The New Running Plan

Running stick figureNow that the Loveland Half Marathon is done, it’s time for me to focus on the Flying Pig Marathon. 26  miles instead of 13. The training is more ambitious, and speed is involved. It was okay to plod over the finish line in my first ever half marathon, but my pace, coupled with some ill-timed restroom breaks, would keep me out on the course for over six hours. That’s a helluva long jog.

True, I’ll be running to get a marathon under my belt. But beyond a 10K, races become more a matter of endurance than time for some people. The faster you run, the less you have to endure. To that end, I’ve started running faster on my short runs. On the upside, it feels great in a new pair of running shoes. On the downside, my injured knee keeps coming up with new injuries, the latest a strained tendon in the back of the knee.

To that end, I have to think about how I want to approach the next race. For starters…

  • I’ve been going easy on myself the past two weeks. The marathon training plan doesn’t start in earnest until December. I do need to run a lighter workout schedule until the plan starts in earnest, but right now, it’s really light. Makes it easier to come back from that knee injury.
  • New running shoes. I’ve replaced the battered New Balances with a pair of Brooks. Better arch support and more comfortable on my feet. Part of the shin and knee problems I’ve had this past month have been due to the old shoes being cross trainers and passing their sell-by date just as my long workouts reached 10 miles and more. I did some quick figuring, and the Brooks shoes will not see the Flying Pig in May of 2016. So I need to stay on top of that.
  • The plan: This is pretty much the plan I’m using, starting in mid-December. I’ll have to adjust for evening and weekend obligations, but if I can stick closely to this the way I trained for Loveland, I should not only be able to handle 26.2 but not look like an old man ready to have a heart attack when I cross the finish line. (Yes, I saw video of my finish.)
  • Running group: The half marathon I could do alone. In fact, 13 miles is just a really long run that involves a bit more stretching. 26 miles requires motivation, input, and energy. You get that in a group. I just can’t see running the Flying Pig route by myself three weeks before the race.
  • Diet: I need to adjust what I eat as the race approaches. It’s part of what motivated this effort to begin with.

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