Wednesday, June 26, 2013

So What Now?

My fitness world has revolved around the Rock-n-Roll half for the last, oh, several months. Now that's it over, what will I focus on? And what kind of workouts should I do today, this week, next month, and beyond to keep moving in a vaguely forward direction?

My personal trainer says no running for a week and to take it easy. Well, I can certainly handle that! My first workout back was a 30 minute easy elliptical session three days post-race. I keep reading about other ladies that ran RnR who are jumping back in to jealousy-inducing workouts and have to check my ego at the door because we are all different. What works for someone else won't necessarily work for me.

Which brings me to . . . how I trained for this race. I made it pretty well known that I did very, very little running in my cobbled together half marathon training plan (based on the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Novice, swapping one running day for strength training). I ran three days a week, all of them roughly the same speed (no speed work, as speed work can equal injuries for me). Two shorter runs and one long run per week, never running more than one day in a row. The short runs were about the same distance each week, inching up in mileage very slowly until they were 5.5 miles at the end. My long run peaked at just over 11 miles two weeks out and that was the only week I ran over 20 miles total. Two other days per week I did strength training and two days per week were either complete rest or active rest.

Was I in peak form on race day? NO. But you know what? Last year I ran many more training miles, including speed work once a week, and even though I ran the same race 8 minutes faster, I killed myself in the process. Who knows if I could have hit that time again, but I wasn't willing to try! So, what I am trying to say is, I was trained enough. Enough to run the distance and enough to make it to the start line-- well, I won't say injury-free, but I will say . . .-- physically able to run the race.

Recently I have been looking up information online about how to run the least amount of miles necessary in training in order to be able to run a full marathon. Consensus seems to be that if you want to be great at running marathons that you need to put in the miles. However, not all of us want to be great, we just want to be good. Even good enough. I just want to be able to finish a full marathon (okay, my pride says finish it around 4:00) in one piece. There are a lot of reports of athletes training in all sorts of unconventional ways in order to run a marathon, often in seriously respectable times. I especially loved this article in Outside magazine about using Crossfit to help train for a marathon. In my mind Crossfit and long distance running don't blend, but apparently they can! 

Could this be my holy grail?

Have you ever trained unconventionally for a full (or half) marathon? How did it work out for you? 


  1. I have NEVER run more than 3-4 times a week, even training for a marathon and have always had at least 1 day of strength training. I firmly believe variety is good even for runners! I have also never really followed a plan or had a coach and just run and workout on how I far it has worked for me :).

    1. Thanks for the feedback! That is really great to know, you are a strong runner!


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