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I'm running the VLM in April as my first marathon and now looking at structured training plans to get me as close to 4 hours as poss. I'm new to running this year, but have now completed 3 HMs this year (best 1.50) and a few 10Ks, but want to perform well in April.
My question relates to my work and family commitments meaning that I'll likely find it difficult to follow a precise plan, but will be able to run 4 times a week (just not sure which 4 days these might fall on).
The plans I've looked at have runs of differing lengths and mixed (Fartlek) activities etc and I'm worried that my lack of consistent days of the week may mean I'll struggle to follow such a mixed plan (and only do running).
My thoughts are that if I can run 4 times a week, with one of these a long Sunday run building up to 22 miles or so by March and the other 3 being between 4 to 8 miles will this be sufficient? If I ensure that one or two of the runs each week are trail or at least on hilly roads, will this meet other Fartlek type objectives?
I would hope to get to gyms of some X-training if working away etc, but can't really rely on any structure to this.
Is what I'm planning viable? Or does strictly following a plan make the best sense?