I commence training for the California International Marathon on Monday. I ran this marathon last year, qualified for the Boston Marathon, and had such a fun experience that I knew I wanted to sign up for this year’s race.
My goals for training are short and simple: I have some time goals in mind, but I want to see where my fitness is first. Most of all, I want to enjoy training, challenge myself, and stay healthy. My primary goals serve those objectives.
What stood out the most to me last year when I ran CIM and qualified for Boston was how much I enjoyed the training cycle and race day. I pushed myself hard in training, but never so hard that running ceased to be enjoyable or that my health was comprised.
As for mileage, I am sticking to the 40-50 mpw that worked so well for me last time. I honestly do not like trying to run over 50-55 miles per week at this stage in my running – when I tried to do 60 mile weeks for my first marathon, it took some of the fun out of running for me. I don’t like the feeling of being absolutely wiped at the end of each training week.
A good portion of the fun of marathon training is the challenge it presents. There’s some so intrinsically rewarding about accomplishing a hard tempo run or long run. Challenging workouts enhance the training experience for me. I plan on incorporating progression long runs, threshold intervals, and time-based VO2max intervals into my plan, along with some of my favorite workouts from last year’s training plan such as 8 x 1K repeats and marathon pace to 10K pace tempo cutdowns.
- Recover well: I’m considering trying natural supplements such as tart cherry juice to enhance recovery. I plan on wearing compression socks or leggings and trying to take short walks but not spend all day on my feet on long runs days. I also need to sleep more during marathon training. Six to seven hours a night is sufficient during base building, but I know I need more sleep when the intensity and volume increase.
- Maintain training balance: Moderate mileage does more than helping me enjoy marathon training; I believe it helps me stay injury-free and healthy overall. I was listening to a podcast the other day in which the interviewee compared the the training/health balance to that of two cups of water: you can pour too much out of the health cup into the training cup.
- Complete Regular Strength Training: Consistent strength training is one of my biggest struggles in training, but I also know that the investment of even just two 30-minute sessions per week pays huge dividends. I am aiming to include two weight-lifting sessions and one Pilates session per week into my marathon training plan, with a focus on unilateral lower body training, core stability, and upper body strength to manage the hills of CIM well.
What are your fall running goals?
How do you recover well after a hard workout?
What are you training for right now?