Welcome to our Wild Workout Wednesday link up! Each week I link up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced. This week we are thrilled to welcome Nicole from Fitful Focus! We are always bringing you a variety of workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us for a wild workout each week by reading along or grab the button and link up if you have a fitness or healthy living post to share!
There’s definitely nothing wild about marathon week. All that’s going on is a couple of easy runs, lots of stretching, and carb loading. I spend my days trying to make sure my kids don’t injure me and my nights in compression socks. The training is so done.
Now all that’s left is 26.2 miles of road to think, analyze (over-analyze), worry, focus, work, and believe. So many emotions go through your head during a marathon, and that’s why it is so important to go into it with a plan.
Each individual is obviously going to have their own plan that is in accordance with their abilities and goals, I’m going to go over my personal plan for Sunday and hopefully you will find it helpful in planning for your next marathon!
Going into my 4th marathon, I have a good amount of experience in challenges and successes. My first marathon in 2010 was a painful 4:15, next a surprising 3:47 in 2012, which gave me some confidence for The New York City Marathon in 2013 when I PR’d with a 3:37.
I’d hate to use Boston Qualifying times as a measure of success, but I’m just oh so close!
So clearly I’m doing something right since my times have consistently gone down. Here’s what’s been working and what I plan to do:
1. Go out easy
So every time I say ‘go out easy’ what really happens is I end up running my 10k pace for a few miles before the adrenaline wears off and the crowd disperses. For me, I don’t have a problem with that. In a perfect world, I would love to say I’d negative split a marathon, but I don’t know that for sure, so I still like to give myself a little cushion and just grit it out in the end if need be.
One thing I’m not doing in the beginning is pushing the pace. I’m running whatever feels comfortable and easy.
2. Break it into manageable blocks
I like 5-5mile blocks (I’ll make it through that last 1.2!) This way my mind can stay focused on each individual block, without getting too far ahead of myself. I’ll definitely be wearing my Momentum Motivate Wrap with focus engraved to try and keep myself where I need to be mentally.
Having benchmarks for each chunk is also helpful and keeps your mind thinking about numbers, rather than just obsessing over the physical stress your body is under.
3. Preemptively hydrate
My rule of thumb is to start at mile 5 with a electrolyte and carbohydrate drink. I’m pretty easy with liquid nutrition, so I use the course hydration stations which are usually located every mile (especially after mile 5 or 6). I’m also not afraid to slow down enough to make sure I get the hydration down. A few seconds is worth it to not cramp up and walk at mile 20.
4. Don’t overcompensate
If my first 5 mile block is a little slow due to crowds or warming up, I’m not going to push it in the next block to make up for it. 26.2 is a long way and panicking does not help. Stay calm and patient, focus on form and let the race unfold.
In NYC I had some paces that were all over the place. There were a few inclines on the bridges (which are obvious on my splits), and there were stretches where the crowds were electric and helped me fly faster than I planned on going. This race is surely no NYC, it’s straight out and back through some nice local towns, and we’ll be lucky if it just cools down a little bit by then.
I averaged 8:22 at NYC for my 3:37, so my goal is to stay as close to that pace as possible. If I have some miles under that, it means I have a cushion for later in the race. I like to work a fluid average in my head as opposed to a strict pace chart.
So there it is! Part planning, part tips, part thinking out loud. Hope my experiences can give you some insight and ideas if you are running a marathon too!
Do you have a strategy going into a marathon?
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Also linking up with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday!
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