Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 Weeks to the Marathon!

Alright guys, I’m running a marathon in less than 3 weeks. That’s 18 days, approximately 75 training miles, 4 hours in the pool, and Lord knows how much time on the foam roller, to be exact.

Me at the Backyard Burn 10-Mile Trail Race.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on what I call a marathoner lite program. I didn’t even start training until mid-January thanks to some injury nonsense. In normal marathoning there are phases that build endurance, strength, then speed…but Coach George and I pretty much combined all of those into one 7-week time period.

Though that sounds like a horrific idea, I actually think it will be ok – I’d rather be a little undertrained (“well-rested” ha), than overtrained (exhausted and injured).

Back in the day (i.e. college), I was a not-very-good-but-meh-ok 1500m/3K/5K runner. I love track work, fast mileage, and just generally beating myself up all the time…BUT in the interest of this marathon actually happening, my running/workouts have changed a lot.

Here's how things are different:

  • Now I don’t do track workouts at all. Two days a week my “workouts” are tempo runs: 2x2 miles, or 1x2 1x1 mile, or 1x3 1x1 mile, or 1x3 miles, or 1x4 miles. 
  • My weekly mileage isn’t HIGH, but it’s high enough for me. So far it’s looked like: 46, 47, 40, 52. 
  • I take at least one day completely off per week (except last week whoops!). 
  • I pool at least one day per week.
  • I spend some of every work day sitting on ice, and some of my at-home TV time with my foot in a bucket of ice water (totally normal...and always fun times).
  • If I’m tired, I postpone the workout. (Ok there is some outside influence going on here…normally I just do what I’m told when I’m told, but my running friend is on the Don’t Torture Yourself train and I’m doing my best to stay on board.)
  • I stretch and foam roll a lot. And do my strengthening stuff from Dr. John.

I guess technically I’ve now entered into the tapering portion of my marathon plan, though I feel like I just got started running. I’ve done two 16-milers and two over-20-milers …and, well, that’s all I had time for! I suppose that’s one nice thing about an abbreviated training time-period: it’s enough to get tired, but really not enough time to get tired of training.

And as to the success of my own personal program…I’ll let you know on March 16!


  1. I'm so excited to hear more about your marathon! I, being of the non-running persuasion (usually), approached training with a more "OMG I NEED TO RUN A TON" attitude, mostly for my psychological health (i.e. confidence)... but now I'm really tired of training. Why have I been running 18-20 miles each Saturday for the past 4 months? No clue. I'm over it. Next time, I'll take an approach more like yours (although slower... by far).

    1. Mary! I am so impressed! I can't even imagine doing that many 20-milers! But don't adopt my methods until we test them haha. In the words of mi padre: "train don't strain" and "train smart not hard."

      And good luck in your race! I can't wait to hear about it!

  2. sounds like a seriously solid plan for coming back from an injury, kudos to you for following it so well!!