And so it begins again – in a few weeks I’ll start my second marathon training cycle.
First thing’s first, why I chose to run Columbus again. I actually didn’t even consider any other marathons for my fall goal race. I ran the half two years ago and ran the full last year and had a good time both races. I wanted another go at Columbus and there are so many things I love about this race, but I won’t bore you with the details.
What I’m really here to talk about is my upcoming training. I enjoyed training last summer and the new challenges it brought. I have been looking forward to starting marathon training since the end of half marathon training last month. But then there’s the uncertainty. I don’t think a runner can go into marathon training care-free. As of right now I know very little about my training plan (I haven’t yet received it). These things will come with time and I’m not dwelling on it now. I’m going into this training one workout at a time, one week at a time.
I am excited about working with my coach, but also nervous. A huge benefit of working with someone I know and who is retired from coaching is that I’m not restricted to any ridiculous “one phone call a month” or other weird communication restrictions. I understand coaches do this in order to balance their time between athletes, but I like that I will have completely open communication with my coach. This was one thing that had held me back from hiring a coach, dumping out money with restrictions. My coach also goes down and watches the marathon, riding his bike around the course to different spots. He missed me last year as he happened to be a little behind for the pace I was running, but I love knowing that he’ll be there again.
I also had a hard time justifying hiring a coach for really no reason. Training for a marathon may be a reason enough for some, but I saw hiring a coach for more of something big like trying to BQ or break 3-hours or get over a plateau. I know I can get across the finish line healthy and with a decent time on my own, I don’t have any issue getting up and getting my workout done without anyone to answer to other than myself. I’m very competitive with myself and also thrive with structure, but when the offer was made I couldn’t say no. I want to be clear: I am not working towards a BQ. Though I don’t yet know what my coach wants me to work towards time/pace-wise, a BQ is not a realistic goal and not something I’m even interested in trying to hit right now.
Something else I’ve decided to add to my training routine this time around is a HIIT class specifically for runners/athletes. I mentioned this in my post this past weekend, but it’s a class offered in combination through my training group and a local fitness center. It will be a good way to combine cross training/strength and since it’s a series class I will be working with the same group every week. If you missed this weekend’s post, it’s something I wanted to do this winter and skipped out on because driving conditions can be so unpredictable here in the winter. I did some running-specific strength work during my half marathon training, but I love HIIT workouts (I used to work with a trainer whose sessions were HIIT) and having the right tools and equipment to get the most of my sessions will be a big plus.
My hopes for this training cycle are no different than those of past cycles. I always look to stick to my training, stay injury free, and continue to push my body and see what it’s capable of doing. The marathon is a beast and I am well aware that unlike most distances a second marathon (or a third or a fourth) does not guarantee a PR. It doesn’t even guarantee a finish. I am more terrified of training this time around than I was last summer and it has nothing to do with “knowing what to expect,” but rather not knowing what to expect the second time around. Marathon training can’t be the same every time. Training for any race is a very personal experience for me and I don’t tend to share a lot of the “deep” stuff on here, but my blogging during marathon training is going to look a bit different than it was during half marathon training or even my last marathon training cycle. Hopefully you’ll still follow along!
More coming soon!
Photos from the Columbus Marathon Facebook page.