1) I absolutely promise this will be the last running related post for my Napa Marathon training season.
3) Does anyone read this thing on weekends?
Throughout the fall, I, as I know many of you were, was following Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake as she and her husband Mal trained for their first marathon. Having run four marathons in the past myself and knowing Tina’s total commitment to this goal, I found her posts really fun to read and was happy to see them both succeed in their first marathon last Sunday.
As a follow up to her marathon training, Tina posted a half marathon training schedule which I thought was totally ambitious and holistic, meant to build a strong all-over body, not just one that could run. As I read through the comments, I came across this:
“Two days a week of running is really not enough running when you are training for a distance race.”
Since I had already commented, I didn’t reply to this, and since it was time for a running post on my own blog, I thought I would include my thoughts as part of my update.
If you have read any of my marathon training posts in the past, you will know that for years my emphasis has been on minimal running due to past stress fractures and a general propensity to get injured easily. Really injured. Due to that and a lack of desire for a hip or other replacement at the age of 50, I went from running six days a week to just two or three. And I ran, what was for me, a successful Boston Marathon last year doing precisely this. During last year’s marathon training, I spent far more hours on the elliptical and spinning bikes than I did on the road. It works.
This comment sort of got to me because I 100% stand by the fact that you CAN run less than four days a week, even two days a week, and still train for a distance race including a full marathon. Maybe not everyone can do this, but if, like me, you put a whole lot of sweat into your other workouts, you can build crazy muscle endurance. You don’t have to run like crazy to be a good runner, you just have to commit to progress. This is what tends to bother me about healthy living blogs in general. . . I feel like there is a competition to do the most the fastest for the longest instead of an emphasis being down to the individual.
So where am I in my training, you ask? The Napa Marathon is March 6, and I ran a little over 18 miles last week. Since I was feeling GREAT after this long run, I decided to take a week off of long runs to avoid pushing it. And then this weather came! I am hoping to get 21 miles in this week before we head to Ireland, but with the temperatures in Ireland in the glorious mid-to-high 40’s I may just have to make time to do it there.
My focus over the past week and a half has been on hill climbing on the spinning bike, long workouts on the elliptical, and speed! I discovered on Thursday that I am still fast! I don’t want to brag, but I ran 6 x 400 meters at a pace that was between 6:40/mile and 7:30/mile. And I discovered that it is precisely this type of workout that cures the winter blues. I can’t wait to do it again, followed by a Philosophy Hazelnut Espresso bubble bath, beer, and pizza for recovery.
I love a healthy balance.
Are you training for anything right now? What is a healthy balance to you?