Monthly Archives: February 2016
We are in week 8 of our 17 week training program toward the Cap City half and quarter marathons. The miles are beginning to climb, but the weather is starting to behave as well. This past weekend in Columbus was a breath of fresh air, warm fresh air. I hope you enjoyed every bit of it.
Now is a good time to evaluate how your training is progressing. How do you feel? Are you tired, but not wiped out? Are you sleeping enough and well? How is your nutrition? Running and walking is not always about everything going well all the time. Often it is about evaluating something that might be a little bit off and adjusting. This is a lifestyle and not really about this 17 weeks. We want to be fit and healthy for the rest of our lives, so really think about how your training is going. Are you seeing progress?
If everything is going well, good for you! Keep it up. If not, think about what you want to try next. Maybe that means getting a few more fruits and veggies in your diet or hydrating better before or during a workout. Maybe it means paying attention to your sleep quality and setting a bedtime that is 30 minutes earlier than normal. Maybe you can’t pin down what to do. That’s ok too. Just going through the exercise of thinking about your training is good mental work. Being aware of how you feel and thinking about why helps us tune into our bodies more and more each time. You might not know right now how sleep, water, or exercise makes you feel. BUT the fact that you are thinking about it is the first step to making that connection. Coaches talk about mental training all the time and often we think that means visualizing your race or goals or hard workouts. That’s true and incredibly powerful. However, I believe that learning to understand how the choices we make throughout the day make us feel mentally, physically, and emotionally can be just as insightful. Being an endurance athlete means taking the leap from going through the motions of doing the work to understanding how our bodies and minds adapt to that work. How it makes us feel and learning what we could do to feel better is as important as the work itself.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that lies before you, you are not alone! Fitting training in with an already packed schedule is normal. We don’t often talk about it, but it is hard. Try and take it one week, or even one workout at a time. If you find yourself needing to skip a workout or two, that’s ok. If it becomes a habit, that’s when you have to reevaluate your goals. Life is busy and yes we need to make time for ourselves, but when it becomes more of a chore to train than a blessing step back a little. Take an extra day off for yourself or your family and then get back at it.
Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If it is happy and enjoying the training, soak that in. Remember what you’ve been doing and keep going. If something is off, really pay attention. You know yourself best and if you think something is not right, stop and evaluate. Don’t simply push through because the schedule says to run. Take the time and make sure you are healthy, so that on race day your body feels its best. Best thing I’ve ever heard a coach say is “You cannot win if you don’t finish, cannot finish if you don’t start” so make sure you really take heed of what your body is telling you.
There’s a lot of talk about the USA Half Marathon Championships this year and next here at our race, Cap City! It’s amazing and such an honor for our race and our city. I cannot wait for all of you to share the same course and finish line with the best half marathoners in our country! But Cap City is about YOU. It has always been and will always be YOUR race. We run 3.1, 6.55, or 13.1 miles with many goals and reasons. The connection is the love for the sport and the celebration of fitness. The celebration this year happens to include some really fast runners!
Which distance and training plan is right for me?
What about our training? We have 3 distances, each with two training schedule options. The half and quarter intermediate schedules have a quality component that starts next week, but the beginner schedules do not. Why? Cap City, indeed all M3S events, are open to everyone who wants to celebrate fitness and get a little swag along the way. Your goal may be to run your fastest half ever or it could be a long term goal of walking a 5k. We celebrate everyone! The reason for the two levels of schedules is to give options based on your current fitness level and goals. At the bottom of each schedule we have a suggested minimum level of fitness for that particular plan. We want everyone to get the most out of their training and having the proper background training helps ensure a healthy, fun, and successful season. Running and walking should be lifetime endeavors and there is no need to rush. If you aren’t at a particular level of fitness yet you will be soon! Take a look at the bottom of your plan and make sure you fit that description, if not consider choosing a different plan. If you have questions email me!
The schedules that call for quality workouts will begin those next week, in week 6 of the training. The goal of the quality or speed workouts is to introduce our bodies to faster running. Once our bodies are used to the mileage, after several seasons of training, we get faster by varying both the pace and distance of our workouts. It is important when introducing speed workouts to make sure that the other workouts are done slowly enough to give us time to recover. Trying to race every single workout is a recipe for injury. Follow the guidelines in the schedules and when it is time to run fast, do so! When it is time to run easy, do that too. Also, really tune into your body at this time. If you need extra rest make sure to get it.
Enjoy the training. We made it through January which in my opinion is the toughest month to train! So we’re already through the hard part. Keep going and we will see you at the finish line. Happy Training!
Questions? Email me at Coachaimee@m3ssports.com