Monday, January 24, 2011

10 training tips

I'm really enjoying my long runs in my marathon training. I'm not much of a sprinter, I'm more of an endurance runner so it makes sense I would enjoy the long, slow runs.

I'm not quite at my half way mark, though. Yesterday, my long run was 8 miles. I'll be going up to 20 miles during training, so 8 miles really isn't that long, considering my future.

I've participated in several half marathons, so I know what it feels like to run 13.1 miles, but that's as far as I've gone. I'm really excited to see how my body adapts to the new training as time goes on! It's been fun to see that my body can keep going and feel good during and after the run.

But, since I have health issues, I have really been doing everything I can to keep my body strong. Here are a few things I do in all of my training (triathlons, half marathons and now full a marathon). There's nothing here that's magical, but it's what's always helped me reach all of my fitness goals injury free for many years, even with my health issues:

1. First and most important, I gave myself plenty of time for training (6 months for my marathon).

2. I incorporated rest weeks every 4 weeks to give my body a chance to recover and get stronger.

3. I only do one long run/week. I also 'doubled' up on some of my long run mileage. For example, I'll do 10 mile long runs two weeks in a row.

4. I cross train and resistance train.

5. I always give myself 2 days a week off to recover.

6. Ice baths are a lifesaver after a long run.

7. Lots of water all week.

8. Extra attention to highly nutritious foods, plus I eat a light snack about every 3 hours to keep my energy up.

9. I get lots of sleep.

10. I 'front load' my workouts. Meaning, I like to do my long runs at the beginning of the week, take a day off, then finish up so I don't wait til the last minutes of the week to do everything because, what if something comes up and I can't do it? This way, I have lower stress to get things done.
11. I have what I call a floating workout schedule.
What I mean is, I know each day's workouts and miles plus my days off, but if I don't feel well physically or mentally, I allow myself to rearrange a bit. This way, I'm not a prisoner of my workouts. BUT - this can be tricky if you're not fully committed because you can end up putting it off and not getting your workouts in.

So, this is what works for me. It all might not work for you, but maybe you can take a point or two away to help in your own training or exercise schedule. If you have tips of your own, please share!