Dopey Challenge Training Schedule – Updated

Dopey Challenge

Dopey Challenge

Since I set up my training schedule for the back to back training for the 8 weeks between this year’s Philadelphia Marathon (11/17/13) and the Walt Disney World ‘Dopey Challenge’ (1/9-1/12/14) there have been a number of coaches updating their training programs.

I have used Hal Higdon’s plans consistently for marathons 2-5 and the back to back periods between Philly and Disney in 2012 and 2013. Hal recently came out with an official ‘Dopey’ plan on his website and so I took some time to compare the two.

Hal designed his plan for just the 4 day event, it is not a back to back marathon training plan as it assumes you will be following the plan for the full 18 weeks. I only have 8 weeks between events and will be using his back to back multiple marathon plan. Last year for my first ‘Goofy Challenge’ I followed the plan and just made sure that my Saturday runs were at least half of the Sunday long runs.

My Dopey training is…well…Dopey. I need to somehow recover from a marathon, train up for another multi day event (including a marathon) and have time to taper. Sounds like fun. Originally I had taken what I had done with Hal’s plan for the Goofy last year and switch my runs up so each week would have 4 continuous days of running. In hindsight that may seem to be a recipe for distress.

I went back today and looked at what I really need to do vs what I planned to do. I saw a need to have some more rest days in there for sure. I took the plan and moved back the rest days back to where they had originally been in Hal’s weekly plan but with the exception of 2 of the weeks.

For the 20 mile long run week I made sure I had a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the event in that I now plan to have that week be a four consecutive run week. At the start of my taper (three weeks out from race week) I have a 16 miler and plan to do a four consecutive run week then too. For the week prior to the event I dropped a run entirely from the plan and added an additional mid week rest day so that I give myself one extra opportunity to rest/heal before I head down to Florida.

Here is the updated plan. Still alot of running but hopefully more manageable.

This is trial an error. I want to complete the challenge and not get injured in the process. I think being a little more conservative in the training between Philly and Dopey is not going to hurt. Missing a day of running is not going to lose me any level of fitness and believe me, I probably will be craving rest days by the time December rolls around. I want to make it to the start line in one piece as I know the whole event, although rewarding and exciting, will be physically hard on my body. I am so not looking forward to my flight home on the Sunday evening after the marathon but I’m sure I will probably be asleep before we take off 🙂

Thanks for reading.

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