April 2, 2013

Goofy Training: Are you planning for 2014?

So you want to do the Goofy Challenge?!  Several of our readers have asked how I trained for the Goofy Challenge last year. After signing up to run the challenge last April, I began reading as much as possible on the internet including recaps of people who had run the race and also various options of training programs.  As an older runner, I proceeded with caution and finally settled on the plan written by the runDisney running expert Jeff Galloway.  At the end of the day, all I wanted was to be able to wear this medal around my neck and to get there, I needed a safe program of training!
The beautiful medal that I coveted!
The program is called Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge 2013 Training Program for experienced runners (those who have been running for at least 6 months).  A 29 week program, this starts in early July and culminates with the big race weekend in mid January. I printed the 9 page training plan and read through it carefully, planning to use it as a training log. Jeff acknowledges that runners may want to cross train, and suggests that Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the days for those workouts.  I always added in cross training of either biking, swimming or perhaps an exercise tape if I did not have as much time.  Each week I had one rest day, and on occasion two rest days if the week had back to back long runs.

The "magic mile" is part of the schedule to predict race day pace.  Because I had a pretty good idea of what pace I hoped to achieve, I never did this part of the program.  However, each week I did incorporate a day of speed work and a tempo run.  The speed work was generally done at my local track and it consisted of sprints of between 400 and 1600 meters with rest period of 90 seconds in between sets.  I found my ideal pace from the book, Run Less, Run Faster by Pierce, Murr and Moss.  My tempo run varied from 3-5 miles depending on the week.  The long runs started out at 3 miles and grew each week until week 12 when the back to back end of week runs began.  Jeff's program has you walking the first long day and running the second one.  I found that I would get shin splints from trying to walk quickly, so I resorted to the run/walk method, keeping it nice and slow.  Using a 4:1 run:walk ratio, I never got tired and managed the runs without too much trouble.

Training for Goofy is not easy and a huge time commitment is necessary to be properly prepared for race day. This was my first marathon, and I think it would probably be easier from the mental standpoint to run a solo marathon before attempting a back to back race.  Obviously it is possible and good training and a positive mental attitude are key components.

Next week I will share additional tips that helped me finish my first Goofy Challenge!  Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'm happy to answer them in my next post!
(Pam)

18 comments:

  1. I want to do Goofy, but I haven't run a marathon yet. I think I'm going to stick with running the marathon next year, then Goofy in 2015. It's so intimidating though!!

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  2. Kristen, The Goofy Challenge this year was my first marathon. It sounds so difficult, but the only hard part is making time for the training. Since I do not work, it was easier for me to make and adjust my schedule. You definitely can do it!

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  3. I'm looking forward to reading your next post about finishing Goofy! I am planning on signing up for the Dopey next year, and any help training will be appreciated. Are you thinking about Dopey? I did the WDW Marathon in 2012, but that is the only marathon I've ever done.

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    1. Debbie, I plan to sign up for Dopey as does Christine. I am still thinking about Runners World Challenge, but will decide for sure in a day or so.

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  4. You are right! Training wasn't easy, but it was worth it in the end! :0)

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    1. Karen, I think people minimize the time commitment. The days of the back to back long runs are very draining and since I do not work, I could lay on the couch, eat and watch TV and eat and sleep and eat some more! :)

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  5. Congrats on finishing the the Goofy Challenge! It's on my bucket list! One day :)

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    1. Thanks Jill, I loved the Goofy Challenge and hope to complete the Dopey Challenge in January!

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  6. That is awesome that you did Goofy as your first marathon, I'm not sure I could pull that off!

    No Goofy for me in 2014 (I haven't run a marathon yet)But my goal is to run a marathon next year then do Goofy or Dopey in 2015! :0)

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    1. Goofy in 2015 is a great idea. It will be the 10th anniversary of the Goofy Challenge so there will be special bling!

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  7. Loved reading this Pam! My jaw dropped as I watched when you ran and did Goofy! And that fantastic Image of you hugging Mickey!
    I'm so tempted...but know I'm no where near ready for a marathon or back to back like this....
    It is on my Bucket List....
    I am going to learn so much in your and Christine sharing this process....and I'm so excited for you both!!!!

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    1. Thanks Melissa....I am still wondering if I am crazy to try Dopey. Finding a training plan is the next thing to do once we get registered! (fingers crossed)

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  8. Great post! Goofy was our first marathon this year as well! We finished but both definitely want to improve our times next year at Dopey!! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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    1. Yay, more Dopey Challenge runners! It will be a super fun weekend next January!

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  9. I want to run this at some point - first I need to talk myself into running a full.

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    1. Sarah, That is probably the best idea. It is much tough to do a half followed by the full with no prior full race experience. It is doable, but mentally tougher.

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  10. Thank you for this post. I am hoping to do a full next year, do you guys have a post on training for that? I have always wanted to run a race in Disney, I feel like I just lived vicariously through you.

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    1. I used the Jeff Galloway training plan for the Goofy Challenge last year. Here is the link: http://as1.wdpromedia.com/media/ewwos/pdf/rundisney/training-programs/2013/GoofyRaceHalf13.pdf

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