This week is the official start of my Chicago Marathon training. After running three marathons last year I have gained important insight on how I want to train differently this time around.
For starters, I will not run 3 marathons in the same year and I will most definitely not run 2 marathons a measly three weeks apart. I learned that my maximum is probably 2 marathons a year. Preferably spaced out with one in the fall and one in the spring. Chicago will be my only marathon in 2014 because if the stars align I plan to run the Big Surr Marathon in April 2015. I want to run Chicago as well as I can and having only one big event to train for will definitely help. Last year, my Chicago Marathon was the best race I have ever run. However trying to tackle the NYC Marathon just three weeks after was miserable. If at all possible I’d like to enjoy my race experience to the fullest, not struggle through most it.
My next change is to only run 3 days a week. I will of course have my weekly long run, but my other two runs will be fairly short (4-5 miles) and one of them will be my speed work. In my last marathon training cycle I pushed myself to run too many days a week and for too many miles. I suffered with an overuse injury, which forced me to stop running for 4 weeks before the taper, which means I tapered for 7 weeks instead of 3. The longest long run I was able to fit in my training was only one 18 miler. I’d prefer to make it thought my training without any forced down time so I hope that limiting my midweek mileage helps to stave off any over use injuries.
Because training for my triathlon required me to train in three different disciplines, I have experienced the benefits of cross training first hand. I plan to continue to cross train during marathon training. Especially since my running has become easier and faster since I started swimming, I will definitely keep swimming. I will also sprinkle in some flow yoga, Bikrim yoga, boot camp and some heavy lifting to get the arm definition I’ve been striving for.
Let’s hope I know myself and my limitations a little better this time around. Here’s to a fun, successful and injury free marathon training season for all. Cheers.