I just mapped out my training schedule for the upcoming Chicago Marathon. It officially begin on Tuesday, May 31st. It’s pretty crazy that May 31st is 18 weeks out from October 9th. This is training schedule that I have followed for the past 2 marathons.
I look back at this schedule and I remember every single long training run that I went on as I was training for my first marathon, the 2010 OKC Memorial Marathon. As you see, the first long run that you’re put through is a 6 miler on the first week. That run was the absolute best/worst run that I endured during that first training plan. I ran 2 laps around Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK. Each lap is supposedly 5K. I gave myself an hour time limit to make it around twice. I struggled so much on that run, walking probably every single mile beginning with mile number two and didn’t make my time. It was insane. I remember waking up that Sunday morning and could not get out of bed. My calves were sooooo sore. I ran that “recovery run” and I was definitely on the strug. After the recovery run, I couldn’t walk normal until that Wednesday.
I somehow decided to stick it out and keep going with my training and now, 2 full marathons later and a continued training program for a full year, I am looking at this training plan for a first time marathoner and I think I have decided that at least for the first month, I will not follow this plan very well. My runs now, without actually “training,” have been longer than those runs on the schedule so I feel I can step it up a bit there for the first month. I’m kind of excited to start being focused on a goal (26.2 miles in Chicago) rather than to just keep in shape.
Now onto the “Final Push Before The Push”. I’ve come a long way and I definitely want to keep pushing myself to improve. Memorial Weekend is just over 2 months and is the official kick off of summer and lake season. Because of this, I’ve decided on April 1st, I am kicking it into high gear before having to take my fitness in different direction for training. You, of course, need a different kind of focus/training/nutrient intake for running than you do for weight loss/muscle gain. I would still like to drop a few more pounds (in a healthy way) while still hitting the gym hard so it may not possibly work out the way I want it to, but I am going to try hard.