Now that I've committed to next February's Austin Marathon, and have taken a couple of short runs, it's become sadly apparent that I've been too long away from the madness of marathon training to be able draw on the physical benefits acquired over the thirty races I've run. It's obviously back to Square One.
With that in mind, I spent much of yesterday's day off going over the training I did for those, especially the twelve I ran last year, in an effort to come up with a workable, sane plan for preparing for my second trip to the Lone State state. While gearing up for that adventure, I also had to keep in mind my planned bike trip in Spring 2012, in Scotland, England and Wales. I need to train for both.
As of this coming Sunday, I have 120 days to train for Austin. Four months. Perfect. The twist in this training cycle will be that I have hung up my running shoes, hopefully for good. This time I'm training in my Vibram Five Fingers, fully intending to run the 26.2 miles through Texas' capital city, without the "benefit" of heel padding and the like. My training schedule over the next few weeks consists mainly of the short stuff, in order to get my feet ready for the future onslaught of concrete and blacktop.
The basic plan calls for only two runs a week, with a long run one day, a short or medium run the other day, and a day of core stuff at the gym or a bike ride. I'll only do about 30 miles the rest of this month, more than double that in November, 90 in December and 100 in January. January will include two 20-plus runs leading up to a 25 two weeks before the marathon on February 20th.
Over the past ten months I have gained 8-10 pounds, depending on the day. My other goal this training cycle is to drop five pounds a month, which will leave me at under 175 for the race. I have been there before, and believe it's my fighting weight. I don't think I have much to change in terms of diet, as I eat fairly well now. Just need to trim a little off the edges. One notch in the belt...that's all I ask.
Now that the physical plan's been made, I also need to work on the mental. It's been a while since I've gotten up at 3am to run...'cos I just have to get my long run in before work. The good thing is, I already enjoy running in the dark. Then there's the whole running in the rain thing, as our rainy season is just weeks away. I don't really mind running in the rain, as you can only get so wet. But, the whole VFF's angle might present some challenging debates between the voices in my head! Here we go, people.