The Perfect Training Plan

This week has been much better for me in terms of my exercise and motivation. Last week I experienced so much laziness and lethargy, and I’m still not quite sure why. I guess it was just one of those weeks. Every once and a while (and it seems to happen more often than once and a while for me lately;), those weeks take you by surprise and the every day to dos become soooo much harder. That was definitely the case for me last week!

Waking up has been a struggle for the first ten minutes in the mornings this week – I sure thought waking up early would get easier as it got warmer and lighter outside, but it’s actually gotten significantly harder?! After the first 10 minutes I’ve found myself waking up and my motivation returning though, thank goodness!

As June gets closer, I have begun to put some thought into the training plan I want to use for the New York Marathon, and what kind of a base I will need to have before starting the plan. I am thinking that I will use the same training plan I used for my very first marathon, which was a 20 week plan. It seems that most plans are usually around 16-18 weeks, but as I’ve experimented with different plans, I’ve found that my body seems to respond the best to a slow and steady build up of miles, rather than starting out higher and maxing out the mileage.

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I think I’ve really found my groove these past two years with a strength training, running and cross training balance that best benefits my body and helps prevent injury. In my beginning years of running, especially my beginning marathon years, I would always just run. No cross training or strength training pretty much ever. And I was injured a LOT! I miraculously made it through training for my first full marathon with no injuries, but needed to tape my knee each time I went out for a run, and wound up with three months of physical therapy afterwards for a hamstring injury.

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Fast forward 3 years, and I began to experience some strange desire to get faster at shorter distances (mind you, fast for me is a slooow run for many others), which was when I first started to research and look into speed workouts. I found success on the treadmill with 400 meter intervals and actually saw results in my race times! I cut about 15 minutes off of my half marathon time just from 3 months of incorporating 5 – 10 400s once a week. I found that shorter, faster workouts were more efficient for my body and actually were more beneficial than some longer, slower ones. I also found out the hard way that my body cannot handle more than one short speedwork a week;)

I discovered this right around the time I started using Kayla Itsines’ 12 Week BBG program (HIGHLY recommend), which served as great strength training for me. With this combination, I would still run about 3-4 times a week, with 1-2 mid distance runs, and a long run on the weekend. I noticed huge changes in my body. Running so much beforehand left me in shape and burned tons of calories, but never really helped me build an muscle. Even just this amount of strength training (30 minutes) 2-3 times a week created a significant improvement.

With all that being said (props to you if you made it through all that rambling:) I think I am going to stick with this type of training as a ‘base training’ for NYC. I am currently only running 2-3 times a week max, so I won’t have a huge running base training, but think that a 20 week marathon training plan will serve me well to build this up the right way. As mileage increases, I’ll need to add more/longer runs and won’t have time for every single other workout that I am currently doing, but I do plan to keep in my 2-3 days of strength training for sure.

Only 164 days to go!!!

It is so satisfying to find the right training plan! These plans are like finding a significant other, you have to really know what you’re looking for in order to find the perfect one. A lot of them are pretty decent, but have some serious flaws. When you finally find the right one you know it instantly and it’s like finding gold 🙂

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