Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dopey Challenge Game Plan

After much debated thought and research, I've made a somewhat concrete training plan for the 2018 Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. If you aren't familiar with Dopey's Challenge, it's a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon all on consecutive days. I'm still a bit in shock that I actually signed up for this race....

As a veteran marathoner (although I sorta feel like a newbie since it's been SO long since my last full marathon), I kind of have an idea of what has and hasn't worked for a training plan and my cranky knees.

This is the first year since I began running that I don't have a running coach lining out a training plan for me and telling me what to do. To be honest, that kind of scares me. Dopey's Challenge - it's 48.6 miles in 4 days. Y'all. Seriously, what was I thinking??

Thankfully, the folks over at runDisney have utilized an amazing individual who has a wealth of knowledge on all things running, and he created a Dopey Training Plan! Yes I'm talking about Jeff Galloway and yes...I love you runDisney!

Dopey Training

Jeff's training plan for the 2018 Dopey Challenge officially begins today and I am SO excited. After Princess, I took a little break from a rigid training plan because my brain and body needed a break. Now, I feel refreshed and ready to go once again!

Dopey Training

One thing I love about Jeff's training plans is the functionality of them! His Dopey plan has runners training three times per week at the majority with a few four day weeks in there as well.Three days per week? I can handle that!

I've used the concept behind Jeff's training plans where he has runners run a training run or two at a distance longer than their upcoming race. This worked incredibly well for me as I was able to obtain a sub 2 half marathon using this training mentality.

Dopey Training

For 48.6 miles however, my main goal is to finish the full marathon upright and not break any crazy PR's, so that's where a few of my tweaks to this training plan come into play.
  • On three occasions, this training plan has runners tackling distances over the 20 mile mark. Sadly, I'm pretty sure my knee would not agree with that idea, so I'm cutting these three down to one 20 mile run that I'll tackle some time in December.
  • In total, I'll have several 13-18 mile training runs as well, scattered throughout the 29 week training period. 
  • This plan also includes about four "mock Dopey" weekends with training runs/walks back to back. I think I'm going to cut these down to two total.
  • For the three day a week training weeks, I'm going to add one day of cross training as well as my PT/squats/lunges routine throughout.
As I've mentioned before, I'm not a running coach nor am I an expert at this. However, this will be my 6th full marathon and I sort-of have an idea of what has and hasn't worked for my IT Band issues in the past. Hopefully, all goes well and come January, I'll have a shiny new medal (or six) to show for it and I'll remain injury free! :)


Dopey, here I come!!


Today I'm linking up with these lovely ladies (Erika, Marcia and Patty) for Tuesdays on the Run!

12 comments:

  1. Yay, go Karen! It sounds like you have a good plan set up! I'm planning on picking up Galloway later this summer because I still have two halfs to complete. Good luck!

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    1. Awesome, Morgan! I'm excited to hear how your training is going along this crazy journey too! :)

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  2. I think it's great to have a plan, and equally great to customize it to your own body...plans don't necessarily know how your knees react to certain distances, but you sure do. That said, I will stand on the sidelines and cheer as you do this crazy weekend of running, because girl, I just could NOT do it.

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  3. That sounds like a great plan. I followed Galloway's training for both my first marathon (at Disney) and the Dopey Challenge. It is best to do what you feel is best. I agree that I didn't get up to the max distance he has (and didn't want to), but I left that week there. Both times something happened and I had to miss a week so that brought me back to where I was doing the max mileage I wanted and I didn't miss a week. Kinda like a buffer week. (does that makes sense?)

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    1. It's cool the way that happened!! Thanks, Heather!

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  4. I've been looking at training plans for my 10k, and I'll look at Jeff's since I also want to train to that distance. I trained below 6.2 for my last race, and I hit the one at 5.5 miles.

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    1. Great idea!! I love the concept behind his training plans, especially when going for a PR!

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  5. I haven't done a marathon before (oops!) so Dopey will be my first but I too am adapting the plans a little based on what I know from my half marathon training. So glad to have a clear plan to guide me though - looking forward to having a go at the 'mock' weekends :)

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    1. Haha too funny! That's awesome! I agree, it's nice to have a plan or guide for this journey! :) Happy training!!

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  6. Sounds like you have a good plan! If you are looking for any additional training plan thoughts, I would check out Hal Higdon's Dopey plan (link at end). It's a little more condensed in terms of # of weeks and does involve more days per week (I agree with you about running longer than 20 miles - it's unnecessary and puts strain on your body). I used it to train for Dopey and it was great. I was perfectly trained for 4 days of running and had one of my fastest marathon times. Either way, good luck!

    (Here is Hal's plan if you are interested: http://www.halhigdon.com/writing/57107/Dopey%20Challenge%20Training%20Guide)

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    1. Thanks for sharing that with me!! I'll have to check out his plan, too!

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