The first week of the year signified the beginning of official marathon training for me. I am registered for the New Jersey Marathon on April 29….week 17 of 2018. I started the year running. Literally. My boyfriend and I ran the New York Road Runner’s Midnight Run in Central Park which goes off at the stroke of midnight. It’s was 10 degrees (#yesthatsfahrenheit) but it was a spectacular experience! Complete with fireworks and (frozen) sparkling cider at the fluid stations, I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year. It’s a race that was on my “bucket list” for a long time and I am so glad I finally decided to do it (and even better – that I had someone special to do it with).
The New Year’s running celebration didn’t end there however. After getting back from the city, showered and to bed by 3 am, we were back up and toeing the start line at the local “1st Day 5k.” This has been my New Year’s Day tradition for the past six years. Everyone who’s anyone on the local running scene is there, running clubs complete for most in attendance, and it’s just a great way to celebrate the New Year and set your intentions for another 12 months of the running life. I felt very fortunate to share this experience of two New Year’s races – in frigid cold – with someone who makes me feel so warm.
That said, I then sat on my butt for three days! Not the best way to start Marathon Training. Finally on Friday when the roads were cleared and I could get to the gym I did my Tempo Run on the treadmill to make up for Thursday’s “snow day.” I was back on my regular schedule with an easy 3 on Saturday (also on the treadmill) and made it a treadmill trifecta on Sunday. Long Runs on the treadmill are tendinous, but books on tape or Netflix downloads help.
Sunday’s long run was supposed to be 8; but I got nervous when I realized the marathon was only 16 weeks away and ran 10. I hadn’t done a double digit long run in weeks and when comparing my weekly mileage to where I was in 2014 training for the same marathon I felt I was falling short. So, I broke one of the most important rules. Listen to your coach. Is your coach infallible? No. Do you know yourself better than your coach? Sometimes. But communication is key. Share with your coach what you feel has work and hasn’t worked in the past. Check in with each other regularly throughout your training to assess progress so tweaks can be made where necessary.
That’s what we ultimately did and I’m feeling good about the rest of the schedule for January and into February. I’m mixing it with a little of my own cross-training for optimal stretching and strengthening. My weekly routine through marathon training will look like this, with specific speed workouts and mileage to be determined by my coach and will vary depending on where we are in the cycle.
As an almost 53-year-old, I find running only four days a week and cross training to be adequate and keeps me injury free. I also don’t go really heavy on weight-training at this time for fear of over doing it (been there). I do a 15-minute core workout almost every morning – first thing. It includes planks, bridges, push-ups, squats and lunges. One size never really fits all, so find the mix that works for you. Although having core strength is important for everyone. It’s necessary for going the distance and staying injury free. Figure out how to work that into your schedule.
I hope you stay with me. I will include my workouts in my posts for the next 16 weeks. This is what my week one (Jan 1 – 7) actually looked like: