As you may know, I’m in the midst of training for my 8th full marathon which is 26 days away. I will be running the Paris Marathon on April 3, 2016, and aiming for a 4:30 finish. This is my first marathon where I’ve documented my 18 weeks of training on Instagram @thefitwanderluster and on Facebook.
This week is the hardest week of training. In total (Saturday to Saturday), I will have run a total of 52 miles (or 83.7 km). Not including hill training, which I will do today and cross-training (consisting of body weight, resistance, and core training) on Monday and Friday, along with active recovery on Sunday (rest day but typically includes stretching, yoga or foam rolling). This week, as in all of my past marathon training, is tough both mentally and physically. I will be running or working out approximately 10 hours and 50 minutes of my week.
Let me just break it down for you:
- One week consists of 168 hours
- Let’s estimate I sleep 8 hours a night or 56 hours of the week, 33% of my time
- Daily chores, errands, activities of daily living (cooking, eating, showering, dressing) 48 hours of the week, 28% of my time
- I’m working part-time at 16 hours of the week, 10% of my time with commuting 6 hours of the week, 3.6% of my time (total 13.6%)
- Watching TV or doing other hobbies and blogging 20 hours in a week, 12 % of my time
- Hanging out with friends, entertainment, etc 12 hours a week, 7.2% of my time
- So running/working out consumes 10.9 hours in a week, 6.6% of my time!
The importance of the mileage buildup gradually over time is to prep your body for the impact, increase your endurance and stamina, and prevent injury when it comes to race day. You may have seen “How I Met Your Mother” and Barney Stinson finishes a marathon without training, which sure there are few people that can do that, however when he does finish and takes the subway home he can’t get up from sitting. It’s actually pretty funny.
My long run this week will be 22 miles or 35.4 km. It will be a comfortable pace with some walk breaks for water and goo. But I still dread 4 hours of running. The only thing I like to do for 4 hours straight is binge on Netflix House of Cards Season 4! Marathon training isn’t just about the run itself, it’s the commitment and motivation. While training with others makes the process easier and more fun, the reality is your mind is what will keep you going in the end. Because I have been posting and blogging about my program, the process makes me accountable and gives me a goal to reduce my thoughts of failure.
The next few weeks will be about my taper and nutrition. The last 3 weeks before the marathon the mileage decreases until race day. This allows for muscular and joint recovery due to increases in aerobic enzymes and muscle glycogen. The taper also allows for mental recovery.
For my nutrition, I will be focusing on easily digestible foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein and lower in fat and fiber along with hydration. This means I will be cutting back on alcohol and processed sugars.
My typical meal plans will look something like this:
Snacks (2x per day):
- celery and peanut butter
- carrots and hummus
- turkey or roast beef lettuce wraps
- egg salad or tuna fish
- goat cheese salad
- chicken quesadillas
- Broiled Steak with mushrooms, cauliflower and acorn squash
- Asian Seared Pork Chops, broccoli, and sweet potato
- Pasta Primavera
- Chicken Piccata with spaghetti and broccoli
- Salmon Cakes with Tuscan Penne Pasta
- Spicy Chicken and Veggie Pasta
And if I’m craving dessert, I’ll treat myself to:
- Fruit (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Canteloupe)
- Yogurt or Sorbet
Wish me luck!