A spoonful of sugar may help you fuel on a long run, but you will need a lot more ingredients in your recipe to conquer your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or maybe even your 33rd marathon
With a little less than 39 weeks until the 2018 Chicago Marathon, it was time to put pen to paper – with a good ol’fashion (and nerdy) Excel spreadsheet – to devise a comprehensive 39-week plan. One that will hopefully keep my previous tendinitis at bay.
Things I wish I had known before my last marathon:
- Cross training can increase your speed, recovery, and save your legs from nagging injuries – I spent weeks on the bike when I developed tendinitis 8 weeks before my first marathon
- Obsessing over pace for your 1st marathon can be counterproductive – just focus on finishing and pacing yourself consistently
- Foam rolling + KT Tape are not fads – they are absolute must haves
- Consistent hydration starts on Monday for your Saturday long runs – especially for last year’s humid-ridden running season
- Always try your fuel (gummy bears, gu, anything) a day or two before your long run – for those experienced runners or those with temperamental stomachs, you will know exactly what I’m talking about
- Food, food, food – carb loading (at least for a petite, bottom-heavier gal like myself) was a little overrated – eating balanced meals and definitely checking the box on your protein intake can boost muscle growth/repair and help preserve your immune system (key for the folks who train during any sort of cold/flu season)
- Yin Yoga saved my life, joints, muscles, and pretty much everything below my hair that hurt after long runs – the long-held yoga positions felt like a good healthy dose of stretching and most classes were 1.5 hours. I felt like a new lady after each class at my favorite studio Ebb + Flow Yoga
So with the 1st marathon in the rear view and the 2nd a little less than 39 weeks away, I pulled together a myriad of the Hal Higdon Supreme Novice 30-week mileage plan + cross training + physical therapy regiments to build a slow-mileage-progress 39-week plan with the end goal being the Chicago Marathon on Sunday Oct. 7, 2018.
- Total mileage – 658.7 miles
- Total weeks – 39
- Phases – 2
- Phase 1 – 9 weeks (“PT” – physical therapy) phase – meant to gradually get back into consistent running, with an emphasis on cross-training. I am still not cleared to run more than 3-4 miles in a single run, so this phase is meant to build up to the start of the Hal Higdon plan
- Phase 2 – 30 weeks adaptation of Hal Higdon’s Novice Supreme Marathon Training Plan
- Similar to the guidance from Hal Higdon’s site, Tues/Thur runs are designed to be midweek “easy” runs, so I have paired the strength training/muscle conditioning with those runs
- Another valuable takeaway from my 3-month stint in physical therapy is 2x per week for key PT exercises, but also the importance of 3 basic daily activities regardless of the day’s agenda (bridges, push-ups, and planks)
Want a copy of the Plan?
Here’s the plan you can download yourself (in Excel): Nerd Runner Redemption Running Plan v1
Additional details coming over the next week + beyond:
- “How to’s” for the physical therapy and daily activities included in the plan
- Example strength training routine
- Weekly updates on progress, including journaling and races
…then there is YOU the readers, causal/serious runners, Instagram followers, and just the fitness nerd – I want to know what works for you all?
Tell me what worked for you or what you wish you had known before your 1st marathon!