Today marked the end of the first week of marathon training…again. Yes, I’ve got my sights set on the Route 66 marathon in November. I know if you’re a beginning runner, reading about marathon training may not be particularly helpful, but I also want to record my training for my own benefit. My first marathon was a good learning experience, and I want to fine tune some areas in my training that will hopefully make this next one a better experience. I’m hoping that recording my training play by play will help me stay on track and tweak what needs tweaking.
This first week started with a slow, easy run on Monday. Mondays are “recovery runs” when we run almost a minute slower than our base pace, the pace we generally run on our long Saturday runs. Recovery runs are hard for me because the pace is so slow. I just naturally have a faster pace that I fall in to, but it’s important to run slow to give muscles a chance to heal and recover. This is one area I really want to work on in this training season. Last season, I tried to run slow, but all my runs wound up being around the pace I just naturally default to.
So I got off of work Monday morning at 7 a.m., exhausted from a 12 hour shift, but bound and determined to get my recovery run in before I went home to get some sleep. I did NOT want to start out the training season a day behind already! I brought running clothes with me to work, and as soon as I finished my shift, I changed clothes and hit the pavement. I find that if I don’t go home first, I have an easier time getting that run in. Plus, I like running, and running in new areas is fun.
Unfortunately, my pace was still a bit fast, but I felt great when I finished those 4 miles! (Yes, I know it’s a bad picture but cut me some slack. I just worked 12 hours and then ran in humid 85 degree weather.)
Wednesday. The last of my three consecutive night shifts ended at 7 a.m. I took a nap and then got a CrossFit workout in. Wednesdays are cross training days where we do another activity except run. I usually CrossFit and/or cycle for cross training.
On Thursday, I got another CrossFit workout in at 5 a.m. Call me crazy, but I love those early morning classes! I planned to run with my training group for a tempo run that night, but a bad storm canceled those plans. I ended up doing a tempo run on my treadmill instead. In hindsight, I might as well have run in the rain; I got just as wet!
I love Saturday runs! I usually do my weekly runs alone, but on Saturdays, we run as a group with our coaches for a longer distance. For this first week, we ran just a little over 7 miles. It’s amazing how quickly 7 miles goes by when I’m running with a group!
- Work hard at running recovery runs at recovery pace. It’s crazy that running slow is almost harder than running fast!
- Get in the speed workout. My schedule should allow me to get to the track on Tuesday, but if not, my goal is to do the speed workout on my own.
- Keep a good attitude. I found out I may actually have to work the weekend of the marathon, so that’s put a bit of a damper on training. I kind of went into the week with a why-train-if-I-can’t-run-the-race attitude, but I’m trying to be positive that training will at the very least keep me in good shape and who knows? Maybe I will get the weekend off!
Talk to me:
So would you ever consider running a marathon?
What questions do you have about training for a marathon, or for a race in general?
Have you run a marathon? What is your best training advice?