Thursday, 28 June 2012

Marathon Training Thursday - Mileage, Miles, and More Running

It is hard to believe, but June has come and gone. (Gulp! Gasp!)

That means...Marathon Training is about to begin!

June was all about rebuilding. I spent the last month trying to regain the muscle and the endurance that was lost during my post-op recovery. And barring the few small recovery issues I mentioned in my last post, I have been exercising regularly and I am feeling pretty good.

But let's be honest, I have a long way to go to achieve Marathon Glory. And staring at the number of miles and hours of training ahead of me - I am slightly terrified. But everyone has got to start somewhere, so let's break it down shall we...

Step 1:
Run. Run a lot. When you are sick of running, just suck it up and keep running.

Yep, logging miles is step number one in my Marathon Training plan, and the most important. My goal is increase my long run by 10km every month. So right now I am currently running 10km as a long run, and that means by the end of July the long run goal is 20km, by August it is 30km, by Sept it is 42.2km, and then I will taper until Race Day.

Doesn't that sound so rational when I explain it like that? I know, right? I feel so calm looking at this little colour coordinated plan. Except when I realize that the goal for the end of this month is really the longest I have ever run. And that this week my weekly mileage - 45 km - is what I am eventually planning to run in a day. 42.2km is freakin' far! It is going to be an intense couple of months.

Step 2:
Along with running, running, and running some more, I am going to include 3 strength training sessions a week. I think strength training is going to be important to help keep my training on track and to avoid injury. I am planning to do 2 upper body workouts and 1 leg strength training session per week. I hoping this balance will along me to increase strength, without compromising my performance on my long runs.

I want to be a lean mean marathon running machine! So adding strength training is all about increasing muscle and power.

Step 3:
Running a Marathon is not exactly something you can decide to do willy-nilly. Especially not when you are Darwinian Fail like me. You need to train your body, and you also need to fuel your body.

Fuel was a BIG struggle for me during my half marathon training. But I am hoping I learned a thing or two from that experience. This time my goal is to fuel my body like an athlete. That is probably easier said than done. Especially when faced with the summer lure of BBQs, drinks on the patio, and ice cream treats.

Athletes fuel their bodies, not their emotions. And if I want to conquer a Marathon, then I need to do the same.

Step 4:
Stay within myself! Remind me of this one when I inevitably start to get carried away in the coming months. When you start training for distance races and chatting with other runners, it is easy to get swept up in the excitements of times and PRs, it is all part of running game.

But here is the thing...
  • This is my very first marathon. 
  • I am trying to run 42.2 km. 
  • And I am trying to run this distance with a defective heart
  • A pacemaker/defibrillator
  • And just 8 months after toasting the ta-tas.
So this marathon isn't about setting any world records or qualifying for Boston. This marathon is about running this race as best as I can and just finishing. I can move forward from there. But this time, this race is just about finishing.

Don't let me forget that, okay guys?
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,