Anyway, I'm trying to loosely base my training program off of the "level 2" marathon program out of this book. I'm having to alter it a LOT for the first 4 weeks due to the fact that I'm racing a half marathon, going to Boston for 4 days, and attempting to train for a triathlon June 13, so obviously not all of my time can be devoted to running...but after that, it's going to be a LOT. In a way though, its really good for me to plan out my training ahead of time, because then its like - I HAVE to get this workout done or at least attempt it. It doesn't matter if I'm not in the mood to get up in the morning before work, well then, I guess I'm doing it after work. I also really like knowing when I have a hard workout coming up so I have time to mentally prepare for it, even a day or 2 in advance. And of course, the fact that I'm going to be running mostly by myself is going to be interesting. Hell, today I ran 5 miles and I kept wanting to stop. Granted, I was running at 7:15 pace [because...I'm an idiot], but basically the bottom line is I tend to get really lazy when I run by myself. So pushing through the "I'm sick of this, I don't feel like running anymore, and no one is here to make sure I keep going" barrier is going to be key. Basically, I think here are the things that I'm going to need to work on/make sure happen this summer:
- LEARN TO RUN SLOWER. Seems counterintuitive, but since I've been all about running FAST even on my easy runs during track and XC, this could probably pose a problem when I attempt to run 26.2 miles. I'm training for a marathon, with the general goal of trying to BQ on my first try [not an easy task, I realize, but hey, go big or go home right?]. So to do that, I have to run a 3:40:59 - which is 8:25/mile pace. Therefore, I can't be running at 7:15-7:30 pace on every single run I do...trying to do that is only going to make me fail on my longer runs and probably make me go out too fast in just about every situation. I'm not saying I would be opposed to running closer to 8:00/mile pace, but I'm trying to be realistic - this is my first marathon, after all. But if my marathon pace is 8:25, and I'm supposed to be doing 10 miles easy, 10 miles at marathon pace...well then I guess I'm going to have to run slower, is the bottom line.
- Along those same lines, actually run the pace I'm supposed to during workouts. See above example - if I'm supposed to be running SLOWER than marathon goal pace for 10 miles, then I sure as hell better be running 8:45s even if I probably could be doing 7:30s. I think I am going to try to throw in at least 1 or 2 "speed" days per week, just so I don't lose all of my 5K speed, and so I don't go completely insane running slow all the time, but when I'm doing workouts, especially key ones, I really want to try to hit pace.
- Not get injured. One of my friends is dealing with double stress fractures as a result of trying to train for a marathon, and that's really not something I want to happen to me. So basically - if things are hurting, I will back off.
- Remember why I'm doing it. I'm used to training for a 5K. A 5K is a LOT shorter than a marathon. I think if I keep focused on why I'm doing what I'm doing, it will make the extensive amount of time I'll be spending running this summer a lot easier. It's hard for me to train when I don't feel like I'm going to be 'racing' - for me, 8:25 is so slow that I can't even imagine it. But I have to remember that a marathon is a COMPLETELY different deal than anything else I've ever done. Now that my time with the WTC is over, I'm feeling a little lost in terms of running, and as far as racing is concerned I have no idea how easy it will be to get assimilated into a new team in time to start racing road races or cross country or whatever. So a marathon is something different - something I can do alone [I guess] and show myself how far I've come.
And speaking of undertakings, I took the BF out for his first 5K training session today! We just did a mile, broken up a bit because cardio-wise he hasn't done anything in...years? He managed to run a half mile without stopping in 4:37, then we made it like 3 minutes back, took another break, and finished in 9:09. I'm thinking that ~9:00 pace is probably going to be a good pace to shoot for for the actual 5K, although who knows! It's kind of fun playing coach a little bit, and I'm all for introducing people to the greatest sport in the world...running! :) I'll keep you posted on how that, along with my crazy training, goes!