Marathon training : 10 weeks down

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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 :

Training

  • 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 :

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  • 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 :

  1. A tight, right shin muscle. This means I spend a lot of time foam rolling it.
  2. 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 !

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Mindset

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.

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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 ?

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What random thoughts go through your mind when you are running ?

Thanks for reading and following this adventure with me !

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Comments: 6

  1. HoHo Runs December 13, 2015 at 2:34 pm Reply

    You’ve been doing so well with your training. I love your random thoughts! I’ve never stopped for a potty break, by the way. Ever. I guess I sweat it all out. I try to limit my sugar too but I still like GU, but I only use the ones without caffeine. My heart is working hard enough and I do not need that jolt. Keep up the excellent work!
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Celebrate Small VictoriesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 13, 2015 at 9:00 pm Reply

      Thanks ! I usually pass on the potty breaks too but I felt so.much.better. after I stopped on my long run this past weekend. Hope your foot is feeling great !

  2. Karen December 13, 2015 at 2:42 pm Reply

    That is great training is going so well! I have thought about trying to do some longer runs with the same ratio and see how it goes. I am hoping to clear up my current foot niggles before I try. It is funny how happy running will give you the race bug lol after my last half I looked at several more events lol I am sure at some point in training it will feel like it is taking forever but hopefully it will be taped time! I had to cut all my cocktails and wine about two weeks before my half, I love it but it does zap my energy. It sounds like things are going great and you are on track for a great race!
    Karen recently posted…VA Runner Blue and Gray Half RecapMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 13, 2015 at 8:59 pm Reply

      Yes, I am sure that at some point I will get tired of training, but so far so good !

  3. Marcia December 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm Reply

    Karen you are rocking your marathon training! So great to hear you enjoy it and it’s going so well. I think you’ve earned a bright yellow jacket. Haha!
    Marcia recently posted…A Festive Weekly WrapMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm Reply

      Me too ! Now if I can only find one I like…..

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