My poor little blog! I know I’ve been neglecting it for a while and that makes me sad. Between my family, work, the holidays, and launching my new running coaching business (more about that later!), I’ve been super busy and something had to give. However, now that we’re getting into December work should be slowing down a bit, and that’s good because I have a whole lot to say on here!
I want to start with my training plan for the Myrtle Beach Marathon. I actually started training this past Monday, but I’ve been tweaking my plan all week. I’m hesitant to share the plan in it’s entirety because I’m sure it will end up changing somehow – which I’m totally fine with. I always like to plan out the whole 16ish weeks (this time it’s 15 since I needed a week of recovery after the Richmond half) to make sure my long runs, tempo runs, and speedwork progress appropriately – BUT after 9 marathons and 1 DNF I know better than most people that plans can change and that is okay. I have learned that checking in with yourself, adjusting, and tweaking is an important part of the running and training process.
For example, when I originally thought about racing in the year following Kyler’s birth, I wanted my first races back to be for fun and didn’t plan on doing much speedwork or anything like that to prepare. I just didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself while newly post-partum. I did this for my first two races back (the Heritage 5 Miler and Hartwood 10 Miler), but that started to change when I realized how good I felt and how well my body was responding to running after birth this time. I was still cautious and careful, introducing one new stress at a time (building my mileage and long run back up, adding in speedwork, adding in a tempo run, adding in strength training). What happened as a result was pretty awesome. I started running faster than I had in years (maybe even ever) and I got a HUGE new PR at the Richmond Half Marathon. This race gave me the confidence to try for a better goal in Myrtle Beach than just to finish.
My half marathon time of 1:44:33 suggests that I can run a 3:40:02 marathon, according to the McMillan Running Calculator. While that time scares me a bit, I’m starting to believe that I can do it, so I will be using the training paces that Mr. McMillan recommends to achieve that goal.
While I would LOVE to qualify for Boston (run under 3:35:00), I don’t think that will happen for me this spring. I’m hoping to BQ in the fall of 2016 instead. However, my running buddy seems to think I can do it this spring and she will be training with that goal in mind. My plan is to run another half marathon (The Charleston Half) in January when I’m about halfway through my training. I think that will give me a really good understanding of where I am currently and what kind of result I can expect in the full, if conditions are right. After that I may adjust my goal, or I may not. We’ll see!
With all that being said, here is how I structured my training plan for the Myrtle Beach Marathon.
- 1 speedwork run (either 1600m or 800m repeats)
- 1 tempo run (some with easy miles at beginning and end, some steady-state)
- 1 long run (with a fast-finish every few weeks). It’s also important to me to do one 22 miler this time around. I need this more mentally than physically, since I know I struggle around mile 21. I want to practice feeling that struggle and pushing past it. I went back and forth about how many 20-22 milers to put in, but I decided on only two since I’ll be racing the Charleston Half Marathon which will be a hard effort for me.
- 3 days of strength training/cross training and/or an easy running. These may also turn into additional rest days as training gets more intense.
- 1 full rest day
- Cutback weeks every 3rd week (or so). During these weeks the long run is shortened, and instead of formal speedwork and tempo runs I’ll do a less structured fartlek run and easy progression run. I’m thinking of each segment between cutback weeks as it’s own mini-cycle, which I love!
- Other important training factors: foam rolling, stretching, lots of water, visits to the chiropractor to stay in alignment. I am not overly concerned with doing any specific hill training because Myrtle Beach is flat. I’m a firm believer in training for the race you’re running.
Here is the plan in it’s entirety [click images to enlarge].
I want to do a weekly recap post like I have done in the past to hold myself accountable and as a way to log my progress through my training. The first one should be up tomorrow or Monday since I’m just about finished with week 1!
So here I am. 6 months post-partum and starting marathon training again, hoping for a big PR. Am I crazy? Only time will tell! I have my training plan. I have my supportive husband. I have my running buddy who lives close by and has very similar goals. I have a ton of motivation and determination. Let’s do this!