Wednesday, February 17, 2010

4 Week Marathon Training Plan

This has been a busy month. I layed off my training quite a bit to focus on my studies, which have been going quite well. In fact, besides a few runs in the snow (which we've had plenty of), there really wasn't much happenning to blog about. That all changed yesterday, when I decided to join my friends on Team Raisinhope and run the Georgia marathon on March 21st.

Yup, if I was a little quicker with numbers, it might have dawned on me that I had 4 weeks to train before I clicked the "register now" button. But, it happened, and now I'm left wondering what to do. I have no doubts as to whether or not I can prepare to finish the race, but I do have to decide what time I'm going to shoot for.

I have time. 4 runs a week for 4 weeks should be enough to get me in shape, with biking mixed in to add some endurance without overdoing the stress that I'm about to put myself through. For comparison, last year, when training for Philly, I ran 5-6 times per week, without any cross training, for 8 weeks (7 actually, if we take away the week I was sick and didn't run). Still, at that time I was coming out of a hard season of racing, and my bones were ready to have the miles piled on. This winter, I've weaned myself down to 6-10 miles a week, and running pretty easy at that. I'm afraid I'd injure myself if I tried to run more than 4 times a week while simultaneously increasing my mileage by gargantuan proportions. I might even cut back to three (without cutting out the long runs, of course) if I feel the need.

Today I kicked off training with an easy run with Kaleb. These easy runs are going to be the key to my plan, and I'll be doing 2 each week; I take the dog to make sure they remain 'easy'. We did a nice 5.5 mile loop, with a little juant up the snow covered steps of the Art Museum to mark the halfway point with a photo (note my Flows- the only Vibrams I'll wear in the snow; the neoprene worked good today with the high 20 degree F temps). Then, we headed back down, choosing our steps carefully, and circled over to Lloyd Hall before heading back again. I actually felt great today, partly due to the 8 or 9 minute pace and frequent walks, but 6 is about as far as I dare take Kaleb. Like a champ, he continued trotting all the way home. He's slept good every since.

So, I'll keep everyone informed! A 4 week training plan is virtually unheard of, and this may not have a happy ending. I really won't consider it a success unless I run better than my last time, but if it comes down to race day and I don't feel I have it in me, I'll just lay low and enjoy the run- no need to get hurt; I'm in it for the fun.

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