I’m hereby officially “In Training”
I have tossed in my hat in the weighted lottery for the Flying Monkey Marathon (11/22/15). If for some reason I do not picked in the lottery, my back-up plan is to run Chickamauga Marathon on 11/14/2015. It’s close enough that I can make a day-trip out of it, like back in 2012.
Historically, I tend to run November marathons, (Richmond, Chickamauga, Flying Monkey), mostly because of the how the training schedule works out. When I have ran September Marathons (Darlington, Quad Cities), my long runs were in the peak summer heat and were difficult to say the least. For November Marathons, I use around August 1st as the official date, it’s about 16 weeks, give or take. I have found, through trial and error, that a 12 week training schedule works best for me. So I “trick” myself with anything over 12 weeks and call it a “base” period.
Since I’m also running The Pistol 50k in January, this means that I have an additional training schedule after my November marathon. I was hoping Rocket City would be a part of the plan, but I can easily make my own marathon event, if need be.
That Was My Plan…
There are tons o’ plans out there on the internet. Some are very simple and some complicated. There is no One Plan To Rule Them All. Nor are any of these training plans etched in stone. Each training plan has common key workouts essential to have the proper training for race day, but they are yarned together differently. “Train only 4 days a week” or “No Long Runs over 20 miles” or “It’s all about the Pace”. Your best bet is to ask a running coach on what is best for you.
The November marathon will be #25, and I have learned a few about my training schedules along the way.
1) They are not etched in stone. [Very important, second time I’ve mentioned it] There is no way to run every single training session, unless that is your only job and you don’t get injured or sick.
2) At the starting line, I won’t have all the training I want because of #1. Usually, it is better to arrive to Race Day under trained (too a point) than over trained. [A wise professor of Kinesiology told me that one time when I was super stressed out]
3) Experience helps bridge some gaps in training, but even seasoned veterans can make rash, foolish mistakes. I have the experience to know how to adjust my schedule to account for missed training runs, but I am still susceptible to getting caught up in the energy of Race Day and try to run a PR with laughable training.
4) 16 weeks is too long of a schedule as it is psychologically draining on me. 8 weeks isn’t quite long enough unless I’m just interested in finishing rather than going for a particular time. 12 weeks, as Goldilocks endorses, is “Just Right.” When the 12 week training aligns with a race course that doesn’t look like a heart monitor (of a living person) then I have a shot a sub-4 finish.
5) It is unrealistic for me to fit the mid-week, mid-distance (6-10 miles) run into my schedule. The windows for me to run are few, so I make concessions on the types of runs I use. Most often, I swap the Easier Pace runs with shorter Tempo Runs.
6) Cross train if possible, it helps in my non-existent flexibility and trains the other muscles that running doesn’t use as much. I do Tae Kwon Do, Soccer, some Ultimate Frisbee when I can work it in, and slinging my kids around.
7) Never under estimate the power of a Rest Day. There are days, when you just aren’t going to feel like running. Some of those days, you just push through. Some of those days is your body saying, “Dude, come on… relax, don’t do it.” Rest Days are built into the schedule for a reason, they are a buffer against injury.
I haven’t noodled out the training that I will be using this fall. Given that I’m in the “Base” period, I can train “casually”, and have a few more days before I have something set in stone. I mean, set on paper.