At the beginning of the year I wrote about my resolution to run my first marathon in 2016. Somehow we’re already 3 months into 2016 so I thought I’d give you an update on my progress. Spoiler alert – there has not been much progress as far as running!
I’ve run a grand total of 85 miles so far this year. No where near what I need to be doing to survive a 26.2 mile race. But I’m not panicking (yet).
Though I may not have run many miles, I have be preparing for my first marathon in other ways.
First and foremost, I’ve chosen a race! I’m planning to run the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20th. And Matt and my mum are definitely running with me! Registration for the race opens on April 1st so I plan on signing up and fully committing that day.
I’ve also found a training plan. After looking at hundreds of training plans online, I’ve decided to go with Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 training plan. It is an 18 week program that includes long runs, race pace runs, easy runs and cross training. It does not include speed-work or hill workouts, but my goal is simply to get across the finish line this year and I believe this plan will get me there.
Since I have chose my training plan, I’ve also marked my calendar. I counted back 18 weeks from the day of the race – July 18th is the magical day when I will officially start training! However, the Novice 2 plan recommends an average weekly mileage of 15 to 25 miles prior to starting the plan. So before July 18th I will be working on consistently running these weekly miles.
Though I haven’t been running that much, I have been strength training. I want my entire body (not just my legs!) to be strong going into training and the race. I plan to continue strength training up to July and throughout the 18 weeks of marathon training, though I’ll most likely cut back of the number of strength workouts per week as my mileage increases.
I’ve also been working on my diet. I’m definitely carrying a few extra pounds of fat around with me at the moment! And I know it’s a result of my poor diet. When I start increasing my mileage, I’m going to need to fuel correctly (and try not to start eating everything in sight). So I’m working on incorporating more healthy carbs (fruit & vegetables) into my diet. I’m also working on eating more plant-based proteins like lentils and beans. If I start eating these healthy foods now, my body will be happier going into training. And it’ll be easier to continue to eat well throughout training if the habit is already established.
Hydration is another habit I’m working on leading up to marathon training. I’m carrying a water bottle with me everywhere I go to make sure I stay hydrated throughout the day. Again, if I get into the habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the day now, it’ll be easier to continue good hydration throughout training.
How do you prepare for marathon training (or any race training!)? Are you a planner like me or do you just jump into training? Have any other tips on how to prepare for a successful training season?