This weekend, those of us in Chicago were blessed with the kind of weather that keeps us from setting up Google alerts for entry-level sales jobs in Tampa. Fortunately (or unfortunately), that meant that Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were out in full force. By full force, for those who’ve never experienced it, I mean all-out shit show. People were everywhere; sobriety, nowhere to be found.
It is way more fun to sit @ home & watch St. Patrick's Day crime blotter updates come thru on Twitter than to be out in this mess. #ChiRish—
Hillary (@reallyhillary) March 15, 2015
Instead, I chose to binge-watch the entirety of Broad City, and put together some thoughts on my marathon training. Two really important points in that statement: 1) Broad City is ridiculous, and I can’t recommend it enough; and 2) marathon training requires some thought.
Specifically, I’m in what we call the, “remembering how to run,” phase of marathon training, where you spend 30 minutes looking for the Garmin you put in a drawer for safe-keeping and promptly forgot about for 14 months. To say I’m out of shape would be an understatement. The last race I did was Grand Rapids, in Oct 2013. Since then, I’ve logged mayyyybe 30 miles? If you’re playing along at home, that essentially means I’m starting from zero.
The Chicago Marathon is Oct. 11, which leaves me a pretty good position time-wise. My initial plan (prior to randomly submitting a registration for a race I would, in no way, be prepared for) involved doing some basic math. I would have a good 3 months to build back a solid base, after which I could slowly start folding in some race-specific training. The typical marathon training plan is about 18 weeks, so when added to this “base program”, I land right about race day.
I’ll be perfectly honest. I have no idea what I’m doing. I googled around a bit. I looked at really old training plans (when I was slower and wasn’t doing speed work). I looked at blogs. I looked at Hal Higdon. I am 100% winging it. Here are my basic rules and the rationale behind them:
- Increase by no more than 10% running volume each week.
- Rationale: It’s the rule.
- Start with 3-4 mile workouts.
- Rationale: My only logged runs have been around 3-4 miles, and running less than 3 miles always feels like a waste (taking longer to shower than to actually work out seems cruel).
- Build to 5 days a week.
- Rationale: I’ve run best when I’m running 5 days a week. Running four days a week may be doable, but I don’t belong to a gym, so the necessary cross-training just wouldn’t happen.
- Remain flexible.
- Rationale: I have no idea what I’m doing, and it’s very possible that I’ll need to adjust things on the plan as I get into it. I’ll be easing into Sunday running after about a month, and keeping that day’s mileage pretty low (3-4).
If you are at all interested in following the base mileage build of someone who is making it up as she goes, you are more than welcome to download the plan by clicking on the excel doc.
The actual marathon training part remains a blank, because much of it will likely depend on how my base goes. Suffice it to say, I’ll likely be putting something together using Higdon as a base, and inserting workouts that I know have really worked (e.g. race pace workouts and track ladders), as well as some shorter races. I’m wide open to suggestions, laughter, or words of encouragement.
Either way, this weekend was beautiful, and it served as a great way to unofficially kick off the next chapter of this running life of mine. Today, I ran 4.5 miles. My pacing intuition is completely gone, so I started at what was around 9:30/mile, and definitely faded a bit, landing just shy of 9:50/mile. Moving forward, I’m going to try and slow things down so that these runs are consistent, and so that I can really focus on my form, and enjoy the ride. This time around, enjoying the ride is something I don’t want to forget to do.