For my upcoming marathon in October, I chose to follow Hal Higdon’s novice training plan.
After surveying several other plans, I chose this one for the following reasons:
- a) the mileage build-up is very gradual.
- b) the plan uses the “step-back” approach in which the long-run distance decreases every third-week of training to allow the body a chance to recover before the next push.
- c) it only requires me to run four days a week and encourages cross training on the fifth day of exercise, which I like. I think cross training always does a body good.
- d) I’ve read that this plan has been successful for thousands upon thousands of runners.
- e) Hal Higdon is my hero, and his books are great.
Under this 18-week plan, my longest run will be a 20 miler that rears its ugly head in week 15. I will run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with the Wednesday run acting as the highest mileage run of those days. The Wednesday mileage tops out at 10 miles in week 15 as well (week 15 is going to be a beast!).
Week 15= 5 miles Tues + 10 miles Wed + 5 miles Thurs + 20 miles Sat + sad effort to cross-train Sun=40 miles total + one tired Lindsay
It ain’t gonna be pretty.
But in a strange way, I’m looking forward to this challenge. I’m ready for it. I’ve been waiting for it since I decided I was going to run the marathon way back in March. Now, it’s finally time to begin the journey, and I’m so excited to have all of you along for the ride.
Some thoughts/feelings/hopes/fears of mine about this:
- I wonder if I will gain weight during training.
I know that this is a fairly common occurrence among first time marathoners. While I would prefer if I didn’t gain weight, I am obviously not going to deny myself any food or fuel if I’m hungry for it. If my body needs the extra weight to finish the race, then so be it. I’m hoping to be able to find a balance between eating everything in sight and under-fueling. I don’t want to be that person who eats just for the sake of eating in the days following a long run. I want to be in tune with my body’s needs and to try to eat because my body needs the energy. Not to say that I’m not going to give myself some wiggle room for post long-run treats, but I don’t want to eat junk just “because I can”. I’m not going to take “before” pictures or anything of that nature, but I’ll definitely keep you updated on this front.
- I’m worried about injury.
I haven’t had a problem with this in the past, but I just don’t know how my body is going to react to the increased mileage. During my half marathon training, I perpetually battled tight IT bands and hamstrings, so I’m praying that careful stretching and foamrolling will help prevent these trouble spots of mine from becoming anything more problematic.
- I’m really excited to think that all the long-runs past 13 miles will be personal distance records for me.
I’m hoping that the idea of breaking all sorts of PRs will give me something to look forward to every week when I have to force myself out of bed at some ungodly hour in the morning to go run three hours. Of course, this won’t apply to any future marathons I may decide to run (if I even want to do that!), but for my first, the PR thing still applies!
- I’m worried about how I’m going to find a balance between my marathon training and my 14er-hiking in August.
Climbing 14ers is no easy task. Most 14er hikes are all-day affairs that cover anywhere between 7 and 15 miles and a vertical gain of anywhere from 3500 to 5000 feet. A day of 14ering ALWAYS leaving me with sore muscles for days afterward…I’m worried that this kind of activity will mess up my marathoning. Yet at the same time, I refuse to give up my chance to climb this summer just because I’m training for a marathon. Maybe I’ll have to switch around my schedule during the month of August so I can climb on weekends and do my long runs in the middle of the week? Argh…something to figure out.
Those are the biggest thoughts about this journey floating around in my head.
On to the eats….
I snacked on some carrot sticks with Cocoa Mole Almond Butter this afternoon. It was a wonderful snack. The spice of the almond butter was the perfect complement to the mild taste of the carrots. In general, AB + carrots is a great snack.
Upon returning home from work, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted for dinner, so I started throwing random things in a pan and hoped that it would become something magical.
But it was okay nonetheless. You win some, you lose some, right? It’s all part of the cooking experience.
For my dindin, I made a whole wheat pasta dish with pesto, canellini beans, sauteed eggplant, grape tomats, and red pepper flakes.
I overcooked the beans, so they become a little mushier than I would have preferred. The dish just didn’t come together like I hoped it would, but it was still healthy and decent-tasting.
I also have some leftovers for tomorrow, so I can catch a break from cooking!
For dessert, I had a serving of TJ’s tart non-fat fro yo with a tsp drizzle of Kodiak Cake’s brand of raspberry syrup. It was glorious.
I’m heading to bed now. I’m going to try to do the impossible and run before breakfast tomorrow morning. I normally hate working out on an empty stomach, but I know that I should start getting used to early morning runs as I’ll probably have to start early to avoid the summer heat + humidity come my mid-August 3+ hr long runs. I’ll let you know if I’m successful….