Just in time for the start of the summer Olympics, for added motivation, I've laid out my marathon training for the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in November. And having just come home from a few days of fun family vacation at New Smyrna Beach, during which I managed to run once, I'm feeling the need more than ever to get back into a routine. I've been working out most days, but with no real plan or goals. That's been sort of fun, I guess, but it's also left me feeling anxious—that I'll have a hard time adapting back into a routine, that I've lost the drive to train hard, or that I simply care less about training. And if that latter scenario is true, what is there instead? I'm getting ahead of myself, but those are the fears.
My training plan is adapted from The Complete Book of Running for Women, by Claire Kowalczic, published in 1999. This was my running bible when I first began distance running, about eight years ago now. I find its essential information, especially addressing the unique concerns of female runners, no less relevant today. While trends in training rise and fall throughout the years (particularly in footwear—minimalism, maximalism; and nutrition—to carb or not to carb, etc.), I believe the basic tenets of successful race training, especially for non-elite runners, have remained largely unchanged (and regarding those extreme trends, the debates always seem to land on "scientific findings" that balance is best; go figure). And so I go back to this book whenever it's time to lay out a plan.
While I'm signed up for a full marathon, and a full marathon I hope to run, my foot will be tested by the higher mileage as I get deeper into training, and I may discover that it's not handing the longer distances so well, and I may need to drop my registration down to the half-marathon option. That's an option available to me, and I'll be okay if it comes to that. But for now, I don't want to back down just yet. So I've set up a plan with just four running days per week and cross-training in between. This isn't unrealistic, but many marathon plans call for five to six running days. And in fact this plan above did, but I took one day out and replaced it with cross-training. People have certainly trained on less; although, I can't speak to their race-day success or their training's relevance to my own needs and desires for a successful race.
So as I sit here in my cozy seat at my favorite coffee shop, watching the rain out the window and subsequently looking at the extended forecast showing days of nonstop rain in the already stifling Florida summer, I'm trying to psyche myself into the start of a disciplined training regime. Let's do this.