The time has come again…..marathon training for marathon #2! I will be running the Carmel Marathon being held on April 12, 2014. I’m really excited to start training again. After taking two months off after the Chicago Marathon (I still worked out – hot yoga, CrossFit, but no running), I’ve realized a few things about myself.
First, I’m grumpy when I’m not running. Having a rest day during the week during full on training is nice, but I’m talking about two months of only running a handful of times. I get angry, quick tempered, anxious, and just crazy. My anxiety level is through the roof, I can’t relax because I feel like I should be doing something and then I’m easily frustrated and angered. I don’t like the person I become when I’m not working out regularly. Let’s face it, I’m not thrilled when I see a 14 mile run on my schedule for the day, but when I’m finished with my run, I feel unstoppable. A runner’s high truly does exist. I experience it after every run, short or long, slow or fast. It’s like the movie Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” I do experience endorphins after a hot yoga session or CrossFit, but it’s different. It’s a different feeling of accomplishment. It’s as if my runner’s high is greater than my other workout highs. I’ve only just begun my training plan and have already noticed that my mood is uplifted and I’m a much happier person. Running makes me happy. Maybe not always while I’m doing it, but it sure does afterwards.
Second, I’m a much healthier person when I’m running and training for a marathon. I’m more conscious about what foods I’m fueling my body with. I cook mainly vegetarian and vegan meals during the week and then let myself enjoy on the weekends. My body recovers quicker with the right nutrition. I’m not going to do a strenuous workout and then be counter productive by stuffing myself with bad food every night. Yes, I’ll get my cupcake after a long run or my fast food fix with Steak ‘N Shake on the weekend every once in awhile. But when I’m not working out, all that is out the window. I start eating poorly (poor by my standards) and feeling sluggish. It’s like my mind says hey you’re not training for anything eat what you want. I’ll eat healthy again this weekend. And then I just keep eating bad food. It’s hard to get back into the mindset of eating healthy when not training for anything.
Third, I like routine. I like having a schedule and a plan. I’m a planner. I’m type A. I like knowing that I’m going to work and then after work I’m doing “x” workout (tempo, intervals, long easy etc). When I don’t have a training plan, I’ll go out for a run with no intention on what I want to accomplish and with no desire to push myself harder. When I have a goal and a plan to achieve that goal, all my workouts have a purpose…to get me to my goal.
With that said, let’s talk about my new training plan! It’s still an 18 week program like before, but with changes. Not only am I training for a marathon but also training for triathlons. Nothing hardcore like an Ironman (not yet at least) but getting baseline fitness in swimming and cycling for sprint and Olympic triathlons. So I needed to incorporate swim and cycle sessions. I decided to use Hal Higdon’s Marathon 3 training plan. I used it as my template and then Bryan and I made necessary changes for what I want to accomplish. Instead of a 24 week plan which it calls for, we shortened it to 18 weeks. 24 just seemed too long. So here’s my training plan for marathon #2.
Mondays: Cross training two a days. In the mornings before work, cycle on my bike trainer at home anywhere from 40-55 minutes. After work, hot yoga.
Tuesdays: Short easy run and swimming at L.A. Fitness. I thought about breaking it up and doing the short easy run in the morning before work and then the swim after work, but I don’t know if I want to get up at 5:00am two days in a row. I’ll play around with this and see how I feel about a two a day or just doing the swim right after the run.
Wednesdays: Moderate distance runs alternating between pace race and easy pace. The distance gradually increases as the weeks progress.
Thursdays: Speed days. I will alternate between 800m intervals, tempo runs, and mile repeats. I have a love hate relationship with speed runs, so by changing up my speed work should should keep me motivated.
Fridays: Rest Day!!!
Saturdays: Long easy run. Just as before they range anywhere from six miles to twenty miles. The weekly long runs get progressively longer with every third week as a “stepback” week reducing mileage to allow for the next jump in mileage the following week. Since I never did my 20 miler in my first marathon program, I decided to punish myself by replacing my 19 mile run with a 20 miler. So I’ll have two 20 milers this time! For my first marathon, I took the long runs very easy since my body had never experienced running longer than 13 miles. This time I’ve upped the ante. Since I’m dead set on finishing sub 4, my longer runs will still be at an ‘easy’ pace but faster than when I ran those same distances the first go around.
Sundays: Cross training two a days. I’ll play around with Sundays and switch up the workouts. This day is dedicated to cycling, swimming, CrossFit, and hot yoga. So one week I may do a two hour cycle and an hour swim. Or I may go to CrossFit in the morning and then hot yoga that evening.
With my hard work and dedication, I’m hoping this plan will push me to a sub 4 hour marathon. My race pace is 9:00 min/mile putting me at 3:55:59. This gives me a few minutes of wiggle room if I have to walk through a water station near the end.
Not only does training for a marathon make me happy but I also feel some ownership with this race because my employer Lanter Eyecare & Laser Surgery is an official partner of the Carmel Marathon! I’m beyond excited about it. It combines two of my life’s passions: eyeballs and running! At work we were looking for a unique opportunity to market our practice and I suggested sponsoring a local marathon. The Carmel Marathon seemed like the perfect fit. Our main office is located in Carmel just a block from the marathon course. How cool would it be for us to sponsor a water station during the marathon and have on our Lanter Eyecare gear cheering on the marathoners? We didn’t stop there, we are also sponsoring the 2014 pacing team! So all the pace runners will be wearing Lanter Eyecare gear. I’m so excited to support the racing community with a practice that I love working for. It’s also a good way for us to promote ocular health and eye protection during endurance events. So check us out at our Lanter Eyecare booth at the Carmel Marathon Health and Fitness Expo!