Marathon Training & Such

So my marathon training starts on Monday.  The funny thing about the plan that I am following (Hal Higdon’s Novice, slightly modified) is that it has me running less mileage per week for the first 4-5 weeks than I am already running.  I have been trying to maintain roughly 25 mpw since I recovered from running my half marathon back in October.  This coming week I will only be running 15.  At first I was really concerned about this and considered starting my training later and jumping in where I was in my mileage.  I have since decided that it would probably do my legs (and body) good to ease up a little for the next few weeks.  I have had some shin and calf issues on my right side that could use some TLC.  I have added in some yoga & more stretching & foam rolling to manage the tightness.  Another change is cross training.  Previously I was running 5 days a week.  This plan calls for 4 days of running & 1 day of cross training.  I didn’t like the sounds of that at first, but also think that this will be a good thing in my training.  For cross training I use the Arc Trainer, spin bike or elliptical.  I would love to swim in my gym’s pool, but I am not sure I swim well enough to call it exercise!  For the next 18 weeks I will hopefully prepare my body well enough to run 26.2 miles on May 16th. 

Training for a marathon calls for some fun gear.  I have my trusty Polar heart rate monitor/watch and Garmin that I use for running & tracking my outside miles.  These tools allow me to monitor my progress a little easier.  I have to give a shout out to Chris at Polar for helping expedite the repair of my Polar watch over the past 2 weeks.  I thought that my battery just needed replaced, so I took the watch to a Batteries Plus store.  The store manager informed me that he placed 3 brand new batteries in the watch & the watch completely drained them.  I was told to contact Polar.  Fortunately my watch was still under warranty, so I sent it right off.  I sent my watch out on 12/23/2009 and it was fixed & back in my hands on 12/29/2009!  Amazing, especially considering there was a holiday in there!  Talk about great customer service.  Thank you to Chris & Polar for helping me out.  I may also be purchasing some YakTrax here shortly for my long, weekend outside runs.  These are supposed to help grip the ground in snow or ice.  As much as I hate to be cold, I don’t think I can run any longer than 8 miles on the treadmill.  Anyone have any input on the YakTrax?

Training also calls for careful planning with food and fueling.  I am always learning how to do this better.  I don’t think you can learn to much about this topic, so if you have some tried & true tips you would like to share, I am all ears.  I have recently tried Zing Bars and will be doing a review on them here shortly after I try all of the flavors.  I really enjoyed the Cranberry Orange bar that I sampled the other day.  These have more protein in them than Lara or Pure Bars, so better for fueling, especially after a run to help repair muscles.  Love that they are gluten-free!  There are so many more choices out there now. 

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I kept thinking that yesterday was Sunday!  I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that it was Friday.  Now I have a whole weekend ahead of me!


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