Thursday, May 7, 2015

I'm Back To Running! & My Marathon Training Plan

Well, I did it. 10 days off from running. It actually wasn't that hard since I was too sore to walk down stairs for 4 of those days, but I'm glad I took a little break.

First let's rewind to Monday. I did another Spin workout on Monday morning followed by weights and ab exercises...


Since I have 47 fitness magazines lying around, I grabbed one with Kate Hudson on the cover and followed her ab routine using an exercise ball. Who doesn't want abs like Kate Hudson... 


Since I worked out on Sunday, Tuesday was a rest day. On Wednesday morning, I had an early gym date with my favorite treadmill. It feels so good to be back together again. 40 minutes of easy running... 


I'm also trying this whole healthy snack thing and trying to eat more veggies and less packaged foods... 


Except Skinny Pop. I always have time for Skinny Pop...


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I mentioned in my Marathon recap that I would chat a little about my training plan, so here it is. 

I used this Hal Higdon training plan, and overall, I was very satisfied. The plan was called "Novice 1," and while I'm not a novice runner, I was a novice Marathoner, so it was the perfect starting point for me. I did tweak the plan a little - I did the amount of weekly milage that was required of me and never missed a workout, however, if I had a 10 miler on a Wednesday, I took a few miles from that run and added them on to Tuesday or Thursday's 4 milers to make the plan more manageable on days I had to get to work. 

I also really liked how it was only 4 days of running. My body hasn't historically reacted well to 5 days of running. I'm hoping to change that for next time (PS, there will be a next time :)) with lots of strength training/recovery time, but 4 days of running was my happy place this past training cycle.

This leads me to my cross training/rest days. I really enjoyed rest day Sundays and Spin day Mondays. After long runs on Saturday, this was the recovery my body needed. By Tuesday, I was ready to get back at it again (most days). For me, 2 rest days/week when running lots of miles is necessary. And I think that one day of no-impact Spin helped my muscles recover faster.

I don't have any complaints about my training plan, but I do plan to kick it up a notch next time. My peak mileage week was 40 miles. That's a lot, but most marathoners hit at least 45 or 50, so that's my goal. I don't think I'm ready for more than that - some awesome runners out there run 70-80 miles/week! I also only had one 20 miler last time around, and I'd like two. I was lucky that I had a great 20 mile run, but if you don't have your best run that day, it can really mess with your confidence because that's all you get. I would like two to work out any kinks. 

Lastly, and this was all on me, strength training. Strength training, strength training, strength training. I'm hoping if I write it enough, the importance will stick. This just didn't happen. I'm kinda surprised my body held up as well as it did with such little time with the weights. Strength training is so important for overall bone health and strengthening muscles that aren't as strong as others so we don't overcompensate. Here's some other benefits of strength training for runners. Ab works falls into this category as well. More planks. Lot's more. 

Do you follow a race training plan? 

What healthy snacks are you eating? 

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