Marathon #1 was in January 2009. That was a marathon I probably had no business doing. I had only started running in May of 2008, did very few long runs (my longest training run was 16 miles thanks to an ice storm) and every run was an easy run.
Marathon #2 was in December 2009. I improved my training quite a bit, following the FIRST plan, using 3 key runs per week, each with a focus. I was never good at the cross training that was supposed to happen and still fell apart after about mile 20 of the marathon, but it was a big improvement.
In the nearly 5 years since then I’ve had times where I didn’t run once for months at a time. I’ve also had times where I followed a training plan and improved my 5K, 10K and half marathon times by pretty big amounts.
This year, I’ve been bitten by the triathlon bug. I really feel like I have lots of room to improve in all three disciplines and want to continue all distances of triathlons, but would really love to do the full 140.6 at some point. I know that the smart answer is to get another season of 70.3s under my belt and look at 2016 as my 140.6 debut. But it sure is tempting to still attempt it in 2015.
The off-season for triathlons will be focused on gaining strength and endurance to hit the ground running in the spring of 2015 with triathlons. My first marathon in five years is coming up in December and I’ve made some pretty significant changes to how I’ve prepared for a marathon in the past.
Change #1- Cross Training
Luckily I now know that I love biking and swimming so cross training days are almost more fun than running days. I’m also enrolled in a speed training class that involves intervals, agility and strength training- focusing on more explosive power.
Change #2- More long runs
In the past my training has not had enough long runs. The last two weekends’ long runs have been big confidence builders, and I will have another month of pretty long runs to continue building strength and endurance.
Change #3- Training buddies
As mentioned in my last post, my dog accompanies me on some of my runs. She is really great for tempo runs as she likes to run a bit faster than my easy pace and is a great pace dog. We’ve done a 6 mile tempo run before where each mile was within 3 seconds of each other.
The biggest change though, has been going to my local running store, Runwell, for Saturday morning training runs. A group of similarly paced and distance seeking runners have run together the last few weeks. Suffering with other people is so much better than the solo long runs I had done in previous marathon training attempts. Two weeks ago we tackled 17 miles, this week 19. While this week was more of a struggle, it was still a confidence boost to have covered that distance at this point in my training.
Rocket City Marathon is 7 weeks away and I’m looking forward to it.
Goals for the next 7 weeks
- Get better about mid week tempo runs and increasing the distance of those (Elsa will thank me for this too)
- Be consistent with training and not burn out like I tend to do before the race
- Break 2:00 in half-marathon in a couple weeks
- Continue to experiment and learn about mid-run nutrition