Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Running Future...

Although I haven't yet completed my very first marathon, I have been doing some research on various training plans since I am now obligated to run my second marathon this October (I entered the lottery for the Nike Women's Marathon several weeks ago...back when my long run mileage was still "fun" and pretty much pain-free and got selected).  I've been able to rely on Team in Training for a weekly calendar which basically allows me to focus more on running and less on thinking.  However, I will not be with TNT after June 5, 2011 and I will be on my own for training.

A few of my friends will also be running the Nike Women's Marathon with me so the plan is to try to get together for runs through out the week.  I'm really hoping to have a partner for the dreaded much needed LONG runs since it can get pretty boring lonely when you're out there for 3-4 hours.

These last 2 weeks I have been struggling, both mentally and physically, and have allowed some doubt to creep in.  I think that's why I've been trying to come up with a "better" training plan, one that will suit my mentality.  This is not to say that the TNT plan isn't good, believe me, it has worked to get me from 5 mile runs to 20 mile runs in 4 short months.  I can't knock it, that's for sure.  But because I know me, I want to tailor my plan to my current mental handicap, the one that says I can't do this and I suck.


Currently, I am leaning towards the Hansons Brooks Distance Project which seems very similar to that of Coaches Jon Sinclair and Kent Oglesby (whose mentor was Arthur Lydiard).  Both plans focus on building a solid foundation by running 6+ days per week and over 100 miles collectively.  Now, you may ask yourself why in the world I would want to run MORE days then I do now, but after reading some of the articles it appears that this may be the best way to get my body to adapt to the marathon distance (without feeling like I am going to quit every time I face a long run over 12 miles) and it may help get my body used to running on fat rather then muscle.

You see, as I go into week 17, with overall mileage tapering down, I can't help but notice the loss of muscle tone (mainly in my abdomen...which I just shared on my last post as being my least liked body part) and an increase in body fat.  It seems ridiculous that I can run so many miles, burning over 2400 calories per long run, eat clean, and see this happening to my body.  But it's not that odd of a phenomena as I have discovered.  After some research I have found others having this very same issue (including personal trainers).  One of the things that will help me through the Nike marathon will be to carry less weight (this will also help for the Tough Mudder in September) so it only makes sense to apply a training method that will teach my body to utilize it's fat stores rather then hoard them.

The hard part right now will be to hold off on applying any new techniques until after the San Diego Marathon on June 5.  Right now I need to focus on a clean diet, proper hydration and staying healthy until the big day!!  This post, by Jason at Cook Train Eat Race regarding tapering helped put these next 2 weeks into perspective.


  1. One of the things I've heard is runners can be flabby, say what!? I can't imagine it either, but your right they can because of all the running its eating their lean muscle.

    My recommendation is for you to start adding strength training into your workouts. You will LOVE how it makes you feel and look, trust me. :)

  2. Thanks Sheri, I'm glad to know that others have heard of this happening. I have started back up with the Kettlebells and will need to increase my strength training for many reasons, but especially for the Tough Mudder in September (ok, AND bathing suit season). I'm also hoping by running shorter distances, but more frequently, I will get better results PLUS allow more time to add strength training in the same day.


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