Monday, June 30, 2014

Marathon Monday: Training Plan


People always ask me "how do you stay so motivated?" or they will tell me I am crazy for running so early in the morning and they just don't seem to understand how or why I don't skip runs. During my half-marathon training I only skipped one scheduled run (due to an injury) and I cross-trained that day instead.


Honestly, there is no easy answer or magical advice I can give you as to how or why I don't skip my runs. It is definitely a combination of a few things.


1) I am extremely goal-oriented. The only thing I love more than setting goals is reaching them. That feeling of accomplishment is like a high for me...also, I am a little competitive so the thought of not completing a goal or giving up early is more painful than actually putting in the work.


2) Honestly, I don't always want to go for a run (especially after a long day or if it's really hot/cold outside) but that feeling goes away about 5 minutes into a run. I always, always feel better when I am done. I constantly have to remind myself that once it is done I will be really glad I did it. Some days I will procrastinate for at least an hour before getting off my butt and getting out there.


3) When I plan my runs I treat them like appointments that I can't cancel. This is especially true when I am training for a specific race. When I tell myself (or my training plan) tells me that I have to run x number of miles, there isn't another option except to do it. I don't have a choice. I have given up many nights out (or gone home early) because I had a long run the next day. I have gotten up REALLY early because I wouldn't have any other time during the day to get my run done and that is just not an option.

Reason #3 is why I continue to sign up for races that require set training. For me a 5k or 10k doesn't require very specific training, I just know that I need to be running somewhat consistently. The half distance and my fall marathon all require a structured training schedule, which I not so secretly enjoy :)


Once I decided to sign up for a fall marathon I knew I was going to need some help setting up a training plan. For my half, I found a training plan, and tweaked it to best fit my needs since I wasn't just running 1 half, I needed to up the intensity a little bit and prepare my body for 3 halves in a months time. Also, my schedule gets busy and I have to be able to move things around to fit with the time I have.

I have looked EVERYWHERE for training plans for my marathon and I haven't really found one that fits my needs. I have 15-16 weeks from today before my marathon (depending on which race I do) and it is getting to be crunch time. Last week I followed (sort of) a plan on Runkeeper, but I wasn't sold on that because I couldn't switch my days around. I need the flexibility to run my long run on Friday (during summer vacation), Saturday, or Sunday and I need some speed work built in. I also looked here for a training plan (this is the training plan I used to help me create a plan for my halves) but again, nothing on there was the right fit.

I think I will most likely end up creating my own plan (based on all 500 I have looked at online) again. I am not exactly sure what that plan will look like just yet, but I do know it will include a weekly long run, speed work at least 1 day a week, a day for yoga, and the ever dreaded weight training. I was hoping to have this plan completed and ready this week to share here AND to get started with. I am still following the plan on my RunKeeper for now, but I will probably switch to my own plan next Monday. The good news is, I have a pretty good base set up, so it's not a huge deal if I don't follow a specific plan right away.

My goal for this next week is to get my training plan solidified and written down in my planner (in pencil of course) and get started. I will share my plan with you next week, because that always manages to keep me focused as well. If I share my goal on social media or my blog then the chances of me following through are 150% :)


I wanted these posts to kind of be a written account of my marathon training, so I could look back at the journey when I am done. Week 1 of somewhat "official" training I have to say I am still feeling pretty good, and still VERY nervous about the task at hand. I don't think it has hit me yet that I am really going to be doing this. It seems so far away and like I have all the time in the world to get ready...but deep down I know it will be here before I know it. I just hope that I can keep this up and be as prepared as I can the day of the race.

Hopefully next week I will have a set plan ready to share with you and hopefully I will have signed up for one of the marathons. I think that is when panic will officially set in!




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