I’m in the homestretch of training for the Boston Marathons as I write my first blog for the website. This will be my fourth Boston Marathon but it’s as exciting as the first one I ran in 2009. Every training program has been different. Almost like every one has been the first time.
For the first training program, I didn’t have any idea what to expect of the course nor the weather nor the ambience. Now, for my fourth, I know the course well, I know the weather can be very tricky and I’m seven years older! So my training has to take that into account. Case in point, last year when I trained for Boston, I started my track work, or speed work, sooner about 11 or 12 weeks in, and I didn’t follow any specific diet plan. I just ate when I was hungry and I ate my favorite foods: carbs! Well I paid for it! All the weight I lost the entire year before, I gained back and then some. I felt so defeated in that regards although I ran the best race I ever finished at Boston. But when I took my body fat measurements after the race, I had climbed back up to where I’d started the year before: 23 percent body fat! Frustrating!
So this year we tried a different approach for my training. I did more high mileage training and kept the pace slow also keeping my heart rate lower and closer to my fat burning zone. So for the first 12 weeks of training all I did was add miles at a decent pace, nothing too fast. And I think it helped because I was able to keep my body fat percentage at 12-15% and my weight around 130-132 pounds.
One drawback to that is that I was concerned I would not develop any speed. But in the 13th week we added our first track workout or interval training. I ran four 800s (1/2 mile) at just about a seven minute pace. That felt awesome! If I can keep that up to race day it will be great!
So from here on out, I am trying to build more miles, but I am giving myself another recovery day or two during the week so I can run faster on the days that I do train. Now I just need to be concerned about not taking into many carbs and cancelling all my gains from a year of lifting.
It’s all about finding the balance, my friends, just like life.