45 yo female - Been running for just over 2 years. Run a HM about 5-6 times a year, 1-2 in Summer and the rest Fall/Winter. Also run several 5K+ throughout the year. I do speed work 1x week for 13 weeks ending in Aug. After speed work last year I had PR for HM in Sept. of 2:11. I've signed up for St. Louis R&R Marathon this Oct. It will be my first. Listed my estimated finish time 5:15. I'm happy to just finish and most likely will not do it again. I want to give myself the best chance of success with the least punishment possible so it'll be Higdon's novice II program. Above is my current weekly schedule except the Wed run, which I’ll add when I begin training. I’ve been doing this schedule for about 4 mos. (Willing to give up circuit training and yoga and scale back martial arts intensity during training, but really want to keep the other stuff.)
I'm thinking about beginning training in Feb and keep my current workout schedule to see if it is too much. If it is, I have time to rest/ rehab fine-tune race nutrition, etc. and start again in about June.
Is it OK to take HM and double it for FM, i.e. HM=3-4 Gu pks, FM would be 6-8, 2x hydration? Is my estimated finish time (5:15) realistic?
Is there a point to starting way early (Feb) in case I have a setback or better to just have one training session and take things as they come?
If only one session, then should I use my pre-training time to drop some weight to make up for the water I’ll have to carry with me AND make it easier on my body overall? (BMI = normal range)
Should I start Novice II at the beginning, even though I run more then that now, or start closer to my current distances?
Can I still participate in 5k+ events throughout training, so long as I cut way back on number of HM and/or run slower?
Fuel: You should consume 30-60 grams of carbs per hour for exercise lasting 1-2 hours or 45-90 grams of carbs per hour for exercise lasting more than 2 hours: Fuel is a lot more important in a Full!
I run year round and keep my base fairly high around 35 MPW, during my marathon cycle it gets up to around 60 or so I think the plan you will be using gets around 50-55. It's a good plan I used for my 1st. For your 1st I think most people would tell you to start at the beginning because after 18 weeks your are going to feel it. I did for my 1st.
As far you a goal time go to the McMillan Running Calculator (Google search will pull it up) and put your last HM time in and it will give you a time that is close.
Starting early, I believe a good base year round keeps you healthy, but start your plan 18 weeks out like the plans calls for.
His plans allow for races during it, I run several races during my cycle it is good for you just don't over do it.