Planning for After
I'm still 3 1/2 weeks out from my first marathon, and to some it may sound ludacris that I am already planning for what comes after the marathon, but I am. For those of you embarking on your first major race (like a half marathon), let me explain the training cycle for my first half marathon...
For 10 weeks, I trained. Sure, I missed some runs and wimped out on others, but generally, I had my mind and body wrapped around my first half marathon this time last year. Then that day came, and I hurt like crazy those last 3 miles, but I finished, and I was so excited about earning my first bling. And then, I did something shocking... I stopped running. I'm not talking about completely, but my focus got lost, and I just ran a few miles here and there when I felt like it. No more training schedules, no more ultimate goal.
I am completely goal-oriented. I have severe motivation issues without a goal. So now, you all understand why I had a ridiculously full race calendar (have I mentioned that I have a 20-mile race this weekend too? ... my third race weekend in a row).
Staying in shape is so much easier than getting into shape. I think BEFORE the big event is when we should decide what post-race will look like. Will I do this kind of race again? What kind of base mileage would I like to retain? How many days a week should I continue to run? Are there any races I can put on my calendar now to ensure I keep moving?
Anyhow, for myself, I have already started to plan what post-26.2 looks like.
-Maintain a 10 mile weekly long run to ensure I can do a half marathon at any time.
-Run 3-5 days a week with one of those days dedicated to speedwork (which I do not currently do).
-Do one day per week of strength/core training.
-Focus on nutrition and shave off another 15 lbs. or so.
Fortunately, I already have a string of races lined up to keep myself focused... the New Years' Day Half Marathon (1/1/11), Disney Princess Half Marathon (2/27/11), and Rock 'n Roll Dallas (3/27/11). I'm sure I'll squeeze more in there because I'm crazy like that, but I at least have one race a month already planned for the next few months.