With the Grand Rapids Marathon less than 3 weeks away, I began to think about how little I have actually trained for this race. Yet, I feel like I am more prepared than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I have trained like crazy, just not in the way I have trained for a marathon in the past.
Take for example my training for my last marathon, The Martian Marathon in April. In the months leading up to that race, all I did was run. Sure, I did some rides on the trainer and swam some laps at the pool, but running was the focus. I ran at least 5 times a week; usually 6 or even 7 times. I ran to log the miles. Almost all of my weeks were 35+ miles with plenty of 40+ mile weeks through in for good measure.
Now, however, I am lucky to get in 4 runs a week with most of my weeks being only 3 solid runs. With less runs per week, my mileage has obviously gone down. But, with less mileage per week, my speed has gone up. What?!? I was always taught in cross country to “get the mileage on your legs.” Have I been doing it wrong all along?
Instead of running everyday, I have been mixing it up with extra biking, swimming, and even some core training. Days when I don’t run will usually involve some speed work on the bike or even a long bike ride if time allows. Then, when I do go out for a run, my legs feel fresh and ready to go. The biking does leave my legs a bit tired, but they aren’t sore from pounding the pavement day in and day out. The fresh legs have allowed me to focus on quality runs. I can’t even count the times that I have gone out for “an easy 6” and found myself doing a tempo 8 because it just felt good. Whereas in the past, I did hardly any speed work because my legs felt perpetually tired from running every day.
So, my new marathon training strategy – Quality over quantity. So far, so good. We’ll see how it works on October 17th.
On a semi-disturbing note, I saw some kids rocking to Teenage Dream on my run today. They were probably in 4th or 5th grade. If my parents had caught me listening to music like that at their age, they would have taken my
iPod Sony Discman away faster than Lindsay Lohen can get her self arrested… again.
And finally, inspired by Matty-O’s Garmin Scripts, I took Jennie up to a field on our run this afternoon to spell out her name. She followed me with her iPhone (using Map My Run), but the GPS in the phone isn’t nearly as accurate and was illegible. The Garmin did pretty good though – still kinda hard to dot the “i”.
After the scripting and a little bit more running, and then ended back up the playground for a slight detour on the swings.
Thanks for reading!