I have officially been training for the Kalamazoo Marathon for well over a month so I thought that I would go a little bit in-depth and tell you how it is going so far. I will start by saying that I do not think that I could train for this race with out the help of Borgess Run Camp. I can not rave about this group enough. They are not only making this experience so much fun, but they are giving me so much support and confidence along the way.
There is no shame in acting like a complete dork at Run Camp.
TRAINING: As far as a training, I have decided to go with a low-mileage plan for a couple of reasons. The obvious one is that this is my very first marathon, uncharted territory if you will. I was also not logging in any serious mileage before I began training, so I want to make sure that the plan I follow is attainable. What I like about this plan is that it builds your mileage up, reigns you in, builds you back up, reigns you in, ect. I feel like this will help prevent me from burning out.
My goal is to run four days a week. Last week that looked like this:
Monday 1/16: 6 miles
Wednesday 1/18: 7 miles
Thursday 1/19: 4 miles
Saturday 1/21: 11 miles
Total : 28 miles
BODY: So far I am feeling great! My energy level has been good. My muscles and joints feel strong. No nagging aches or pains. I have been pretty religious with my dynamic warm-ups and stretching after my runs. I think that this has been a definite factor in helping my body stay feeling great. I have also been rocking my compression socks and I feel that they help aid in my muscle recovery after my long runs. The only complaint is that I developed my first blister on my toe after Saturday’s 11 mile run:-( I need to remember to use my body glide next time!
PACE: I am not going to lie, I am having a hard time with my pace. I keep reminding myself that I am not going for time with this race, but rather endurance. I love long runs. I would take a half marathon over a 5K any day! So as I am learning to adjust to these longer miles and distances that I have never ran before, I need to slow it down some. I am just afraid that I am losing some of the speed that I worked so hard for this summer.
My average runs have been in the 11:30 per mile range. Ouch! I know that I can do a little better than this, but one factor has been playing a major role in slowing me down. Nope, not the distance, but the weather!
I am having a hard time trekking thru the snow and ice. I have been slowing it down to ensure that I stay safe and upright!
A lot of trails and sidewalks have not been plowed making it even more challenging to manoeuver around. I keep reminding myself that there is no shame in slowing down, and I will work on my speed when I begin training for my half marathon this summer.
To help my mind and body stay more focused on this goal I have been running sans GPS for most of my runs. Instead of focusing on the numbers on my watch, I have shifted that focus to how my body feels. Running a marathon is a big race for me and I want to make sure that I feel good throughout my training. I want to find a pace that works for me. One that I know I can run 26.2 miles with. It might be 11:30 minute miles and I am ok with that.
GROUP RUNS: I have been doing most of my training runs with a group of friends. This seems to be working very well for me and I explained why in my last post. Most importantly, group runs are making marathon training so much fun! I am truly having a blast out on the road with people who share the same passion for running that I do.
Overall training is going really well. I have over three and a half months to go before the big day so I hope that this trend continues. I am looking forward to the challenges and hard work that will come in the following weeks as I set out to tackle personal distance records.
Have you had struggles with your pace when training for longer distances? What is your favorite part of training for a race?