Being in week 11 of my marathon training I finally feel comfortable to let the world know – yes, I’m training for a FULL marathon!! 26.2 miles!! The race of my choice? The San Francisco Marathon which means 26.2 miles of scenic ocean views, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park AND hills!!
We did this race last year but due to an injury (IT Band) it resembled more of a run/walk event than anything else. Luckily, my husband ran with me and literally dragged me to the finish line. This year I want to make it better! Things I’ve changed this year? I added more cross-training taking special care of my legs, especially my IT Band, and more regular training. Last year I thought I’ll be okay to train a little bit here and there. I did my long runs but often skipped the weekday runs – bad mistake when training for such a big race. Well, this time it’s been good so far (*knock on wood*)!!
This is me after my 8 miles run (longest distance we ran so far) two weekends ago rocking my PETA Pack shirt!!
The training plan I chose for this year (or we chose – my husband is training with me again) is from No Meat Athlete which I purchased AFTER last year’s marathon (haha, the irony is clear here). The first six weeks of the plan mainly focus on building a good basis for what’s to come while slowly increasing the mileage. That’s different from last year, mainly because we started training a bit later than this year. The NMA plan is a 24 week plan. There are 26 week plans too, but since we were running more or less regularly, the 24 week plan seemed like a good idea. Following the six weeks of base building the plan starts incorporating speed work, hill training, and tempo runs. This is great for two reasons: 1) I’m a fairly slow runner, so I like to be able to work on my speed while training for a longer distance, plus it’s a lot more fun than just running at the same speed. 2) Hill Training is crucial when running any race in San Francisco. I’ve done three races (two halfs and one full), so I definitely know what I’m in for.
In total, we’re running 4-5 times per week plus a day of cross-training, but as I mentioned earlier we’re trying to do more cross-training during the week in addition to that one day, for example following an easy run. May favorite routine is this one here. It’s one of those routines where you can barely walk afterwards, but your legs will benefit tremendously. I love it! But it’s also super important to train your abs and arms as well. A strong core is very beneficial for your running posture. You’ll find great routines on tone it up but also from Jillian Michaels or Brendan Brazier. These are just three of my favorites, but of course there are many other great resources available. What I also adapted from No Meat Athlete is foam rolling. Yeah, it makes such a HUGE difference!!!! Believe me! The first couple of times it’ll hurt, but once you got your muscles loosened up a bit, it’ll feel SO good. You gotta try it to believe it 🙂 I usually try to combine foam rolling with some stretching. I was never a big fan of stretching before as I thought it doesn’t any good. But now that I do it regularly, I feel that I recover more quickly and experience less soreness the next day.
This was just a first overview of my training for my marathon (SCARY!). I’ll soon follow up with more details on the gear I’m using and love, the food and fuel I love the most, and much more. Stay tuned 🙂