I am not deluded in any way about what lies ahead…
Hours of planning, organising and prepping for runs, day after day of fuelling and recovering from runs, week after week of sweating it out on the treadie and the pavement. Actually doing the runs will be the easiest bit. Co-ordinating life around the runs, fuelling for them and then getting my body recovered for the next run will be the challenge.
For this recreational runner training for a marathon is “all consuming”. My completely relaxed attitude to food will have to shape up a little bit to ensure that I am getting in enough carbs and running-friendly foods so I can PERFORM AND RECOVER! My relaxed approach to my core training will have to shape up a little to keep me strong and injury free. My relaxed approach to foam rolling and all things recovery will have to shape up a little bit to ensure I can back up the runs day after day.
In short I (I mean WE) have 20 weeks of life being a little dictated by my running. I will write a post shortly on all the GUILT that goes with this and how I am trying to work through it and stay focused on the goal and stop driving Big A crazy by apologising every 5 minutes…. and I haven’t even started training yet!
From experience I have learned that I need a program with a little bit of give in it. Basically a little bit of room in case of injury or illness but not too much room to be “peaked” for too long. However if I am lucky enough to avoid injury and illness then I am signing up for 20 weeks of non-stop running. Running that is faster and longer than ever before. My weekly kilometres will quickly double from a casual 30-50km that I do now to a personal record of 70 – 90km.
I am excited and terrified at the same time!!!
For me there is only one thing harder than training for a marathon… tapering for a marathon. Its tough. Not running when you are only weeks or days out from attempting 42.2km is fricken crazy and totally does my head in but I KNOW it is what my body needs to perform at its best.
So with that in mind I have decided that to get my body to perform at its best for the TRAINING for a marathon (which for the record makes the actual marathon pale in comparison) I need to REST it, RECOVER it, RECHARGE it and REPAIR it.
I have decided to do this with 7 – 10 day of all out NO RUNNING or training at any intensity for that fact. Only a little recreational incidental activity for me.
Why 7 – 10 days?
My goal was to take 10 days of rest which is inside the 2 weeks at which we start to lose our cardiovascular fitness but as long as possible to rest any niggles and promote the maximum muscle repair. I have given myself the flexibility of doing a gentle run at 7 days so that I can have a warm up run or two before I hit the program. This takes the pressure off the first day of the training program and gives me a run or two to find my feet again before I embark on 20 weeks of pure insanity.
How will I cope?
I probably wont. It is no secret I turn into a bit of a nutter when I am not running. However just like the marathon training has been a way for me to shift my focus from other things I am going to shift my focus from running to other things for the next week or so. I am going to absorb every moment of life without running at the forefront while I can. I am also going to enjoy the extra spare time to catch up on reading, writing and other hobbies that come a distant second to running (watch out pile of runners mags that are sitting on my coffee table – I’m coming for you!)
I could harp on forever about how important REST is in any kind of training. As hard as it will be some days when I am itching to put my sneakers on I think this week is going to give my body (and mind in some ways) the best chance of suceeding at what lies ahead. So rest it is!
Do you ever take a FULL on REST WEEK? Post race maybe?
If you are not running how do you spend your spare time?