Two months from today is the Berlin Marathon. As long as I stay healthy, I’ll be at the starting line to begin my fourth World Marathon Major. My goal is to run a personal best of faster than 2 hours, 49 minutes, 21 seconds on a course where world records are often set. In fact, a new official world record might be set in this year’s race. Though not by me;)
10 weeks of training are now in the books. I’ve crossed the halfway point. No turning back now. I’ve got to finish what I started. So where am I at with training? What are my overall thoughts? Where do I go from here?
First, I’ve stuck with my plans–pretty much all of them. Even as I had to travel, I managed to adjust and make it work even when it meant waking up at 2:45am just to avoid 100-degree heat. Trust me, there were plenty of days when I didn’t want to run. It seemed like such a hassle to go through the whole process. It would’ve been much easier to sit and relax. Just because I run all the time doesn’t mean I want to run all the time. So if I don’t want to run then why do it? I remember the whys. I think of the reasons why I run. I do it to stay healthy. I do it because I enjoy the personal challenge as well as competing with others. I do it because it pushes me to do things I never thought I could do. Finally, I remember the feeling of crossing finish lines. I think of how good it feels to complete a race. There’s no doubt the middle of training for a big race can feel like a slog sometimes. You just have to discipline yourself to get out there and run. To paraphrase a quote, I’ve never regretted going for a run but I have regretted not going for one.
I feel gains have been made. I’m able to handle tough workouts better than last year and the year before. My body doesn’t feel as trashed although fatigue is always going to be there to some degree. I think I’ve adjusted to the warmer and more humid weather. This will help when the weather cools in the Fall as the same workouts will feel much easier. My confidence has grown too, though one has to always be careful not to push too much too far because of injury risk. That’s why it’s important to keep the ego in check. I do have this nagging pain in my thigh area that I’m hoping subsides. I’m still able to run normally but it does bother me to some degree.
I managed to regularly run 50-plus miles a week which is what I wanted to accomplish up to this point. The plan moving forward is to boost that into the 60s and possibly low 70s for a week or two, if possible. That won’t be done until I finish my half marathon in two weeks. I’ll spend these next two weeks tapering which means decreasing my mileage per week. The purpose of that is to give my legs a break so they’ll be rested for the race. I’ll spend the week after the race recovering. I’ll run very little that week. The next week I’ll build the mileage up again and the week after I should be able to go 60-plus.
The half marathon is a good training race for the marathon. It’ll put me in a situation to run hard for a long period of time. I’ll get to build endurance and strength. The race is about seven weeks before the Berlin Marathon so that’s plenty of time to recover and put in a few hard weeks afterward. My marathon taper will begin two to two-and-a-half weeks before the big day. Before that taper, there will be some tough runs, including three to four more 20-mile-plus runs as well as some 10-mile-plus tempo runs. I may even run a 10k race in early September.
When training for a big race or just starting a running routine, it’s important to stick to your plans and goals. Make adjustments if you have to. You want to make running or any other kind of exercise a habit–a good habit. If you can force yourself to do it regularly, it’ll become a part of your life. You can accomplish this by starting slow so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. Do a little this week and just a little bit more next week and so on and so forth. When you feel your day isn’t complete without that run or exercise then you know you’ve developed that habit.
Running With You,