With the first step of a humid, mid-tempo, fairly unremarkable 10 mile run on Sunday, my training for the Marine Corps Marathon is officially underway. I am so looking forward to both the race itself and the many weeks of training. With so many stressful variables swirling around in my life right now, running is one of the few things where I feel I am in control. Injuries may come along that knock me down for a bit, but I make the plan, I execute against the plan, and I drag myself across the start and finish lines on October 30th.
I am definitely in better shape going into this training plan that I have been for the prior two marathons. I put together a 19-week base-building plan, and with the exception of one week of no-running to deal with an ankle issue, I stuck to the plan. I completed 379.29 out of 407 planned miles, and kept up with upper-body lifting 3x weekly, and lifting legs (mostly) weekly. Most of my nagging injuries (calf, hip, ITBand) have gone into hiding, but I am dealing with some recurrent soreness/tightness with my left groin that I’m monitoring. Not any true pain, but it’s letting me know that it is not entirely happy.
As for the next 17 weeks, the key will be finding the intersection of what I know I need to do and what I actually put into practice. For example, I know I need to x-train, particularly with some bike training to hit my quads where running doesn’t seem to do much work for me. However, I’m doing a lousy job of this so far. Bad runner …. bad. I know I need to hit the gym and include core work, and I’ve been really good about doing this as much as 3x a week so far.
Other ‘need to do’ items:
- Need to stretch – before and after runs, and on non-running days
- Need to ice bath after any run longer than a half-marathon
- Need to drop 5 pounds – gotta get more lean – cut down on amount of weight when lifting (and amount of food when eating)
- Need to include more speedwork in my mid-week runs – this was a big positive training for M2
- Need to slow my pace on my long runs
- Need to stay diligent about mid-foot strike form at all speeds
- Need to work more hills into my collection of running paths
- Need to do more long runs without my iPod – no earphones allowed at MCM – pretty sure Marine snipers take you out if you get caught
- Need to continue fine-tuning my hydration/fuel plan – didn’t execute on this terribly well in my last marathon and my stomach wasn’t pleased with me by the end of the race
- Need to sign up for some races between now and MCM – 5k, 10k, Half … something
- Need to get more sleep – I’m very bad about doing this, and I know I need to get better. Find myself dragging by Thursday afternoon after consecutive days of 5AM runs.
The list goes on and on. I’m pretty good about most of these things, and I’m pretty good about knowing what I need to do. It’s all about the execution.
In other news, following the great success of the ‘Sweat Your Thorns Off’ 5k (and the great comments I got – all of which are greatly appreciated), my son and I will be running a real-life 5k this Saturday morning. We went and got matching C9 Technical shirts at Target last weekend, and he’s been ‘training’ all week. I don’t think any course records are in jeopardy, but it should be a lot of fun.