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Training Schedule: Getting the timing down - The Lunch Hour Athlete

Training Log For: 10/15/09

Tips for your first marathon, running your first race. Click Here.

Posted by Yvonne

I decided to run my first marathon back in 2004. I was in my senior year at college and I had deducted that it might be the last time I would have time to train for a marathon and my roommate decided she would train and run her first one too, thought not the same marathon. Being on the East Coast I trained in the snow, rain, and thick humidity. It was my first, and possibly only race, I was dedicated.

Graduation was coming up and the marathon was back home in San Diego two weeks after graduation. The week before graduation my roommate, Jessie ran her marathon, the New Jersey Shore Marathon. I went with her for moral support, to run the last 10 miles with her and as a means of preparing myself for my own marathon. Up until this point, I had a dull ache in my left shin for a few weeks preceding her race, but I iced it and soldiered on with the thinking that it was only a few weeks until my race. After I completed the last 10 miles of Jessie's race with her I could barely walk. Still I tried a run the following week. I couldn't even get down the block.

I hobbled up the stage for graduation and when I was back home in Southern California, I went to my podiatrist. And with less than 2 weeks to the marathon x-rays showed I had a stress fracture. I couldn't run in the race and I needed to stay off of it for 6-8 more weeks. I was bummed to say the least.

Needless to say, it took me 5 years to get over the disappointment of training for something so hard and not being able to complete it. When I decided to train again to complete my first marathon it seemed only natural to run the same one I trained for previously, the San Diego Rock N Roll.

I was told by my podiatrist that I trained too hard too fast for the first one. So, I decided to take this one as slow a I could. I searched high and low to find the longest training schedule I could. Finally I found one that was 26-weeks of preparation to race day. At first I was glad that training was slow in the beginning. I didn't feel like it was too different from what I was normally doing. But then came the long runs and then the longest run, the 20 miler, came around week 20. Then things tapered off, so much so that 2-3 weeks before my race date I was getting antsy to just run it already. Still being new to this marathon and training thing, I was not sure if that was a normal phenomena or not.

Nevertheless, I am now training for my second marathon. In addition to that, I just ran my first one in May of this year, so when I complete the LA Marathon in March, I will have completed two in less than one calendar year. I think it's safe to say I have caught the "running/marathon/racing bug."

So, though we, myself and two others in my office, are technically "in training" here at work for the LA Marathon, I am not officially training for it until the end of November. After the first time training too fast and this last one of feeling ready too early, I am still searching for the perfect training schedule. I am going to try doing one from Hal Higdon's Training Guide/Schedule that is 18 weeks. Which means for me official training day #1 begins November 16th 2009. Until then, I will continue to run, swim, hike and do yoga as I normally do, 6-7 days a week.