This past week flew by, what with my knee appointments and transitioning from triathlon training (spin classes/biking and swimming) to more running. Overall it was good to get back to marathon training. I love the structure and routine it gives to my workouts. I also love that I run because I love the way it makes me feel and to know that I have completed yet another workout that will get me to my final marathon goal. When I got to the gym and am not training I tend to think more about weight loss–which is ok, but doesn’t quite make me happy.
So here’s a rundown of what happened during week 1 of training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas Marathon on December 4 (a mere 15 weeks away! 😉 ) I decided to modify Hal Higdon’s intermediate training plan, that I posted here, so that I could allow my knee to get better and so that I can transition back into running full-time without getting any more nagging injuries. That means slowly working up my mileage so that I’m back running the overall miles and distances I was before the summer began (in May). So the first four weeks will now look like this
As you can see, I’m really easing back into things. If my knee was 100% it’d be a different story and I’d be starting my long runs at 10 miles (at least). But this way I can work my long runs as well as my weekly mileage up gradually.
- Mondays and Thursdays are what I call “maintenance runs”. They’re super easy and slow and are just there to keep the blood flowing. They don’t contribute that much to overall endurance but are necessary to add to weekly mileage. As soon as I’m back to running for a few weeks I will add hill work to my Thursday maintenance runs.
- Wednesdays are my “mid-distance” runs. They start at an extremely easy 4 miles and work up to 10+ miles by the end of the 16 weeks (or rather by week 13, after which point you taper). Running 9 or 10 miles mid-week may not seem like that much–especially after getting up to 18 milers for the long run–but they are taxing and definitely add to overall weekly mileage (which if you do too much too soon is a sure recipe for injuries). I try to do them as tempo runs and typically they are great for getting down my race pace and upping my lactate threshold (which prevents lactic acid from building in the muscles and allows you to run further, faster, without getting tired).
- Saturdays (or sometimes Sundays) are reserved for the long run. I’m starting at 8 miles and working slowly up. My goal by the end of the month is to run 13 miles. You can see the last week of the first month has a bit of a taper for the long run. The week after this (week 5) I should be all set for the 13 miler if all goes according to plan 🙂
- The weekly mileage slowly builds from 17 miles up to 21 miles this month. This is a good starting point, as the weekly mileage will more than double by the end of the training (or up to 40-45 miles; any more than that and I’m likely to get hurt so it’s not worth it to me to run more).
- I won’t give up my cross-training regimens completely. I still plan on swimming and biking (ok, and maybe a bit of the dreaded elliptical) twice per week. I also really need to work in a small amount of strength training, which I will probably do on Tuesdays so it’s not right before the long run. I have always fallen off the strength wagon before as I train for marathons, but this time I am really committed to core work and glute work.
- Finally one whole day is devoted to complete and utter REST. Resting for at least a day (sometimes if I feel worn out or tired I’ll rest for 2) is so important for your body to recover and recharge. Not only does rest help to prevent injuries, but it also helps prevent overtraining (if you’ve ever been overtrained you know how awful it feels–lethargic, grumpy, achy, etc).