Its been 10 weeks since I started officially training for the Paris Marathon, which will be my first marathon, next April. I wanted a training plan that builds very slowly, warding off injury and burn / bore out. Here is the low down :
- I am using the Jeff Galloway Run / Walk / Run method, following the training plan for a 4 hour 20 minute marathon (though in all honesty, I will probably finish later than that)
- It is a 4 day running plan with cross training on 2 other days. It is adapted if you are a “veteran” or “master” now, which I am (over 40), with one less run a week.
- So for the most part I have been running 3 days a week : one continuous run at a slow pace 2 days after the long run, one continuous run at marathon pace and one weekend run with the run/walk method. So this means I run twice in the morning before work, 50 to 60 minutes, 8 to 10K, and one long run the weekends. I have been enjoying the sunrises :
- The distance of the long run builds slowly and gets longer every other weekend (one weekend 15km – then 8 km – 20 km – 10km). These use the Run/walk method with a ratio of 4 minutes run to one minute walk. This is also how the marathon is run.
- I have been doing some cross training also (not mandatory but suggested), either lifting weights or going to the pool, sometimes yoga.
Pain or niggles ? Not really. The only minor things I have been experiencing are :
- A tight, right shin muscle. This means I spend a lot of time foam rolling it.
- A niggle once in a while in my right knee or bottom of my left foot, both “problem areas” of the past. Nothing though to cause worry or anxiety. Yet.
Verdict ? For the moment I am 100% convinced I choose the right training plan.
Fueling / nutrition
I haven’t changed my eating habits much. I generally eat well 80% of the time anyway. The only thing I have changed is loading up on sweet potato before my long runs. I try to avoid pasta / gluten, and sweet potato is a great substitute.
I am slowly cutting back on my alcohol & sugar intake, hoping to clean up my diet even further as the marathon gets closer so the 80% clean goes up to about 95% clean (so hard to give up chocolate and a nice glass of wine now and then !).
I am still experimenting with fueling on my long runs. For the moment Cliff bars and dried apricots are working well. I have never tried a gel, (giving myself a sugar / caffeine shot is not my thing).
Knowing I have a run the next day or a long run in a couple days has kept me very reasonable if I am at a restaurant or with friends. No over doing it !
All my motivation is still in tact. Seriously. I am loving the experience. The timing with regards to my personal and professional life is perfect and I have also been so lucky with the warm weather.
Some random thoughts that go through my mind while running
…should I already be thinking about signing up for a second marathon in the fall ?
…am I going to get bored on my long runs, should I find a running partner ?
…what if I need to pee on long runs ? Will the woods work ? (I confirm, as of this morning yes it does, sorry TMI).
…will my motivation waver over time ?
…should I get a bright yellow running jacket ? would people see me better ? (or this might just be an excuse to buy more running gear)
…I know I am building endurance but I feel my speed slowing down. Should I be running faster ?
…. wow, I just ran 24 km. I will need to run 18 more to complete a marathon. Will I be able to ?
What random thoughts go through your mind when you are running ?
Thanks for reading and following this adventure with me !