The Connection Runners + [workout]

MCM Monday #1: Planning to Train

Welcome to the first installment of Marine Corps Marathon Monday! Each Monday, you can find me here, nursing an LSD-run hangover and recapping the previous week's marathon training.

I'll also use each week's post to discuss something marathon-training related. I'll focus on real important things, like what kind of beer to drink post-race, so you're probably going to want to check in and join the discussion.

Let's get down to business.

Week 1 Recap
Monday: 3 mi easy @ 9:40
Tuesday: 4 mi easy @ 10:16
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 3 mi easy @ 9:37
Saturday: 9 mi LSD @ 10:02
Sunday: OFF

Total: 19 miles

Week 1 Notes
Though the first week didn't go exactly as planned, I felt pretty good despite taking two weeks off after the Seattle RnR half. Some things that affected the week:

  • temperatures in the low 90's during runs
  • Charlotte's first "I'm sick" visit to the pediatrician on Thursday
  • not eating well/enough during the day to sustain an early evening, before-dinner run
With the impromptu rest day on Thursday, I felt ├╝ber compelled to make Saturday's LSD run a good one. It was hot and humid, even at 9 a.m., and the miles felt long and dirty and boring. The whole thing made me feel like I did while reading the 50 Shades trilogy, including emerging victorious at the other end with most of my dignity still intact.

Week 1 Marathon Musing: The Training Schedule
With this being my third marathon, I'd originally planned on making the training schedule a big production. You know: find a plan online, download it to Excel, tweak it a little bit each day, overanalyze each mile, color code it and all of that other bullshit.

Then I realized that an overworked training plan does not necessarily equal a successful race.

Well, that and the fact that I'd rather spend all that time teaching Charlotte how to Dougie instead.

And with that epiphany came another gift: the June issue of Runner's World in my mailbox, which contained the 2012 RW Challenge "Run Your Best Marathon" training plan.

Done.

So I tossed that up on my fridge (amid C's birth announcement, artwork, and an old, awkward, magnetic cutout of me during my high school soccer days), eyed it with disdain for about a month, and then jumped in headfirst last Monday, knowing that I'll just have to adjust, tweak and analyze as I go.

Having Charlotte around now, I've mostly come to terms with the fact that I can't preplan everything anymore, so this laissez faire approach to marathon training works best for me.

Still, I took into consideration a few points as I geared up for this training period:

1) Pacing. Since this RW plan is generic, I used the McMillian Running Pace Calculator to help set goal paces for various runs, such as:

  • Easy run goal: 9:15-9:45
  • LSD run goal: 9:45 - 10:15
  • Tempo/marathon pace run goal: 8:50-9:10
2) Workouts per week/total miles per week. Last year, I trained for Kalamazoo on a 4-day, 12-week long plan. Though I found success in Kzoo, I knew that I could've run a much better race on a better schedule. Therefore, this time around, I looked for a 5-day, 16-week plan that maxed out around 50 miles.

3) Simplicity of the plan. In 2009, I used a similar RW plan to train for Detroit, and it got me through to the finish without a lot of headache. When I saw the schedule in this issue and its lack of pointy fingers and overbearing instructions, it was a winner in my tired, black-circles-be-damned Mom Eyes.

How do you go about prepping for race training? Any secrets to share?

On a side note, does anyone else accidentally type "maraTHONG" instead of "marathon"? Or is it just me? Freudian slip, maybe?