We live at the last stop on the A train--if you've ever been to Inwood you know it can be quite a journey depending on where you started. And it certainly feels like the start of a lengthy adventure when waiting for your train to depart.
These are the thoughts in my head today as I get ready to head out to Run Club. I am finally starting my fall marathon training program. It feels like it has been forever since I started a 16 week training cycle (probably because I didn't really stop training after my fall peak race last year . . . . not did I really start a new cycle for my spring races). Everything just sort of mushed together.
And thus, I feel very much like saying at long last I am finally here!
And yet, it is week one. Not just that but day one of week one. I have 16 weeks of hard work ahead of me and an aggressive goal that I know is possible but is also really scary. Which means I am also at the start.
As I think about the start of my training plan, I've decided to share a few goals and aspirations for the next 16 weeks and for the Wineglass Marathon on October 6th that waits at the end of my latest journey.
- I will train for a sub-4:00 marathon
I am at a point where I've done enough of these to know that it starts with the training. I will log the miles, practice fueling, run on tired legs and commit to the hard stuff when I really just want to stay in bed. It is going to be hot, uncomfortable and probably frustrating. But ice baths are so much more fun in August. And that means I'll be ready for race day.
- I will run a smart race
My peak fall marathon last year was ruined because I didn't follow my race plan. I didn't fuel properly. I didn't hydrate well. I went out too fast. Basically, I made all of the mistakes. My redemption marathons were both PRs but I didn't train well for them and I walked off both courses with gas left in the tank. I used the fitness I already had to run smarter--but I didn't run better races. And my last marathon of the season was done on overly-fatigued legs, on a day where all I wanted was to just go back to bed. In the end, I let my mind get the best of me and didn't push myself at all--which resulted in my first non-PR marathon (that was really depressing).
- I will respect the distance
This will be my seventh marathon. And I think I have gotten a little cocky in thinking I can just throw down 26.2 miles without much thought. While I long for that day to come (my ultramarathon goal is still out there, never fear), I need to remember I am not there yet. I need to log some serious miles if I am going to achieve my goal.
And so, here is my basic plan. I'll share more details in the weeks to come but for now, here is an outline of my plans for the next 16 weeks.
- Weeks 1 - 4: Base-building--four to five days of running each week (mostly at an easy pace with one day of speed work at Run Club), lots of yoga, strength training and some spin tossed in for fun.
- Weeks 5 - 8: Sharpening period--four to five days of running each week (Long run, speed or hill day, tempo day, easy day(s) with form drills), yoga and strength training. There may be spin too depending on how I recover from the harder workouts and whether I do a fifth day of running.
- Weeks 9 - 13: Peak period--five days of running each week (Long run, speed day, tempo day, easy day, easy day with form drills), yoga and strength training. I'll be dropping spin to accommodate a fifth day of running to focus in on race preparation. And I am considering adding a fourth 20+ mile training run (eek!!). Although, the jury is still out on this one.
- Weeks 14 -16: Taper!! It is all in the bank at this point. I'll practice a lot of yoga as well as maintaining my fitness and focusing in on race pace workouts with a little speed tossed in for fun.
What about you? Fall marathon plans? Has training started? 20 weeks? 16? Or do you like a shorter more focused cycle?