Four weeks in, 14 weeks to go!

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May 24, 2012 by Carin

My marathon training has started; well it started four weeks ago.  I am spending a total of 18 weeks training for the Women Rock Marathon in St. Paul, Mn Labor Day weekend.   I love it so far.  The structure, the mileage, the happy feeling at the end of a good workout and the tired feeling at night knowing I worked hard that morning.  The past 10 marathons I have trained have all been done with the same training plan.  This time around I decided to try something new and use a new training plan.  I decided that I could use a shakeup in my training, a plan that would stretch me a little and push my limits with the hopes that I will make the needed improvements to reach my goal.  My goals you ask?  I will fill you guys in on that when the race gets closer…Sept. 1st.

In years past I have used Hall Higdon’s Intermediate 1 training plan that entailed two 20 mile runs and little to no speed work.  I used it because I had it on file and I knew I could get through the training without a lot of effort.  Effort as in I didn’t have to do anything but go out and run the miles. I wasn’t challenging myself and my results showed that.  It has been almost 2 years since my last marathon, but I have been running faster since then, so I really want to rock this race and set a Personal Record or PR. 

So now that I have ditched Hal this time around, I have picked up the book Train Like A Mother : How to get Across Any Finish Line – and Not Lose Your Family, Job or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, also the authors of Run Like A MotherFirst off, the book is a fun read with a lot of inserts from readers of their blog Another Mother Runner.  The authors discuss their love of running, races, backgrounds and almost anything else you would want to know about running, even the stuff you would think twice asking your best running friend about. They are funny and deliver their message with a side of humor that suggests they don’t take themselves too seriously.  The book contains training plans for a range of distances from a 5K to a Marathon with two different plans depending on if you want to just finish the race or if you want to take control and own that race.  

I have chosen the Own It plan of the Marathon and so far it is awesome.   I really feel like I am working towards something other than just running some miles.  I spend two mornings a week (before the hubs leaves for work and the kiddos wake) doing some speed work while getting some miles in, anywhere from 4-7.  Two mornings a week, with the kiddos in the double jogger, I go out for an easy run of 3-5 miles.  Then Saturdays are my long runs ranging from 15-22 miles with three 20+ mile runs, 1 more run of that distance than Hal’s training plan.  The other nice thing about this training plan is that every week there is at least one run that has a special symbol that tells the runner that if they are going to skip a run that week due to life being crazy or feeling too tired, that is the run to skip.  Also, each workout type has an explanation to help translate the schedule jargon that to the untrained eye would look like crazy talk.  I like getting some speed work in so I don’t lose that ability for shorter races, but love that I am incorporating it into my some mid to longer runs.  This is just the training plan I need to push my limits and expect more from myself to reach the goals I want to reach. 

This is a great book, even if you are not a mother, I would suggest checking the book out for some new training plans or spicing up your current training for something new and fun. 

Are you training for any races this summer or fall?  What do you love about training, if anything?

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