I did the novice as it was my first marathon. I wasn’t running super consistently so I wanted a plan that didn’t overwhelm me with the miles. Started around October 18 for my May 19 marathon. Peaked around 40 mpw, but mainly stayed mid 30s mpw. And like I said, I added the low volume base/build plans for my cross-training. Time-wise, I was around 3.5 hours/weeek for running, peaking at 5hrs once, so I wasn’t out training a ton, which I liked.
Overall, it was a great fit for me. I did a 1:37 HM in March, and my goal marathon was 3:34. Really happy with my time for my first full marathon. It destroyed me though and I took a full month off to recover both physically and mentally. Ended up downgrading my fall marathon to a half, which I PR’d with a 1:32.
Plans for this year are up in the air as I didn’t get in to the NYC HM in March. So I’m looking for another HM. And then I’d like to dabble in some Tri’s.