Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10 week marathon training program

I had committed to running a marathon in October.  We (three friends and I) decided that timing and distance made the Bayshore marathon the perfect one.  I was having some knee issues at the time and was a little worried about spending the $90 before I could 100% commit.  I had to make a quick decision because the Bayshore marathon sells out in about a week.  I went to Optimal Performance Specialists ( in Jackson, MI and they told me they could fix my knee.  I signed right up for the marathon!
My friends (this was their first marathon, my second) did some research and decided that a run/walk ratio would be good.  We tweaked it after a few runs and came up with 4 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking.
I spent 2 days a week doing strength workouts for my knee and upper body (we also did some running analysis).  After my final session (I did 12 total), my knee was feeling a ton better!  I was ready to start increasing my training (I had kept a 6 mile long run in December).
In January, I ran:

  1. 2 miles, 3 miles, and 6 miles
  2. 2, 3
  3. 2, 3, 6
  4. 4, 1, 7
Then disaster hit.  I came down with the flu.  Right after I recovered, I was playing volleyball and sprained my ankle.  I started physical therapy right away.  They weren't certain if I would be healed up enough to get in enough training by end of May.  I was pretty determined.  

  1. flu
  2. ankle
After a few weeks on crutches, I got the go ahead to try a mile.  If a mile felt good, then to try two.  I spent some time researching 10 week marathon training schedules, and I learned that they don't recommend it, or they started the training (week 1) at 10 miles.  I didn't have the 10 mile distance, so I just started increasing.  Worst case scenario, I would run as far as I could marathon morning and then catch a ride back.

  1. 1 mile
  2. 2, 3, 2
  3. 2, 4, 2
  4. 2, 6, 
  5. 2, 3, 8
I should mention that I'm an experienced runner.  I have been running for over 15 years, with the most time off is a year (and that was usually around the time I had my babies).

  1. 3 miles, 10 miles
  2. 2, 2, 4, 12
  3. 3, 4, 14
  4. 6, 4, 10
With a month before the marathon, I had only a 14 mile max distance under my belt.  My friends were running a half marathon in Kalamazoo, so I decided to join them.  Running with people would be much better than trying to run 16 miles by myself.  I was hoping to run a little before the race and a little after to get in 16 miles.  I got in 2 miles before the half marathon (@8:30 pace).  I wasn't sure of my race strategy, but when the gun went off, I took off.  I ended up completing the half marathon in 1:58 (9:02/mile) and there was NO way I could take another step after finishing the Finish line.  There was no time for any more long runs.  It was time to start tapering the miles.  Could I run a marathon with only a 15 mile long run?
Yes I could!  I never doubted I could finish after getting in the 12 miler.  I just wasn't sure how I would feel afterwards.  The half marathon was the only run I was sore after (I ran the whole thing, only walking through water stations).   We finished the marathon around 5:10.  I got 4 blisters on my toes towards the end of the race (I started feeling them around mile 21), so I wore flip flops for the rest of the weekend.  My quads were sore after sitting for awhile the day of and the next 2 days, but that was it.  I had completed a marathon with a 10 week make-it-up-as-you-go training program and with only a 15 mile long run.

  1. 4, 4, 15 - 1/2 marathon
  2. 3, 4, 8 - OUCH - very sore from 1/2
  3. 3, 5, 6
  4. 3, 4, 26.2
I feel like an experienced runner now :)  

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