Combine One Training Program with a Heaping Tablespoon of Faith…

In the Fall of 2010, a mere three months after graduating from college, starting a job, and getting a big-girl apartment, my friend Elsa somehow managed to convince me to sign up for the Veteran’s Day 10K in Washington DC. Up until this point, I LOATHED running. I will choose to blame it on lingering scars from the mandatory mile in 5th grade gym class (if you read my “About” section you would know I was horribly overweight as a child… that mile was ugly). Even though I loved working out, I had never gotten up above 3 miles on a treadmill without stopping. I had a million excuses why I didn’t want to do it. “I like to exercise but I don’t want to turn it into a competition. I don’t think that would be good for me” “Runners are weird” “Runners are mean” “I’m not a runner”… the list goes on.

But for whatever reason (READ: I gained 40 lbs in college) I decided to give this 10K a go. I vaguely followed a training program I found online and was lucky enough to have the support of both Elsa (fellow WordPress blogger… check her out!) and our friend Haley the day of the race. Astonishingly, I finish the 10K (ran the whole time… whoot whoot) in 1:07:03. Just like that… I was hooked. Racing was literally the most addicting experience EVER. I had never felt more accomplished in my whole life, and the environment was so much more supportive than I ever thought it would be.

Since my first 10K a year and a half ago, I have run one 5K, two 8Ks, two 10Ks, two 10-milers, and five half marathons. I still can’t even tell you how this happened but somehow, in spite of myself and all my doubts / insecurities / childhood gym class scars, I became a runner. And in 10 days I will do something that I never ever ever ever ever believed I could… run a marathon. That’s right ladies and gentleman, on Saturday April 28th, 2012 I will compete in the Rock’N’Roll Nashville Country Music Marathon.

The main purpose of this post is to share with you what I have found to be the best tool for training for a new distance… get a training program and stick to it. I know that wasn’t that revolutionary but seriously I’m about to make an awesome point so just hang in there. When I decided to run my first half marathon, I didn’t actually believe that I could do it. The thought that I would run 13.1 miles was just too crazy to even consider a possibility. But I got a free training program (I used this one) off the internet and just decided to trust it. I took it one day, one run at a time… and it worked. So when I decided to just go for it with the marathon, I employed the exact same approach. I’ll write more in the future about some of the ups and downs of marathon training but for today here is the training schedule I used. I decided to start off with Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Training Program (available for free on Hal’s website… woo hoo I LOVE free stuff). I modified it slightly around my personal schedule / some spring races I really wanted to do. Here’s what I ended up with:

WEEKLY
MILEAGE

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

19

3 m Run

Cross

5 m pace

3 m run

Rest / Cross

8

Rest

20

3 m Run

Cross

5 m run

3 m run

Rest / Cross

9

Rest

17

3 m Run

Cross

5 m pace

3 m run

Rest / Cross

6

Rest

23

3 m Run

Cross

6 m pace

3 m run

Rest / Cross

11

Rest

24

3 m Run

Cross

6 m run

3 m run

Rest / Cross

12

Rest

27.6

4 m Run

Cross

6.5 m Pace

4 m run

Rest

13.1

Rest

26.5

4 m Run

Cross

7.25 m pace

5.25 m run

Rest

10

Rest

30

Cross

5 m Run

4 m Run

7.5 m Run

Rest

14

Rest

33.5

Cross

6 m Run

8 m Pace

Cross

4.5 m Run

15

Rest

36

5 m Run

2 m Run

8 m pace

Cross

4 m Run

17

Rest

42

5 m Run

3 m Run

8 m run

Cross

3 m Run

18

8K

29.1

Cross

3 m Run

8 m pace

5 m run

Cross

Rest

13.1

37

Cross

4 m Run

8 m Pace

Cross

5 m Run

20

Rest

37

5 m Run

Cross

8 m run

4 m Run

Rest

10

10

38

Cross

5 m run

8 m Pace

Cross

5 m Run

20

Rest

28

5 m Run

Cross

6 m Run

Cross

5 m Run

12

Rest

24.1

5 m Run

Cross

6 m Run

Cross

3.1 Run

Rest

10

33.2

3 m Run

Cross

2 m run

2 m run

Rest

Marathon

REST


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4 responses

  1. I am so honored by the (however undeserved) credit you gave me for my role whetting your appetite for racing. I wouldn’t have encouraged (forced) you to run the Veteran’s Day 10k if I didn’t see the “runner at heart” twinkle in your eye. But I do remember how nervous you were and it is so funny to pit that scared girl against the fearless chica that’s about to kick the living ish out of Nashville.

    There’s nothing like having a goal and shocking yourself by completing it. They should teach that in gym class!!!!!

    1. So glad that you’re the first (ok and right now only but I have high hopes for the future) comment on my blog 🙂

  2. Oh and I am SUPER proud of you. LOVE YA!

  3. Good luck on your 1st marathon next week! You are motivating me to want to run again!!

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