Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm Not Racing a Spring Marathon

As some of you already know - or perhaps even guessed based on my training these past few weeks - I'm not doing a spring marathon as previously planned.

The original plan was to race the Wisconsin Marathon in May. Instead, I'm going to do the half marathon event at the same race as my "A Goal" this spring.

A few people have tried to convince me that I still have enough time to get ready to run the marathon. I'm sure this is true. 26.2 miles is a long way to go, but I'm confident that I could be ready to run that distance by May 4. Race it though? Eh . . . not so much. I haven't been running enough miles to build a strong base and since I've been struggling with hamstring issues on and off, it just doesn't seem like a smart decision.

And that's ultimately what's made up my mind to move down to the half marathon this spring. I recently wrote a new training plan, which starts this week. 

A tad dark, but hopefully you get the general idea!

I like to write my own training plans based on what I know works best for my body. Here are a few highlights:

  • Peak training at 56 miles/week
  • Long runs ranging from 12-18 miles
  • First half of the plan includes one speedwork session/week focused mainly on improving strength. Second half of the plan includes two speedwork sessions/week - one interval session and another focused on improving strength.  
  • 2-3 strength training sessions/week
  • 4-8 miles cycling, 2-3 times/week (to increase hamstring strength)
  • Plenty of foam rolling and stretching after every run

Here's how this week's training looks:

Monday: 6 miles @easy pace; 30 minutes strength training; 4-6 miles cycling
Tuesday: 8 miles speedwork
Wednesday: 6 miles @easy pace; 30 minutes strength training; 4-6 miles cycling
Thursday: 6 miles @steady pace
Friday: Yoga class
Saturday: 12 miles @easy pace
Sunday: Rest day

I'm also reading The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition by Matt Fitzgerald, which is giving me lots of good motivation to clean up my diet during this round of training. I'll write more about this book after I finish it, but I can already tell it's going to be a favorite of mine.

A great read for all runners!

Here's how a typical day of eating will look this week:

Breakfast: 1/2 whole-grain bagel w/1 Tbsp peanut butter; 1 serving plain, low-fat Kefir
Snack: Raw almonds; raw veggies (carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, bell pepper slices)
Lunch: 1 whole-grain tortilla topped w/ 2 eggs scrambled, black beans, salsa and sprinkle of low-fat cheddar cheese; 1 banana or pear
Snack: Whole-grain pretzel sticks + a few gummy bears pre-workout for a quick energy hit
Dinner: Steamed spinach and beets topped with low-fat cottage cheese; organic split pea soup; blueberries

If everything works out, I should be able to race last year's goal time of 1:42:XX. Getting this done in May would be a big confidence booster going into marathon training this summer and would set me up for getting a sub 1:40 time at a fall half marathon race.

As always, it makes me nervous to think about these times and all the work ahead, but it's also really exciting. You never know what you're capable of unless you go for it and this time, I'm all in :)

Your turn! What goal(s) are you trying to accomplish? What steps are you taking to get there?

Let's find out what we're capable of this spring :)

- ST


  1. Save for a great half marathon! Great update. I hope to get my diet into gear next (almost there), and can't wait for more sunlight in the evening to go for runs outside. I've been stepping back with running a bit, and doing Brazilian Butt workouts with the girls at work in the office at 5 a couple nights a week!

    1. Ha, Brazilian Butt workouts sound pretty interesting and certainly a nice change of pace from logging miles :)

  2. You definitely know what's best for you, so listen to your gut! Are you just running inside these days?

    1. Yeah, I've mostly been on the treadmill or track these days. I'm a wimp when it comes to the cold. I see this weekend it will hit 30 though so I might venture out for my long run.

  3. I'm hoping to start training for another half soon, so that book sounds super interesting! I'm excited for you to talk about it more!

    1. How exciting! Let me know what half you end up signing up for!

  4. Great job on listening to your body and adjusting your goals! It's so much better to be smart now, rather than regretful later.

    I enjoyed reading your "typical day of eats." Would love to see more :)

    1. I will try to include more typical eats - it's something I like reading on other blogs as well :)