Training for Chicago Marathon

I’m following the Furman Institute (FIRST) training program to prepare for this October’s Chicago Marathon. The unique aspect of this program is the fact that one runs only three times per week. However, these three runs are challenging. They entail (1) an interval workout on the track, (2) a moderate distance/pace tempo run, and (3) a long run. In addition, there are two days of cross-training (e.g., cycling, rowing, or swimming) per week.

I’m in week 8 of the program. So far, it’s going well. I like the variety as well as the structure (i.e., very specific distances and paces). During week 6 I hit a bit of a bump, and had two workouts that went poorly (both in very warm weather), but otherwise have been hitting the prescribed distance/pace guidelines. I’m very eager to see how this training pays off in October’s race. My goal is 3 hours 20 minutes. I completed my previous (and only) marathon in 2009. This was the Twin Cities (MN) marathon, and my time was 3:32.