I’m getting settled back in reality after 4 days away in Cabo San Lucas Mexico to celebrate my good friend Lana’s marriage. It was a great long weekend and although the rain changed Lana and Jotham’s plan to be married on the sand, it was still a beautiful ceremony and a really, really fun party. The festivities began on Thursday and we headed home Sunday. Every time I get away for a weekend like this I come back more than ready to get back to my healthy lifestyle. It is pretty crazy how much better my body feels on fruits, veggies, whole foods, exercise and sleep than it does when it’s in party vacation mode. But it’s all about balance right? Time to get back to reality!
So what is next? Well, I don’t think I’ve announced it on the blog yet, but I am officially signed up for the California International Marathon (and so is Mike!). The race is in Sacramento on December 7th and it is known to be a flat (some rollers and a very, very slight net decline) and fast (the cool December weather helps a lot) course. For these reasons as well as timing with training, I’ll be using it for my next Boston Qualifying Time attempt. Although the Phoenix Marathon knocked me on my ass and I honestly wasn’t sure I ever wanted to run another marathon again, let alone train to qualify for Boston again, I am not giving up on my goal to qualify. I know that barring injury (knock on wood!) I will be going into race day at CIM much more prepared and fit than I was going into Phoenix. I had really tried to squeeze a short training cycle after a period of downtime and then adding my ankle injury to the mix didn’t help me feel prepared to run my fastest marathon ever.
As of this week, there are 22 weeks until CIM. I have the Solana Beach Sprint Triathlon coming up in 3 weeks and I still want to pick up P90X3 where I left off and finish it out. So for the next 5 weeks I’ll be focusing mostly on P90X3 and run base building while also doing some swimming and biking. Although I would like to put a good effort out at the triathlon, it is only a sprint and I’m not sure I can really do much to better my time in the next few weeks (nor do I really care how I finish). So I don’t plan to commit a lot of time to swimming and biking between now and then. I do have the ACTIVEx triathlon camp the week before the triathlon but camp is shorter this year (a bike ride in the morning Saturday and a triple brick Saturday afternoon and then a trail run Sunday), so I will still be able to get in my P90X3 workouts earlier in the week. I also am going to modify P90X3 to take out the cardio based workout (Agility X or MMX, depending on the week), so there will only be five 30 minute P90X3 workouts to get in.
After P90X3 ends I’ll have a half week until I head out to Oiselle Team Running Camp (nicknamed #BirdCamp) for 5 days of blissful running in Bend Oregon. While there, we’re doing a 5k which will be a great test of my speed at the beginning of the training cycle. I want to sign up for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving which will be about 2 1/2 weeks before race day and use that as both a speed workout and a test of my improved fitness. Once I return from Bird Camp, will officially kick of marathon training with 15 weeks to go. Honestly I’m considering my marathon training starting NOW but since I have a few other goals in the meantime, mid-August is when all focus will return to running. As always, I will cross train during marathon training but I’m not exactly sure what that’ll look like yet – probably 1 day on the bike again, at least two days of strength training (possibly Pilates) and added post-run core workouts.
Since I had so much success self-coaching myself for a PR at the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon using Brad Hudson’s book, “Run Faster,” I’m going to continue to self-coach using his book as a guide. Brad’s philosophy is that every athlete is different and therefore their training unique to them and no schedule should be set in stone. I’m going to use his Level 2 marathon training plan from his book as the bones for my training plan but I will definitely be modifying. For one thing, Brad is very volume focused and the training plan starts at 5 runs a week and ends up at 6. I plan to run no more than 5 days a week since I will also be cross training. He also has a lot of mid-week volume including runs of up to 12 miles mid-week, and I’ll be scaling those down a bit, just like I did for the half marathon. I don’t plan to run more than 55 miles a week as of now. If, however, I’m feeling very strong and feel like I can take on more mileage, I will add it in slowly and always listen to my body and not be afraid to skip a run. I did skip a few planned hard workouts during training for RnR SD because I was feeling a bit run down and ultimately I think skipping this workouts worked in my favor.
I will also be using the heart rate training that I learned while Maria coached me for all of my easy and long runs. I want to keep my heart rate in Zone 2 for all endurance focused runs. I’ve already noticed that my pace in Zone 2 has improved since Phoenix so I look forward to seeing how it progresses as I continue to use this method for the next 5 months. Brad Hudson’s plans all include a lot of running at or near race pace in order to get the runner very familiar with how race day will feel. A lot of my long runs will include portions at race pace but I want to wear the heart rate monitor to make sure that any portion not at race pace is nice and easy. Also, it’ll be key to keep my easy recovery runs in Zone 1 or 2 as well to ensure I have the energy to complete my tempo and speed workouts.
So that’ll take me through the end of the year! I seriously cannot believe it’s already mid-July. This year is flying by! 5 weeks of P90X3, Bird Camp and then only 3.5 months until the marathon. It’s definitely time to start getting serious about training and I must say I’m EXCITED!
How long do you give yourself to train for a marathon? Have you ever ran CIM? Any tips?