendar over the past week and I seem to be in denial about how soon the Big Sur Marathon is. It’s on April 27, 2014 which is less then 15 weeks away! Time to get a running program set up and put some miles and running workouts on the pavement.

My goals for this race are:

  1. Have fun! I haven’t run a marathon in over 3 years and I’ve heard this is a beautiful course. I’m also doing this race with a good friend who convinced me to sign up, so without her I wouldn’t be making this trip. And I’ve never been to California so I’m very excited to see more of the west coast!
  2. Train effectively.  Even though I have completed marathons in the past, I have never really “trained” for them. I never followed or even designed my own program, so just to follow a laid out plan is a big deal.
  3. Finish injury free. Injuries are a pain. Increasing the mileage as well as the intensity of the workouts needs to be done gradually. 15 weeks is not a long time for marathon training. Ideally I should have started a month ago to give myself more time but it is definitely doable in 15 weeks.

Now on to the fun part. My plan is laid out to accomplish an increase in mileage, include hill workouts, track intervals, tempo pace runs as well as short easy runs. I’ll explain a little more about these terms next.


For a larger view of this 15 week program click here: Big Sur Marathon Training – Sheet1-1

I like to have plain jane type of runs where I’m simply getting in some mileage as well as more technical workouts. Some of those running workouts can be explained as:

Tempo: Running at a good pace the entire distance. For me this means faster then an easy run but not as fast as race pace. Just in between. Enough speed so it’s hard to carry on a long conversation.

Hills: I will mix this up between hill repeats and a running route that includes a lot of hills

Intervals: They each have numbers next to them to correspond with the chart below. These will be done on a local college track.


LSD: Long Slow Distance. This is simply to get my body used to running that many miles at once as well as preparing me mentally for the distance of the race.

You’ll see that I don’t actually run a full marathon before the race. I’d like to be close but 18 is my longest planned run. This is because I don’t want to increase my mileage too fast because of the greater chance of injury.

Also, did you notice the blue? I am going on a trip to Australia in March so I had to be realistic about my training plans while away. I will definitely run while I’m there as I tend to be one of the first people awake and run with the sun rising, it’s beautiful.


Big Sur Bridge

I’m very excited about this race! I’ve been looking for a “destination race” for a while and when my friend suggested this one to do together I thought it was a perfect fit. Our trip surrounding the race will be a blast with our families together. I can’t wait for the Big Sur Marathon!

What is your favorite “destination race” you have done or looking forward to doing?

By |2016-11-08T15:19:04+00:00January 14th, 2014|Running|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Sean July 9, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply


    Thanks – great post. What did your x-train workouts consist of?


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