It’s Wednesday which means I only have one more day in my work week! Tomorrow I’m heading out of town on an Amtrak train for a relaxing weekend in Vermont with my family. Other than my long run, which will be one hell of a hilly challenge this week, I have no other plans. I’m looking forward to sipping wine, going on a few hikes, and just enjoying the time with my parents since I haven’t seen them since Hawaii in April! I wish Bo was able to go but unfortunately he’ll be hanging back in NYC due to work. Oh well, I’m sure he and Meg will have a great weekend without me!
Before we get to today’s guest post from Whitney, I want to see who else is heading to BlogHer 12 this year? I am looking forward to the amazing sessions and getting to meet and interact with new bloggers and old friends alike. If you’re attending please leave a note in the comments as I’d like to organize a run or get together of some type!
Now, for some marathon inspiration, here’s this week’s guest post!
Whitney blog’s at LiveRunLoveYoga . Most recently she ran the Boston Marathon with Team in Training and is now working towards becoming a certified yoga instructor. She shares lessons and experiences from years of running and yoga, the foods that fuel her and bits and pieces from a healthy lifestyle! You can read about her journey with running and yoga at LiveRunLoveYoga and follow her on Twitter too!
I love marathons; from my very first one I was hooked. I ran the NYC Marathon in 2009 and loved training, the race itself and the lifestyle it created. I had ran cross-country in college and since I had graduated the year earlier I thought I could handle a training plan that had 55-60 mile weeks at the plans peak. I learned through injury, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, and frustration that to “beat” the marathon I had to practice moderation.
After running the NYC Marathon I took some time off from running to heal and strengthen my IT band. I started running again in the spring of 2010 and took it slow, enjoying races and becoming a stonger runner. After a PR in the half-marathon in the fall of 2010 I knew I was ready for another marathon and decided to sign up for Chicago 2011. In order to accomplish my goal of breaking 4 hours I knew I needed a plan that eliminated the flaws of my first marathon plan and evolved from the mistakes I made in 2009. So here’s a list of 5 marathon mistakes and fixes!
Mistake: Due to the high mileage while training for NYC I was often fighting a cold and sick. Instead of taking time off and getting healthy I would rest and then immediately start running high miles again in order to make up for the extra rest days.
Fix: I signed up for the Smart Coach plan on RunnersWorld.com. One feature is that you are able to enter in days or weeks that you are sick, it automatically adjusts and updates your plan to account of the time off. It took the guess work out of it for me.
Mistake: Skipping yoga classes to get in more training runs.
Fix: Build in yoga classes to my marathon training schedule. Yoga allows me to stretch my body and strengthen my muscles which in turn helps my runs. I ended up practicing about 3-4 days per week while training.
Mistake: Making up for missed runs.
Fix: I now follow the rule that a missed run is a missed run. If I missed my Tuesday night run and could reschedule for Wednesday, I often did while training for Chicago and Boston but if I couldn’t reschedule a run I didn’t worry about it. Marathon training is a culmination of your training and one run won’t make or break your marathon.
Mistake: Everyone run must be perfect.
Fix: Not every run is going to be perfect. Some days you’ll be doing speed work and will be 15 seconds faster per mile or half mile and others you’ll be 15 seconds slower. That’s ok. Some long runs you’ll feel like you can run forever and others you’ll struggle to make it through 14 miles when you are supposed to run 20 miles. On those days just embrace that it’s not a good day and be happy with what you did accomplish. If your body is telling you enough is enough, listen and rest!
Mistake: Running 5 or 6 days per week.
Fix: Some runners can handle this, others cannot. I am one of those who cannot. While training for Chicago I only ran 3 or 4 days per week and never felt stronger or faster!
Learning from all of these mistakes really made training for Chicago a breeze. I was able to follow my training plan to a “T” and had a successful marathon, finishing in 3:51.21. I was so energized and motivated that I went on to run the Boston Marathon with Team in Training. I followed a similar training plan and the same “rules” above and was successful yet again! You can read my Chicago Marathon recap and Boston Marathon recap on LiveRunLoveYoga! Marathons do not need to be about high mileage and tough runs, you can be just as successful with moderate mileage and quality runs!
You can read more about my experiences with running, marathons and yoga over at LiveRunLoveYoga !