So I signed up for a marathon. Which means I now must train for said marathon and that, my friends, is kind of terrifying. I'm signing up for Fleet Feet's program this summer so that I have people to run with, but I still need to figure out the nuts and bolts of when and where I'll be doing my short runs, and even some of my long runs. Plus I need to work around some races that I'm already registered for. I spent a few hours the other day scouring the internet. Am I a beginner? It is my first marathon, but I run a lot. I'm not fast, but I get there. A novice maybe? Maybe.... but what does that even mean, really, and why does one program have the novice running 3 days a week and another one say 4? Does it matter if I run 26 miles before the race, or will 20-23 miles suffice? Why are there so many programs out there??? The obvious answer is that we are all different, so the training we need to be successful with long distance running is going to be different for everyone. Figuring out what is right for me is where I got stuck... and then I realized something. I just needed to pick one that looked right and adjust as needed. Stop worrying about how many weeks the program was and find one that looked right at the end and work my way back from there. The task was still daunting... until....
I coach a beginner 5k program for adults for the local Fleet Feet and I decided to tie one training run a week to that day. It makes it nice because we run at one of my favorite spots, Green Lakes. It's a nice mix of road, trail and elevation gain. Nothing insane, but enough to make you feel like you are working. Now that the snow has finally melted you can actually run all the trails, especially if you don't mind a little mud!
Today I got there early and took off for an hour. However far that was and where ever it lead would be fine with me. I don't much like mapping out a run, I just like to know where I'm starting and where I'm ending and take any interesting turn I find and see where it goes. Today it took me up a hill and I came out at a golf course. Not exactly where I was aiming, but the views were beautiful and the weather was great, so I've got no complaints. I even found myself at the community center, so I ran 20 minutes of stairs just because. (It can't hurt, right?)
In the end I ran 4.2 on my own and 2.5 with my NoBo team- and I felt great after. It was a great way to kick off marathon training. I've got 2 more 30 minute runs penciled in this week, plus 1.5 hours of dance as cross training. All that's left is to really buckle down on the eating...which is easier said then done!
Now it's just putting one foot in front of the other and avoiding Cheeseburger:30 and I'll be ready to run MCM and support Team Running Strong!
My Team Running Strong race folder showed up. It contained my singlet, an informational packet about Running Strong, a flyer on nutrition and a flyer with all sorts of training programs based on where you are starting. Right in the middle was the right training plan for me. It's only 20 weeks long, so it doesn't start right now, but I'm going to start it right now and do a couple of the weeks 2x, especially as I bump up the distances. I'll probably add a 23 mile run in a few weeks after the 20 mile run and get myself a little closer to race distance. The whole time line aside- everything else worked for me. A few runs a week, a day of cross training and a gradual increase in distance with ample recovery time. With that out of the way it was time to actually train.