Well, Saturday I had my first “long” run.
I’m about 15 weeks out from my marathon, and I only *just now* put together a training plan for the Flying Pig Marathon. Oops? I hear you’re supposed to take 18 weeks to train, but seeing as I didn’t even start thinking about my training plan until the end of last week… 15 weeks is gonna have to do!
I’m honestly not too worried about only having 15 weeks. All the plans I’ve looked at show long runs of 5, 6 or 7 miles in the beginning of the 18 weeks. I don’t really feel like I’ve missed too much by skipping out on the first three weeks of training since my running base is pretty strong. Running has never been too much of a challenge for me and I feel like I’m pretty-well built for long-distance running (hellloooo slow-twitch muscle fibers and abnormally lanky limbs).
Anyone else suffer from the monkey arm syndrome? No? Just me? Great– moving on.
My “long run” of 10 miles on Saturday didn’t really feel that much different from any other normal run. Actually, I was only supposed to do 9 miles this past weekend, but I have a strong aversion to the number 9 and therefore felt like tacking on an extra mile just so my Garmin wouldn’t have to be stuck with that number on it. Weird… I know. Go ahead, judge me.
Here’s the stats:
-Long Run #1 (10 miles)
-Temperature of “feels like 27 degrees” –> this called for a countless number of snot rockets left and right (y’all cold weather runners know what I’m talkin’ bout… haaaa!). Gotta keep it classy, right?
I’m really glad that I spent some time last week talking with some experienced runners who’ve already completed a few marathons. Jen over at This Runners Trials was a huge help and recommended some great resources (hello, Runnersworld.com!) I tried to utilize their website to create a personalized training plan, but when I plugged in my average weekly distance (about 45-50 miles), my most recent 1/2 marathon time (2:06) and the race I am aiming to do (a full marathon) it shoved a training plan at me that called for a first long run of 16 miles. Excuse me? Sixteen miles for my first long run? Mmm, let’s try again…
I mentioned this to Jen and she speculated that my average weekly mileage was throwing their system off – it probably thought I was already doing long runs in the double digits on weekends. Nope, sorry…but I don’t roll like that. This girl just likes to do mid-distances.
Needless to say, I quickly dismissed that training plan and looked up a few others. I’ve pretty much settled on a mishmash of Hal Higdon and a plan from the actual Flying Pig website. So I guess you could say that I’m following the no-plan plan. I’m just going to aim to do a certain distance each weekend, and play out the rest of the week by ear with running and cross training. (Oh, and of course weight training, there’s no way I’m letting that fall by the wayside… I’ve come so far!)
Anywho, I’ve realized that I really need to come to terms with my Sunday’s becoming either rest days or cross training days since my long runs are all going to be on Saturdays (for the most part). Yoga, anyone?
I think one of the biggest challenges I am going to face with marathon training is accepting the fact that I will not be able to run everyday like I’ve been used to. I know that as I work up to building my distance on my weekend long runs… my weekly runs need to get shorter (or I just gotta plain ‘ole skip some days) so that I don’t increase my overall weekly mileage by too much. In fact, I think I’m going to end up cutting down on my weekly mileage, and focus more on cross training. Bet you never expected that… a runner cutting down on her running to train for a marathon?
I kind of picture it like a cellphone plan… you know, like how you have your allocated minutes for the month (except in this case… it will be allocated miles for the week). Once those minutes/miles are used up, they’re gone! No more. Gotta wait ‘til the next week (and plug in cross training instead). So since my body is used to a max of 50miles/week, I’m going to make sure that my weekly mileage stays around there. Going under is fine (and in my opinion, preferable) but I don’t want to go over, as that is just a recipe for overtraining. So there won’t be any of that “roll-over” business you find in phone plans.
“Budgeting- in” these long runs will help me from becoming overtrain/injured. In order for me to do this… I need to either a) skip a weekday run (or two, or three) or b) make my weekday runs shorter. Knowing me, I won’t want to make my weekday runs shorter… so I think I will just plain ‘ole skip some weekday runs.
So why is this whole ‘skipping some weekday runs’ thing going to be the toughest part? Well, remember when I talked about how running is my therapy…my saving grace? Yeah. I need to do something that will give me a peace of mind, fill that empty space during the weekdays mornings when I’m not running. And this is where I think yoga and Pilates will come in. And this is where I need you guys to come in, too!
1.) I need y’all to hold me accountable and make sure I am not going out on runs during the week just because I miss running. I’ll get my fix on the weekends. (And avoid injury in the process…hopefully).
2.) I would love for y’all to give me tips and advice on how/when/where to incorporate yoga and Pilates into my life! Are there any websites out there that have free videos? Any (cheap-ish) DVD’s you can recommend?
3.) And if you live in the Charlotte area and would like to keep me company on one of my weekend long runs (for any part of it… even if it’s just the at the end of one of my 20 mile runs) please let me know! I’d love the company
So yes, I think physically… I’ll be ready for the marathon. Heck, I feel like I could probably go out and run it tomorrow and be able to finish. My cardio base is definitely there. And mentally? I am definitely well on my way to getting there. I think I’m going to be peeing my pants in excitement every time I reach a mile-marker I’ve never hit before. Good thing that I’ll be running a couple 20 milers. This way, when it comes time for the actual marathon… I’ll only have 6 miles of pee-my-pants worthy excitement (aka miles 21-26.2).
Gosh, I am so ready for this. And I am so EXCITED!
Now it’s time for me to work on that mental toughness. So bring on the cross training (and the stretching)!!!!
Question: For those of you who are training/have trained for something, how do you increase your mileage? Do you plan out a running route before hand? Or do you simply just wing-it? Do you prefer an out-and-back or would you rather have fresh scenery the whole time? I myself prefer out-and-backs… I like to mentally be able to visualize the “halfway” point, and the out-and-back is perfect for that since you literally have an ending point and then retrace your route (sometimes I do switch it up a little on the return, though)