I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, and Mar at Mar on the Run for this week’s Friday Five, which is a theme of my choice. I took the opportunity of today’s Friday Five to reflect back on the 6 months leading up to my marathon training.
I completed my first marathon on April 3rd (recap here). Many people say training for a marathon takes over your life, and while it was a big part of my life, I refused to let it take over. I made it a priority, but without going overboard, as it was about the experience and the finish line. So here are 5 choices I made that allowed a great experience without having to give up too much :
- I picked a training plan that was compatible with my life. I used the Jeff Galloway run/walk training plan that requires a minimum of 3 runs a week (for ”older runners”), 4 maximum. I travel for work but this allowed me to plan 2 or 3 weekday runs around my travel.
2. Get up early and run before work. I am generally a morning person but NEVER ever exercised before work. I quickly figured out that if I absolutely wanted to get my run in, I needed to get up and get out immediately. This meant a lot of runs, alone in the dark in the winter months, but it was worth it.
3. I gave up my PTA volunteer activity. This required me to be out 2 to 3 nights a month and it was a lot of work. While I loved it, I wanted to be sure I wasn’t overtired, overtaxed and wanted to have the ”mental availability” to dedicate to my marathon experience.
4. I cut back on my alcohol consumption. I don’t drink much to begin with, but if I did go out or was around alcohol, I would have only one glass.
5. I ALWAYS did a dynamic warm up, and stretched and foam rolled much more often. I was worried about injury so dynamic warm ups and consistent stretching were a regular part of my runs. My shins and glutes tend to get tight so I knew where I had to focus.
These adjustments were completely manageable. While I was a bit obsessed with my marathon, I never felt that it was taking over my life, nor that it was imposing on my family’s life. I wanted to live ”normally’ while training and I did.
And I celebrated with several glasses of champagne once it was over !
Good luck to Wendy running Big Sur this weekend and to Pam running London !
How have you adjusted your life while training for something or working towards a goal ?