Training for anything is a game of chess. We are constantly deciding between when to do our workouts, what routes, distances, cadences, and intensities and how to interweave these into a plan that will carve our mind and bodies into the strongest it can be. It’s good to follow training plans for the first time, but with each race we learn more about ourselves and in doing so, we learn how to create our own training plans.
4 weeks from yesterday I take a plane into Portland, ME. This is the first leg of transportation en route to my marathon. Four weeks is not a lot of time.
Tomorrow marks my last long run. Some people will continue to run long 3 weeks before or even 2 weeks before. But this little girl can’t manage. What I can manage is this:
- Going into a long run or race, I used to never take the day before off. I tried it a few times in this training round and it left me sluggish and slow. I have gone back to what works for me. I take the day before the day before the race/long run off. Confusing I know. But, if the race/long run is Saturday, then I take Thursday off, do a shake out run Friday, then race/long run. My body responds better to a short slow jog the day before. It warms up the muscles. It also gets me excited for the race/long run. Usually I want to go further, but I have to hold myself back.
- After tomorrow-I taper for 4 weeks. It’s a long time. But, I need the time to build up anticipation. I want to long forward to the race. I also need the physical recovery. My right foot needs some love. My first stress fracture in it was during my first marathon. Too much, too soon, for too long.
- On the taper note-It’s mountain biking time. The Laramie Mountain Bike Short Track Series starts in two weeks. I will get 2, maybe 3 Tuesday night races in before the marathon. It’s great cross training and keeps my cardiovascular endurance up for the marathon.
After tomorrow I will deciding which pawns to move, kings…oh hell, I don’t really know how to play chess. Nor do I really know how to run fast marathons. I just know what works and feels right to get me to that finish line.
What have you learned from racing that has changed training for future races?