Training

Let’s talk a little about training…

Running wasn’t really a thing that people did in the Irish Catholic Boston neighborhood where I grew up. I started running casually in high school, and didn’t realize that people who ran races had to approach their goals in a focused, structured way. Like, until I was nearly 24 years old, I thought everyone who ran marathons were just born with super-powered legs that could carry them 26.2 miles.

When I first tried to train for a half marathon, I plateaued at 7 miles because I was literally just running seven miles every single day with no rest days and no easy days, all while struggling with an as-yet-undiagnosed intestinal issue that causes me to be SUPER sensitive to gluten and a number of other things…more on that later.

Eventually I discovered pinterest and started actually educating myself on how running things are done. I’ve followed a few different plans over the years. I very loosely followed this plan that I tore out from a copy of Self Magazine when training for my first five or six races. Later, I discovered Hal Higdon’s plans. My favorite part of these plans is that there are a number of different options based on your own body’s needs. I especially like that you can use the Your Training Calendar site to download your race-aligned Hal Higdon plan into your iPhone!

Generally, when I am training for a race, I follow this (very) basic schedule:

Sunday: Long Run! (7-12 miles for a half, 13-21 miles for a full. Start at the lower number and add one each week)
Monday: Rest! Maybe take a nice walk. Foam roll, ect.
Tuesday: Cross Train! Yoga, spinning, elliptical, hiking
Wednesday: Mid Distance Day! (3-5 miles if I’m training for a half, 6-8 if I’m training for a full. I also try to go over some hills.)
Thursday: Speedwork! Intervals, or push out 3-4.5 miles at race pace (after your warm up, of course!!)
Friday: 3-5 miles easy! Try to haul yourself over some hills. Also, maybe some light weights.
Saturday:  Spin Class! Or hiking! Also hydrating:)

I’m currently trying to do some quick glute and hip workouts on the reg, as well. I like this one from Hungry Runner Girl!

I’ve learned through experience, though, that your training is only as good as your knowledge of yourself and your body. If you’re super sore, or tired, or your stomach is not behaving, you need to take a rest day. Now, I’m not saying lay on the couch all day. But a walk in the park or a bit of light elliptical will give you the active recovery you might need to stay on track.

Happy trails, runners!