Preparing for a Marathon

In the preseason, before I really begin training, it is usually winter: cold, dark, and time crunched. I am a long distance runner. Not because I want to win anything or for weight loss, or improving any element of my physical conditioning. I run to get out and be alone with myself. I also gain satisfaction from beating a disempowering thought part way through a run.

March 29, I will officially begin my training schedule. However, there are a number of things I am doing now to prepare.

one of the best 5ks I ever did...

Preparing a Schedule

The schedule I am using is the *4 hour schedule by Jeff Galloway. Four hours means you want to finish the marathon in 4 hours.

The schedule includes cross training, rest, hill work, times, and distance. This will last from April to November! That being said, I need to ensure I have time in my daily life to include training.

Preparing my Body

Making sure I am ready to begin training, for me, means eating, sleeping, and exercising. I think this pretty much goes for most people.

But how much? Let's get science-y!

According to Sports Nutrition (Gastelu & Hatfield, 2019, p. 421) having the right amount of carbohydrates in your diet will decrease fatigue and loss of focus. And according to Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, you can get an appropriate amount of carbs from eating 200 calories of carbs per meal. Strive for 50% of your carbs from a whole grain source. However, if you are an exerciser and engaged in sports, you my need double or triple the amount of carbs than the average. (Clark, N., 2020. pp. 7-8) Being a runner, my macro breakdown in pre-season, as well as the training season, ought to be 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein, 15% fat. Carbohydrates are broken down, stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If you glycogen stores are depleting, you can "hit a wall" if you are running long distances.

The salve of slumber

Most people don't argue that sleep helps in recovery and recharges you. For my training, I will have to wake up early some days to train in the morning. But I am committed! (Documentation to come!) Lately, I have been adjusting my schedule to go to be between 9- 10pm. I do so much in a day, I rarely have a problem.

HIIT and weights

I am training endurance using at home HIIT workouts about 3 times per week. One of those times, I meet with a live instructor. This keeps up my endurance levels. HIIT gives that boost. It takes a good bit to push through one of those workouts. This will probably be continued as a cross training exercise. Currently, I do run on the weekends. I can run up to 8-9.5 miles quite comfortably.

Lately, I have been working on muscle strength with my dumbbell set following a progressive loading schedule. This will provide more muscle mass as I enter the running season. I hope to keep it up. But weight training takes about 30 minutes 3 times per week for me.

Preparing mentally

This is going to take a while; it is about an 8 month commitment and burn out can happen. There may be set backs. I am going to follow the schedule as best I can and be generous to myself. I want to remember that I love running. I love feeling strong. Challenging myself and breaking through barriers are so empowering on so many levels. I am ready to crush it!

In one month, I begin the regimen! I am so excited!

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