Thus far, my blog hasn’t been very educational, unless you consider learning about my daily life a lesson in futility. That is going to change today. I obviously done a little reaseach on running marathons, or I would be in even worse shape than I am already. So, instead of hiding my tricks from the masses, I am going to share all of my trade secrets with you. Consider yourself blessed.
First off, most marathons training programs take 16-27 weeks to complete, and most people don’t attempt a marathon until they have a good base of running under their belts (depending on who you ask, base training can take anywhere between six months to a year). Luckily, I have been blessed with the ability to jump into high mileage quickly, so I skipped base training and at least ten weeks of marathon training for this crash course in running. While it probably works for me – I will finish the marathon in one piece, more or less – I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t run before. To put it bluntly, it's pretty stupid, even by my standards.
Instead, I will offer you a few options. Former US Olympian Jeff Galloway (www.jeffgalloway.com) offers a great marathon training program will get most people through a marathon in one piece. His 27-week guide (it’s basically 6 months plus one week of recovery) includes a long run of 24-26 miles before the big run, and plenty of walking breaks, which helps speed recovery. His book, aptly titled Galloway’s Book On Running, will give you all the information you need to successfully start a training program.
Runner’s World (www.runnersworld.com) is also another great place to glean running information. I won a one-year subscription at Marathon By The Sea (www.marathonbythesea.com) in 1998 (I placed third for my age in the five miler) and have been hooked ever since. They also publish many books, including The Runner’s World Complete Book On Running, which has a handy section on marathons. They offer an 18-week training program for beginners, with a maximum run of 20 miles before the marathon.
My favorite book on running, though, is George Sheehan’s Running To Win. Sheehan offers a lot of training tips, but also looks at the philosophy of running - why we run, if you will. There is no guide to marathons in it, but it does provide much needed inspiration on days when a run is the last thing on your mind.
Finally, I’ll recommend that you speak with fellow runners about any planned running adventures. Not only will they be a source of encouragement – we all love our running – but most experienced runners are invaluable sources of information. When I first started training I ran in skateboard shoes, until a fellow road racer informed me that the lack of support and cushioning would inevitably lead to injury. I bought new running shoes the same day. See? Even I can learn something.
There are many places locally to find runners to run and chat with. The Running Room (www.runningroom.com), Run Nova Scotia (www.runnovascotia.ca), The Halifax Running Club (www.halifaxrunningclub.com) and Aerobics First on Quinpool are just a few places that offer weekly runs. And if you’re just looking to chat, a few of these places have online web forums where you can talk shop with runners (I would also recommend www.runningforums.com for tips and training advice). That way you can learn about working out without ever leaving your couch. Isn’t that awesome?
So there you go. I expect a full report on all of this by Friday, complete with pictures. Or, better yet, send along some of your running tips, tricks or websites. I’m all eyes.
P.S. I ran five kilometers on a treadmill Monday. It wasn’t very interesting, hence the post above.