20 Mile Challenge

So, you’ve done some full marathons but feel you need speed work. Looking to qualify for the likes of the Boston Marathon, perhaps? Enter the 20-Mile Challenge. You’ll increase your endurance and work on your speed with tempo runs throughout this 12-week program.

Schedule
Saturday
Workout
Miles Pace
week 1 12 miles Conversational Pace, no hills
week 2 13 miles Conversational Pace, no hills
week 3 14 miles Conversational Pace, no hills
week 4 15 miles 15-30 secs per mile faster
week 5 16 miles 15-30 secs per mile faster
week 6 17 miles 15-30 secs per mile faster
week 7 15 miles Conversational Pace
week 8 18 miles Convo Pace (2 mi), Half Marathon Pace (10), Marathon Pace (5), Cooldown (1)
week 9 15 miles Convo Pace (2 mi), Half Marathon Pace (4), Marathon Pace (6), Cooldown (3)
week 10 19 miles Convo Pace (2 mi), Half Marathon Pace (6), Marathon Pace (8), Cooldown (3)
week 11 15 miles Convo Pace (2 mi), Marathon Pace (10), Cooldown (3)
week 12 20 miles! Warm up & RUN
Weekday Workouts

ALL RUNS START WITH A 2-MILE WARM-UP @ Convo Pace

Sunday: Walk 30 min (weeks 1-3); 40 min (weeks 4-6); 50 min (weeks 7-12)
Monday: Cross Train
Tuesday: Run 30 min (weeks 1-3); 40 min (weeks 4-6); 50 min (weeks 7-12)
Wednesday: Cross Train
Thursday: Run 30 min (weeks 1-3); 40 min (weeks 4-6); 50 min (weeks 7-12)
Friday: Rest Day
When We Meet

The 20-Mile Challenge program meets at the general all-club meetup at 7:00 on Saturday mornings. Mid-week runs are on your own, but you’ll frequently find other Pacers out at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Training groups meet just south of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center on the south end of Lot I. Check the Pacers calendar to verify specific location and time as conflicts occasionally cause a change in location.

What to Bring
As with any Pacer program or run, all you need is a water bottle and some comfortable running shoes. We also recommend a sports watch or phone with a run tracker app (loads of Pacers are on Strava or Garmin), but it is by no means required.

Helpful Advice
In order to get the most out of your training, we have these recommendations to keep you motivated and enjoying your workouts:

  • Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.
  • Always run at your own pace. A benefit of running with a training group like the Pacers is that there’s probably someone else running at your pace so you’ll have company to help keep you going.
  • If you feel any pain while running, stop immediately and let your coach/team doctor know.
  • Set goals for yourself and track your progress. For example, signing up for a 5K race after the program’s competition can help keep you motivated.
  • Find a partner for your workouts. One of your fellow Pacers might be the perfect candidate. You’ll keep one another motivated and take your mind off the hard work! Use the club Facebook page to find and stay in touch with running partners.
  • Midweek cross training helps balance your training by engaging different muscles. These workouts can take the form of just about anything; yoga, biking, weight training, and walking are all great.
  • Stretch after your workout when your muscles are warm to help your body recover.
  • Follow the rules of the road.