I registered for my first marathon (in 5 months) and have run 3 half marathons and several shorter races in the last year. I have researched some training plans and they all start out with very low mileage. I am unsure if I should start where these plans start or if I should keep running my regular long run (8-11 miles) each weekend until I catch up with the plan. Any advice? Thanks!
My suggestion would be to keep with your current long run distance until you catch with what the plan suggests. My only reason for this would be to allow you to follow the plan for the shorter runs during the week. I tend to try and develop speed and work on pacing for my shorter runs and then use my long run on the weekend purely for endurance. Good luck!
5K - Apr 2009: 39:00
5K - Jun 2009: 36:55
5K - Sep 2009: 34:06
10K - Oct 2009: 1:13:45
5K - Nov 2009: 34:23
5K - Feb 2010: 32:28
Half Marathon - Apr 2010: 2:39:06
5K - May 2010: 29:49
10K - Jun 2010: 1:01:48
5K - Aug 2010: 27:57
Half Marathon - Oct 2010: 2:12:18
10K - Nov 2010: 52:44 (PR)
5K - Feb 2011: 23:45
Half Marathon - Apr 2011: 1:49:18
Marathon - May 2011: 3:56:05
Half Marathon - Oct 2011: 1:49:14 (PR)
5K - Nov 2011: 22:20 (PR)
Marathon - Dec 2011: 3:41:42 (PR)
I agree I see no real reason for you to run shorter than 8-11 miles until you plans catches up. You might want every third week to be a drop back week which you only do 8. I hardly ever run less than 8 on week-ends even in the off-season. I tend to use a 18 week schdule for my marathons that start around 11-12 miles, but run 4-6 halfs thoughout the year. Good luck, which ever you do is the correct answer.