Chapter One – Marathon Training – Week One
Week one of marathon training starts as I recover from my participation in an Olympic distance Duathlon (2 K run, 40 K bike, 10 K run) at the 5150 event in Huntsville. This was my first race where I had to bike and run in the same race. I had been training for this event since the beginning of April, biking, running a variety of workouts (intervals, hills, time trials, BRICK workouts (where you run after you bike) and doing core strength exercises (and pilates). It went very well. I was very happy with all three times (9:09 2K run, 1:19:00 40K bike, 56:57 10K run) and finished 13 out of 23 participants.
Cross training was totally new to me. Thanks from some help from the Internet and a few friends, I was able to piece together a training plan that started in April. I was able to reflect a bit on the training for three months for a race. There were a couple of highlights. First, I was able to increase my pace on my bike and my runs throughout the training. Secondly, I felt good sticking to a set schedule for training. Thirdly, I haven’t felt better in years. I was energized (more so than usual).
However, in reflection, there were also some improvements and adjustments that needed to be made to ensure that I would be successful in this race and for the marathon training that I was about to embark on.
- Fuel – I am not accustomed to running with a fuel belt and really am sort of clueless about how to fuel and when to fuel and what to fuel with. This was something that I would have to learn about over the course of my training
- Nutrition – I am a pretty healthy guy who eats well. But being a vegetarian, I am always concerned about getting enough protein. I also had to change my breakfast to ensure that I had enough good food to fuel my exercise so I wasn’t lethargic our bunt out. I also had to revisit what I was eating and drinking pre, during and post exercise.
- Equipment – I run with running shoes, a good pair of shorts and a technical t-shirt. Either than that, I didn’t really have good equipment. I used an app on my phone to help with distance, time and pace. I didn’t run with a fuel belt. Didn’t run with a hat. Didn’t run with sun glasses. I didn’t really look like a long distance runner, and I was OK with that. My wife. She was not! She bought me a GPS watch so that I didn’t have to carry my phone. She made me use her fuel belt. She suggested that I run with a hat. She suggested that I look more of the part of a long distance runner
These three areas were identified as growth areas for me over the course of my training for the 5150 event and marathon training.
So, when I started my training for the marathon, I was just coming off of the duathlon. It was also one of the busiest weeks of the year professionally for me as it was one of the busiest weeks of the year for me. Needless to say, I enjoyed recovery more than actual training. I rode my bike for 20K mid week, squeezed in a 6K run at a decent pace (5:40 per km) and then rode my bike again on the weekend, riding close to 26K on Sat and 28k on Sunday.
I really do enjoy the cross training aspect as I know my legs will be in shock when the distance starts to really increase when I start running 4 to 5 days a week, doing core strength on day a week and then figure out when I can fit the bike in!
However, that is a story for next time!