Starting your training program

Congratulations! You've begun your journey to completing the Buffalo Marathon/Half Marathon!  Throughout this blog, I will be providing you with tips and ideas to improve your training, stay healthy, and reach your goal come race day on May 24!

First, it is important to give a little bit of background about the training programs.  I have offered 3 levels of the Marathon Training program, each is 18-weeks long,  to allow you to select the program that best fits your needs.  In future posts I will discuss the Half Marathon Training Programs (12-week program)

  • The BEGINNER plan is designed for a novice level runner with the goal of completing the marathon distance in a safe and healthy manner.  The training is gradual, and it is not speed based.  However, it does take the assumption that you are running at least 10 miles per week at the beginning. 
  • The INTERMEDIATE plan is for the runner that runs a bit already, and may even have run a few marathons.  It involves some structured workouts to help improve your pace.  I encourage runners to have a base weekly mileage of 25 miles/week or more. 
  • The ADVANCED plan is for the experienced, higher level runner looking to improve marathon time.  The workouts are challenging, and the recommended base weekly mileage at the start of the program is 40 miles/week.  This plan should push your limits.

Which program is right for you?  Start by determining your goal for the marathon.  Next, determine where your currently weekly running fits into the training plans.  Then answer, What is your experience level?  Is this your first marathon? 

  • Is your goal to finish? The Beginner is the one for you. 
  • Is this your first marathon but you are going in with high expectations of qualifying for Boston?  Or have you run a couple of marathons but with no real training plan in place? If so, the Intermediate program is likely the right fit for you. 
  • OR, have you had a few marathons already, you've put in quality mileage, you've put in speed work, but maybe just not reached your time goals?  Then the Advanced is likely the plan for you. 

Now that you've picked the training program that is just right, you can begin your journey towards the marathon on May 24th. 

Over the next few weeks I will be explaining the training in detail, helping you understand the meaning of the different types of workouts listed and how it will build you to the marathon distance.  For now, if you have determined that the Intermediate or Advanced training program is the right program for you, I want you to determine your training paces for the different workouts.  Using the Jack Daniels VDOT Calculator, you can determine your own training paces based on your marathon time goal.  Simply go to the Jack Daniels VDOT Calculator, enter in your distance (26.2 miles), your time goal (for example, 3:30:00), and hit the "Calculate" button.  Then select the "Training" tab and you'll see your training paces for each of the workouts listed in the training plan.  For the example of a 3:30:00 marathon, training paces are as follows: 8:53-9:25/mile for easy/long runs, marathon pace is 8:01/mile, Threshold (TEMPO) is 7:23/mile pace, Interval is 6:47/mile pace.  More details on the how's and why's of workouts to come in future blogs! 

Vicki is a distinguished athlete and international competitor, Vicki competed in the 1996 US Olympic Trials in the 10,000 run. She made her marathon debut at the 1999 Hong Kong Marathon, where she qualified for the 2000 US Olympic Marathon Trials. In 2001, she was invited to join the Fila Discovery USA training program, a program designed to develop American distance runners into elite marathon athletes able to compete with the best in the world. She has been a member of five USA national teams, including the 1993 World University Games and 1998 IAAF World Road Race Championship in Manaus, Brazil.