Last week’s recap: I ran 31 miles. This was my 2nd stepback week before I jump up my long run again. I took 2 weeks stepback after my first 20-mile run so that I could start a pretty intense strength training workout program. I needed some time to adjust.
Giving the Marathon the Time It Deserves
The past couple weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about the time that goes into marathon training. It was even recently the focus of an upcoming article I wrote for a regional running magazine in which I regularly have a column. A lot of training program dropouts and injuries really come from a lack of understanding, and then sometimes a lack of acceptance, of the time that’s required to properly train for a marathon.
Time Investment for the Workouts
Many marathon training programs start in the early weeks with about 30 miles a week and end before a few weeks taper with a couple weeks at 50+ miles a week. This is way more feasible at a faster pace. An 8-minute miler needs to devote a total of 6 hours, 40 minutes to running 50 miles in one week. However, a 13-minute miler (my long run pace) has to invest 10 hours, 50 minutes to achieve the same number of miles. Most people who count themselves as 8-minute milers really race at 8 minutes per mile. This means those people should still be doing their basebuilding runs and long runs at a slower pace, maybe 9-11 minutes per mile. So sometimes I think this is a place people who feel pressed for time compromise on, because finishing each run 20-30 minutes faster certainly sounds attractive in the short term.
And then you […]
On my first 20-miler a week ago, I discovered that the secret to enjoying this first marathon rested in more than just running lots and lots of miles. My upper abdominals, my oblique abs, my glutes – all these muscles were on fire in the late miles of this training run. My will, my drive, and my endurance had returned since having a baby and major surgery (C-section) a little over 5 months ago, but physically, my body just couldn’t quite keep up with what I was asking it to do.
The Monday after that long run, I called up the gym that I have given money to for years and yet never go (my own fault) and told them I needed someone to kick my butt for the next 10 weeks until race day. I met with one of their heads of the Personal Training department and got set up with one of their upper levels of trainers. Yes, I could have taken just any trainer, but a more experienced personal trainer was more likely to adapt their exercise prescription to my specific, more unusual circumstances of a distance runner with a deadline for performance who is coming back from still recent surgery and the effects of 9 months of stretching my abdomen with a baby inside and the effect of the hormones on all my muscles.
So I started with the new trainer Saturday morning after a hilly 10.3-mile long run with the North Texas Runners club. Boy, was I going to be sore the next day! The trainer, Jeff, did a full assessment, testing me out with different strength, balance, and range of motion exercises. I got a lot of “that’s interesting” reactions […]