Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Break's Over

Well almost over. On December 10th I'll return to running and begin marathon training for the Bob Potts Marathon. The very good news is that I'm itching to get out there again! :) I've been working on the schedule for this marathon for weeks now.

****Warning: Long training rant. If you keep reading, don't say I didn't warn you! ;) *****

I started with Hal Higdon's Marathon 3 schedule because my body works better on a schedule that limits the running to three days per week. I took advice from some fellow runners on things like strength training and the pros and cons of multiple 20+ mile training runs and mixed in my own gut feelings about what I think I need to do and came up with this. This sounds much more simple than it was. You wouldn't believe how much time I spent working on this. Ok some of you would.

One thing that concerned me is fitting my long runs into weekends where I know in adance I'm going to have issues. The last long run of the schedule was originally three weeks out. This coincides with State History day championships. I was a volunteer judge at this event last year and knew I wanted to do it again. It's two days - Friday and Saturday - and I was really tired when it was over. The thought of going out on Sunday after that was not sitting well. At some point I noticed that this weekend and two others that I will have issues with fell in to a pattern. They fell on week 7, 14, and 21. I LOVE symmetry!!! An idea popped in my head to take those weeks off. Not couch potato off...but just a week of no schedule to follow. A week of activity I feel like doing. Giving my body and - probably more important my mind - a break from the confines of a schedule.

So I adjusted the schedule to allow for that. The way it worked I'll build to 12 miles in the first segment; 18 for the second; and finally 24 before a 4 week taper. I plan to tell myself that sticking to 6 weeks of no excuses training is not that difficult and if I do it, I get a week off.

And 'no excuses' training is what it must be. If I want to be successful in this marathon I have to do the work. In addition to no excuses I also have to be flexible. I have a tendency to get it in my head that a workout is going to be at a certain time and place and if that doesn't work out I bail rather than re-adjusting my sights. I have to quit that.

This schedule is more aggressive and busier than any I've followed before. It has more days of work but there is also much more variety in those days. The bottom line though is I think I need to do it this way.

I need to work on hydration and nutrition. I've succombed to bonking in all 4 previous marathons. While some of that is mental, I know that poor planning of my food, water and electrolyte intake also played a part. I've planned the three 20+ milers to deal with the mental aspects. I have to eat and hydrate better on a daily basis - not just during runs - as well. With cold and flu season coming into their peak I need all the health and energy I can muster to stay on the trail.

My cross training of choice (weather permitting) is biking. I hope to work up to three hours in the saddle by the end of this training schedule because after this marathon and some well deserved (I hope) rest. I will begin training in earnest for the MS Bike Ride.

So there you have it. If you are still with me.....

What are your keys to success in training?


  1. Good Luck Paula! Let me know if I can join you for some of those long mile runs or set up a "Paula Cheer and Water Spot"!

  2. Thanks Caroline. I'd love your running company!