Starting from Scratch

Since my 2nd Half Marathon at the end of July, I’ve been running without any plan and with no real goal to accomplish. This hasn’t been working real well for me. I like the motivation of a goal to achieve and the excitement of a race to look forward to, so this week I signed up for my 3rd Half Marathon! I will be running the Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon on November 19th. I chose this Half for a couple of reasons:

  1. My sister in law, BF’s sister and a few acquaintances I know will be running the Full Marathon the same day — I may not be able to run with them, but we can celebrate together afterwards 🙂
  2. It’s not until the end of November so I have a good amount of time to train RIGHT (will explain more below)
  3. Fall is my favorite season, it’s also my favorite running season – when better to train?
  4. It’s the weekend before Thanksgivng, which means I can take it easy the holiday week and I will be dreaming of mashed sweet potatoes during the race

Perfect right? Except for I’m noticing that I seem to have a pattern of committing myself to races when I probably shouldn’t be — oops? As I mention in my last post, I’ve been suffering from hip/butt pain again recently (most likely a flare up of my past running injury).

I didn’t signed up for this race because I’m a masochist though, I signed up for it because I want to train correctly this time. When I ran my first Half Marathon I only gave myself about 9 weeks to go from 1 mile to 13 miles – probably not smart and most likely part of the reason I ended up injured. When I ran my second Half Marathon, I had taken a break off from my first half due to an injury and only have myself about 8 weeks to train. I made a lot of mistakes while training for my first and second Half Marathons and I’m going to correct them this time. Here’s what I’m going to do differently…

The New Training Plan:

  •  I’m not officially starting training for the Philly Half until next week (9/5), which will give me a full 11 weeks to train
  • Starting from scratch – I CAN run up to 13.1 miles (and probably more if I ever pushed myself further), but I’m not going to right away. I’m starting off with a long run of 5 miles and building my mileage up slowly.
  • Slow and steady wins the race – I would love to beat the time of my last Half (2:08:30 ish), but I’m not starting my training with a time goal in mind. I need to start running slowly to make sure I get rid of my hip/butt pain. If it goes away quick enough I will reassess the time situation.

  • STRENGTH TRAINING – I can’t tell you enough how I wish I hadn’t give up strength training back in February. I started running and dedicated all my time to it, which with work and a social life, let little time for any other type of exercise. I truly believe that if I had added strength training exercises into my first training plan, I wouldn’t have injury myself. My body wasn’t prepared to run long distances and withstand the impact.
  • Stretch – another important one for warding off injury! I’m extremely flexible and stretch a lot so I don’t totally attribute this one to the cause of my injury. I still think it’s important to focus on, though.
  • Warmup – I never used to warm up my muscles and joints before a run. I still don’t totally believe deep stretching is good before a run, but a few hip flexor stretches, high kicks and knee lifts are needed to prepare the body for the work ahead.
  • Less is more – Each week I am putting 3 days of running on my “training plan,” and allowing myself to run ONE more day if I want to. I was running 5-7 days a week when I was training for my 1st Half Marathon and it was just too much stress on my body. This girl needs rest 🙂
  • Sleep – I’ve been reading a lot about how sleep and rest are needed for runners. Apparently your muscles need time to rejuvenate and if you run when you and your body is tired you’re more likely to get injured. This one may be hard since I’ve suffered from insomnia for years….but I will try! Cutting back on the amount of days I run every week will at least allow me the luxury to chose days when I can sleep in a little later for my runs.

 

Yep, that's me sleeping

  • Ice and Massage – The ice part sounds easy and kind of a “dah” for anyone with muscle pain, but truth is I’ve been told a million times by trainers, runners, doctors, etc to ice my injury and I rarely have. I usually run or exercise in the morning and then I’m rushing to get ready to work — who has time to sit on a pack of ice for 20min too!? Well, I sure as heck need to make the time. Massage is the real easy one – a good foam roll and Stick session are wonderful.
  • Shoes – I went to The Running Company and did the Gait Analysis; I was not a fan of my last pair of sneaks, plus they’ve endured over 6 months and over 600 miles use (the general “rule” for new shoes that I’ve been told and read many times, but really whatever feels right to you is probably best). A staff member had me try on 3 different paris of shoes and analyzed my running on a treadmill. It showed that I slightly over-pronate on my right leg, which is a common cause for hip pain (wow it’s like they read my medical history!). The staff member recommended a Stable shoe for me and showed me both Brooks and Asics. I’ve a HUGE fan of Asics, but I went with the Brooks because they were lighter and my last Asics didn’t workout, so mine as well try something new. I’ll see if the shoes make any difference.

Looking back on it, sounds like a did a lot wrong before, huh? Well, just means more room for improvement!

That being said, I don’t have an actual “Training Schedule.” Although I am slightly anal and have to have everything planned out, I don’t actually like to follow plans — does that make any sense???

Philly 2011 Half Marathon Goal: Finish without pain!

QUESTION: Any additional training advice I’m missing?? Anyone else running the Philly Half or Full Marathon?? Tell me, what are you training for? Any new plan “tweaks?”
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6 Responses to Starting from Scratch

  1. Ashley says:

    Hey! I’m doing a slow and steady 15 tomorrow if you want to join for any of it just text me! 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    congrats on signing up for the race! I think your plan sounds great. With any plan, I think it’s super important to be flexible and know that you may need to tweak it at any given time based on how you feel or outside factors (like umm, hurricanes…). Good luck!!

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