Today starts a new commitment to my training plan. Yes, technically I have been training for a half marathon again for the past month or so. However, I seem to have fallen into a pattern of enjoying a little too many treats and glasses of wine, which leads to laziness on my part in the stretching and maintenance department of my plan.
Running is not just that. When I started to run several years ago, I set out building up my miles and continuing to do other activities because when you start running you don’t just start running 20+ miles/week. You have to build up your base. Once I could run enough miles to fill 5-6 days/week, my other activities became strangers to me. Why? Running was more fun. Little did I know at the time that in order to run healthy, I (and this may not be true for everyone, but from what I read, it is true for most who plan to run for as many years as they can) need to incorporate a lot more. More includes cardio cross training (biking, swimming, rowing), resistance training, stretching, foam rolling, yoga, Pilates and rest.
When training for a marathon, it is easy to get caught up in the mileage and focusing on only that – getting those miles in. While it is important, especially those long runs, it is also important to listen to your body. This doesn’t only mean resting when you are tired, sore or injured, but taking your scheduled rest days and fueling well, too.
My first half marathon, of the 2 I have on my schedule this fall, is 7 weeks from today. I have been able to skate by in training these past 2 weeks because my mileage has been fairly low (for me). However, that is about to change. This coming week I will be back over 20 miles for the first time since running the Cap City Half Marathon back in May. Yesterday while running my Saturday long run with MIT, I chatted with Jessica about training & such. We both admitted that we have been having a little too much fun and slacking on many parts of our training, though not the miles. Jessica is training for the Columbus Marathon (I will be running that half, too), so her mileage will be twice what mine is. We made a pact to start to take things a little more seriously from here until our respective races.
We aren’t talking about dieting to lose weight; we are talking about eating quality foods that will help fuel & heal our bodies during our training. For some reason jelly beans, ice cream, wine and Strongbow (my current favorite) don’t seem to fit that bill. So, while I won’t be completely denying myself from my favorite treats, they will be reserved for treat days, which I will plan to partake in the nights before my rest days (usually 2 per week). I have found, that if I completely remove a food or drink from my diet, that I tend to hyperfocus on it and want it even more. This plan should leave me satisfied without compromising my nutrition. Drinking wine with dinner is nice, but with the heat & humidity so high, it can really end up being an issue leading to dehydration (and poor nutritional habits).
- Follow half marathon training plan – run 4 days/week + 1 day cross training (swimming, cycling, rowing)
- Stretch and foam roll as prescribed by PT – daily before bed on training days in addition to after workout and once/day on rest days
- Pilates/Yoga/MYRTL on 1 rest day/week; add MYRTL to one short run day per week
- Fuel properly before & after running (carbs before; 3:1 ratio carbs:protein after) – My GF go-to before running is Kix and after has been Snowville Creamery Chocolate Milk
- Continue following the “New Rules of Lifting for Women” plan as described in the book 2 days/week
- Rest according to plan and additionally as needed (listen to my body – taking an extra day off can only help)
- Eat with the purpose of fueling my body – pay attention to hunger and eat something every 3-4 hours (5 meals/day – 3 bigger and 2 snacks)
- Replace sweets (jelly beans, chocolate, ice cream) with nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit
- Allow for 2 “splurge” days/week – enjoy wine, Strongbow, chocolate, ice cream, jelly beans, etc as wanted. (note: this does not mean eat these foods all day long – LOL – though that would be fun for a while until I puked)
- No more pop – while I normally don’t drink pop, I have fallen back into the habit on occasion since Hannah broke her arm. Sayonara Diet Dr. Pepper!
So, there you have it. My commitment is out there on the web for all to see. I plan on referencing it often to help myself stay on track!