This year we're holding Puppetize PDX in Portland the first full week of October. And by some divine coincidence, the Portland Marathon is running just a few days prior. Clearly we're meant to make a full week of it! It would be rad if you joined Team Bolt and ran with us!

You can run or walk either the full or half distance and you don't even need to be an extreme athlete! @binford2k is hosting a virtual training plan to help you prepare for race day. It's level of effort based, so it's adaptive to your fitness level and can help anyone level up. Wanna join us? Every Puppetize PDX attendee who participates will take home a sweet sweet running tee.

Getting Started

So how's this going to work?

I'm glad you asked. As long as you're currently healthy and reasonably active, this plan can get you either from being a non-runner to a half, or from a moderate runner to a marathon finisher by October. Of course, if you have any concerns then you should check with your doctor first. First, you'll need to decide which race you'll be ready for. If the thought of running 10k (6.2 miles) doesn't give you the heebie jeebies now and you've got the time to train up, then the full is an option. If not, then please start with the half marathon. Choose your distance below and open up the calendar. You can add it to your own calendar if you'd like to get training reminders each day. Just click the + icon in the lower right.

Ben will tweet out the run each day, and share it in #pdx-marathon on Slack. All you've got to do is find a local route for each run. Don't worry if it's not exactly right, running is an inexact sport! Just do your best and try not to overdo it.

Intensity Levels

Generally we use three to five intensity levels when training. These plans use three zones for our runs. If you have a heart rate monitor, you might consider calculating your target heart rates for each zone, and if not just go by feel.

  • Easy is a slow jog that lets you converse without losing your breath. (Zone 2).
  • Moderate is the pace at which you're still in control of your breath, but if you went any faster you'd feel strain. (Zone 3).
  • Hard is relative to how long you'll be running at this level, but is nearly tapped out--about 90%. You want to finish each workout feeling like you only have a little bit left over. (Zone 4).

Especially during the long runs, you'll want to try to keep to a consistent pace. In other words, you'll want to finish at about the same pace as you started. If you can't keep that pace up, then start the next run at a slightly slower pace. This helps you to avoid overtraining and also helps you better predict what your pace will be for longer runs.

Overtraining and Catching Up

Speaking of overtraining, if you're coming in to this late, be very careful with how you ramp things up. Overtraining is the most common cause of running related injuries. Find the point that best matches your current level and then ramp up at a pace that catches you up gradually.

Don't sweat it too much if you miss a day. But be smart about how you make it up, and don't get too far behind. It's fairly easy to swap a Sunday long run with a Monday rest day, but don't make a habit of it. You need down periods in between strenuous exercise for your body to build up stronger muscles.

If you've got any question about the schedule, then start a conversation in #pdx-marathon.

Finding Your Community

Sometimes the hardest part about running is literally just putting on your shoes and making it out the front door. We are hoping to help with that by providing this virtual training schedule and a space to share our successes, but you might also consider finding others in your area to train up with. It's a little easier if they're on this same training plan, but even just a local running club can provide the peer accountability that many of us need to keep moving. Tell people what you're working for and celebrate together in your journey.

Thanks for coming along! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.