So I was asked to blog about my prep for the Lansing Marathon. An amazing honor, and perhaps a useful reinforcement of the fact that, like it or not, I’m scheduled to run 26.1 miles on April 21st.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with running, but have recently come to embrace it as part of my life and a fun way to get healthy. (read this post to get the full story) I’m like a lot of people approaching or stationed firmly in “Middle Age”. I wouldn’t call myself horribly out-of-shape, and yet I know that I am hardly the gleaming example of peak physical condition. There are things I see in the mirror that I need to improve, and that is one of the reasons why I chose to sign up for my first marathon. The fact that it was in my hometown and was affordable sealed the deal. April 21st in the shadow of the Capitol….I’ll be there on the starting line.
This isn’t my first athletic endeavor, but it is by far the most demanding that I’ve ever attempted so there is a bit of nervousness associated with it. Not wanting to fail horribly in my first attempt, I went online and checked out about 15 different “Marathon training” schedules and used some accumulated knowledge of what works for me and synthesized the following plan. These are more guidelines than laws, but it’s a good starting point of where I should be going from here to the finish line on Marathon Day.
Tim’s guide to training for the Lansing Marathon:
20 Weeks Starting December 1st. Lansing Marathon=April 21stth 2013. (one year after quitting smoking)
Target Time is under 5 hours.
Get to the gym 4 out of 7.
- absolute goal for workouts should be 4 days per week in the gym. Nothing else can count as a workout…I know when I’ve had a good, solid workout and when I don’t. They take place in the gym.
- Running outdoors is fine as long as you do it and are pushing yourself a little bit. I’ve done enough running now that I should be able to concentrate on the road.
When in doubt, Veg out.
- Vegetables are for eating…every chance I get. Less processed foods, less meats. I always feel better when eating veg, so do it.
- I’ve got a juicer sitting there. Use it!
- Food is not for enjoying so much for the next 5 months. It’s the minimum amount of food to keep me going.
- I can eat as much as I want…..of celery and lettuce.
- Fruits for flavor. Grab apples and bananas and such.
- NO FAST FOOD! PERIOD! NONE OF IT!
Runs, Runs and more runs
- Establish a race schedule. Try to work in a half-marathon in March if I can. Go 10k instead of 5k if offered the chance.
- Training Runs are going to be exceptionally important. Need at least two 20-milers in before the race. 2 additional half-marathon distances would be preferable as well. Maybe re-run the Capital City River Run half course.
Drop the weight, Drop your time.
- I’m at 265 lbs as of December 1st. If I dropped 8 pounds per month (2 pounds a week) I would be down to 210-215 by race day. That should be the goal. Anything over 225 is really going to hurt me.
- Weight MUST be a focus. Would love to hit 210 by race day.
Aerobic fitness and strength. The upper body and core are going to save me in miles 15-26.
- Full body workouts. The upper body has to get strong and tight along with the legs and lungs.
- Weights for legs too. Calf injuries are a problem because I’m not getting them stronger. Balance the muscle gains for the later miles, when the legs are going to start crapping out on you.
- Eliptical is my friend. Running is going to be very important, but if I can crank out an hour or two on the elipitcal to build aerobic endurance, than the road work will be that much easier.
- Cross train on the bike. I’m going to need bike muscles for the triathlons anyway, have one day per week be bike heavy….and go after it on those days for the first 2 months. It’ll get me motivated, bring my aerobic endurance level up, and I know can crush a ride on the bike.
Be the course.
▪ Run as much of the course as I can previous to the race. Practice runs can be done on the segments on the map. Need an 8 miler on the Saturday run? Mark off 4 miles on the map and run it backwards and forwards. Get comfortable with where I’ll be on race day.
Go to bed, I’m not in college anymore!
- Any chance I get, go to bed early. Don’t stay-up past 10pm.
- Sleep..lay there..use it as a time to NOT do bad-for-you stuff.
|1||4 miles <2.5>(Dec3rd)||Gym<weights full body. Bike=30 min. intervals>||Gym(light)<light curls and overhead..3 sets. Eliptical= 30 minutes>||Rest||Bike, 30 minute intervals. Weights||Rest||Bike 30 minutes weights|
|2||OFF(Dec 10th)||Run 3.5 miles..heavy weights||Gym(light)||3 miles||Rest||5 miles||Rest|
|3||4 miles(Dec 17th)||Gym||Gym(light)||4 miles||Rest||5 miles||Rest|
|4||4 miles(Dec 24th)||Gym||Gym(light)||4 miles||Rest||6 miles||Rest|
|5||4 miles(Dec 31st)||5 miles||Gym(light)||4 miles||Rest||5 miles||Rest|
|6||4 miles(Jan. 7th)||Gym||Gym(light)||5 miles||Rest||7 Miles||Rest|
|7||4 miles(Jan 14th)||Gym||Gym(light)||6 miles||rest||7 Miles||Rest|
|8||4 miles(Jan 21)||5 miles||Gym(light)||5 miles||Rest||8 Miles||Rest|
|9||4 miles(Jan 28th)||5 miles||Gym(light)||6 miles||Rest||8 Miles||Rest|
|10||5 miles(Feb 4th)||Gym||Gym(light)||6 miles||Rest||10 Miles||Rest|
|11||5 miles(Feb 11th)||Gym||Gym(light)||4 miles||Rest||12 Miles||Rest|
|12||5 miles(Feb 18th)||Gym||Gym(light)||4 miles||Rest||8 Miles||Rest|
|13||5 miles||6 miles||Gym(light)||5 miles||Rest||8 Miles||Rest|
|14||4 miles(March 4th)||Gym||Gym(light)||6 miles||Rest||15 Miles||Rest|
|15||4 miles(March 11th)||Gym||Gym(light)||7 miles||Rest||10 Miles||Rest|
|16||4 miles(March 18th)||Gym||Gym(light)||8 miles||Rest||17 Miles||Rest|
|17||4 miles(March 25th)||Gym||Gym(light)||8 miles||Rest||20 Miles||Rest|
|18||5 miles(April 1st)||Gym||Gym(light)||8 miles||Rest||8 Miles||Rest|
|19th||5 miles(April 8th)||Gym||Gym(light)||8 miles||Rest||3 miles||Rest|
|20||5 miles(April 15th)||Gym(light)||Gym(light)||20 minutes||Rest||Rest||MarathonApril 21st|
11 minute miles(average)
4 hours 46 minutes
9:30 minute miles (average)
4 hours 7 minutes
But probably want under 5 hours 15 minutes.
So there you go….that’s what I’m looking at in the coming weeks ahead. Wish me luck! If you’re on the line with me that morning, good luck in your prep!
Alright, it’s you and me, Marathon….let’s see what you’ve got!