|9/5/2010||9||Cross-train||8 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||12 pace||8 m run||38||298|
|9/12/2010||10||Cross-train||7 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||10||6 m pace||31||329|
|9/19/2010||11||Cross-train||8 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||20||4 m pace||42||371|
|9/26/2010||12||rest||5 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||12||8 m run||35||406|
|10/3/2010||13||Cross-train||7 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||22||5 m pace||42||448|
|10/10/2010||14||rest||5 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||10 race||4 m run||29||477|
|10/17/2010||15||Cross-train||7 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||16||5 m pace||38||515|
|10/24/2010||16||rest||6 m run||Tempo, Track, or hills||5 m run||rest||8||3 m run||27||542|
|10/31/2010||17||Cross-train||5 m run||3 m run||REST||REST||2 m run||race 26.2 m||35.2||579.2|
So why do we need a training schedule? We can't we just go out and fun when we feel like it, get our long runs in, and make to the Marathon all-systems-go?! Because this rarely happens unless you make it happen.
Training for a Marathon is a huge effort, and like most things this requires a lot of planning. You need a plan, a way to figure out all those workouts, and a method to juggle it all with your personal and professional commitments. More than likely you won't stick to it 100%; some runs will be skipped, others cut short, some workouts squeezed in where you weren't expecting, but having a training schedule in place lets you track all this and keep yourself accountable. Thus, having your training pretty much planned out day by day.
Even better is a more detailed, in-depth account of your runs to include everything from expected vs actual mileage, workout details, total mileage, route info, personal comments, and more. Its also smart to even record what you ate and drank before, during, and after your runs and how it affected you. For example, this excerpt from my training log for the 2012 Chicago Marathon:
"Oh, but its too time consuming". Okay, I hear this lame excuse for an excuse way too often, and (yet again) it just doesn't apply. Proper scheduling will save you time in the long run since you know how much time you need to allocate to running activities far in advance. Each day when I get into work I take 2 minutes to update my training log on the previous day's workout(s). Drafting the initial schedule does take a few hours - but I consider this fun! Take a look at your next few months, have a calendar handy, and plan out your runs around your personal and professional commitments. This also ensures you can come through on all your non-running promises.
If you don't have one its in place don't worry, its never too late. You can start with a general recap of your training up to this point, record some of your key long runs, and then write up a day-by-day schedule leading up to race day. Make sure you have a place for the number of weeks left until your race! "Week 0" will be both exciting and nerve racking, but looking back over a detailed account of your training will let you rest assured that you are ready!