I hope that everyone had an excellent holiday and is enjoying our snowy January! Today marks the end of the 13th week of training, which I started in October. Prior to October the longest I had run in the last 20 years was about 3-4 miles, so I had to take on a 6 month training program to (hopefully) bring me to a point where I can complete the 26.2 mile run in under 6 hours without injury. I have had a number of people ask me what training consists of, so I will take a brief moment to explain that. You run 4 days a week and cross-train 2, with 1 rest day each week. The four running days are a mixture of easy running, speed work and one “long run” a week. The cross training can be rowing, swimming or cycling. The “long-run” increases from week to week with occasional “set-back” weeks to aid in reducing over training fatigue. The total number of miles you run each week increases steadily until a couple of weeks before the marathon, when you taper off in order to be as strong as possible for the marathon itself.
At just a little over half way through the training I am running around 30 miles a week, which is about right for someone of my age and relative lack of training compared to elite athletes who run vastly longer distances and much higher paces than I could hope to do. That brings the total to about 265 miles I have run since I started training. I have been doing many of my long runs with the rest of the Miles for Miracles charity team on the actual Boston Marathon course through Wellesley and Newton.
Yesterday, however, I did my 15 miles long run solo through the towns of Lynnfield and North Reading. It was a brisk 12 degrees and within an hour my water bottles had frozen solid. I guess I need to figure out a better solution for liquids! The 15 miles took me a little over 3 hours and I finished feeling extremely tired. I have confidence that the next 3 months will get me to where I need to be, but sometimes it is hard to believe it!
I leave you with this thought: If you are driving and see a runner on the road please slow down and move to the left. The life you save might be mine.