The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
A training schedule to prepare for a marathon is a must, but you must build in flexibility both in your plan and in your mindset. Things are going to happen. Life is going to happen over the course of the months you will spend training. If your schedule is too rigid it can cause frustration or worse, cause you to give up.
My 2018 schedule is loaded with
flexibility. Sundays and Wednesdays can easily be switched around if weather happens, or family events on the weekend. Strength day is ambiguous intentionally to add fun. I love group fitness so I go to a class on strength day. Two days have “or” built in so that the routine can fit the mood of the day.
“The measure of a person’s strength is not his muscular power or strength, but it is his flexibility and adaptability.” ― Debasish Mridha
That’s the flexibility in the schedule itself. Your willingness to adapt is crucial to keeping a positive mindset when things go awry in your training. There will be rain. There will be business trips. There will be social events. You can avoid the feeling of defeat and frustration by making a few adjustments to your plan. Here are some examples:
- Find an indoor track
- Use a treadmill
- Simply skip a day
- Shuffle your training schedule
- Get up earlier
- Use the hotel stairwell for a great workout
- Break away from the family fun and swim some laps
- Find a YouTube cardio/no equipment video
Your marathon success has everything to do with your planning AND how well you can modify along the way.
Running is a great sport to give a whirl because you literally do not need a thing to get started. Zero start up cost. You don’t like it; no worries, you’re not out a thing.
If you do like it and stick with it, unlike other sports that require a ton of expensive equipment, you can maintain a very low budget. One way I keep costs low is by not worrying if my running
shoes are the latest and the greatest. By purchasing last year’s model instead of the newest release I save a ton of dough.
My normal run essentials are: Burt’s Bees lip balm, Maui Jim sunglasses, toasted marshmallow GU, and a great play list. A very eclectic great playlist. I love to run to music. Black Eyed Peas, Led Zepplin, Bruno Mars . . . and then I met this book. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. On long runs it’s my new fave. It gives me the motivation I need to get the miles in. I figure if they can run hundreds of miles then I can certainly get in 13.
A great friend gave me a great tip, use the speed feature on audible.com. Putting this story at 1.25 x speed is the perfect tempo to run to.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Very inspiring story. I loved listening to it while out for a run.
Just a few of my favorite quotes…
“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
“If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”
“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
“There was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running.”
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Chances of getting drawn were slim to none I thought. It was November 30th and the last day to enter the lottery for the 2018 Chicago Marathon. “I’ll never get drawn anyway” I remember thinking as I completed the on-line registration.
The very next day I got fired. My very first thought as I stared at my boss as he delivered the message was “shit, now I’m not even going to live in Chicago. I’m going to get drawn for sure now”.
Not that you need to live in the area of the event, but it does make it more convenient, much less expensive, and you don’t have to burn vacation days to do it.
Fast forward, and here we are, day 1 of official training. I like to do my training in reverse of most conventional training schedules and start with the long day. This way instead of dreading
the impending doom of the long run I “eat the frog” and get it done first. The whole rest of the week is a piece of cake. Leading up to this week I started piling on miles to prepare for a 1/2 marathon in April and continued getting in one 13 miler per week since then. Last month was a record month for me logging 148 miles, something I’ve never done before.
Here’s this week’s plan
Sunday – 13 miles Check. Done!
Monday – Shred class at Lifetime Fitness
Tuesday – 5 miles
Wednesday – 10 miles
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – 5 miles
Saturday – 5 miles or cross train depending on how the legs feel
It’s race week. It’s time to rest the legs and prepare for Saturday’s race. If you feel like you haven’t gotten in enough training runs or if your legs feel great – stay off of them. You can’t cram for a race like you crammed for a test in school.
From Stephen Covey:
“Can you imagine “cramming” on the farm? Can you imagine forgetting to plant in the spring, flaking out all summer, and hitting it hard in the fall–ripping the soil up, throwing in the seeds, watering, cultivating–and expecting to get a bountiful harvest overnight?Cramming doesn’t work in a natural system. That’s the fundamental difference between a social and natural system. A social system is based on values; a natural system is based on principles. In the short term, cramming may appear to work in a social system. You can go for the “quick fixes” and techniques with apparent success. But in the long run they just don’t work.”
Monday – off
Tuesday – 2 miles
Wednesday – 2 miles
Thursday – off
Friday – off
Saturday – Race Day