After my last 10K I thought I wouldn’t be racing for some time, summer is approaching and it’s getting too warm, there aren’t many races happening.
However, I have found 2 races I want to run in the coming month, one is a 5K this Friday organized by a “Run at Work” group, that’s my loose translation of the name of the group in Hebrew, but basically a few runners from different work companies in Israel.
The other is a 10K night run in the park, I’m not very excited about racing in the park, especially at night, but both these races I want to run for fun. Yes, I want to concentrate on training and taking it easy for a few months, and I don’t want a race to take away from that.
I want to train hard but also light… if that makes sense, or at least lighter/smarter than I’ve been training. Stay strong, build some speed, but at the same time find the balance to get some rest, so I can start marathon training in September.
I haven’t decided on a marathon yet, but I want to run one this winter, and since I want to run it in Israel as opposed to flying somewhere, my options are relatively limited. But then I only need one.
A few of the main points I’ve built my upcoming training around:
• Distance: I want to stay steady with 65K/40M a week, which is not a distance I’ve been running for long, although I was at 60K/37M for a while. I’m feeling fine with 65K, and want to get even more used to it during the summer, so I can safely go up a bit come marathon training.
• Lighter weeks: I’m planning on making a week every 2-3 weeks a lighter week, about 50K/31M. Replacing my long run with a shorter run will take care of that, and hopefully my legs will feel and appreciate the rest.
• Speed: There’s a line that kept coming up in the running articles I’ve read in the last few weeks: “keep your slow runs slow, and your fast runs fast”. I haven’t been good at doing this in the past, I can push at the fast runs, but then the slow runs become moderate or even fast-ish sometimes. I admit this gives me a confidence push, but it’s just not smart training. I’m aiming for my speed time to be no more than 15% of my total weekly running time (although I am taking it up a notch speed wise on my intervals and tempo runs so I can gain some speed), and the rest will be mostly easy, with some moderate runs as well. I must learn to keep an eye on my watch and slow down when I have to.
• Strength: I don’t usually skip workouts, but when I’m low on time or have to skip a session, it’s strength training that I give up first. I need to keep a balance between running, swimming, strength and core work, and not always skip (even if for good reason) what I like the least.
On the home front, I stayed home from work today because my boy is sick. Wish he didn’t have to be sick for us to be able to get a quality time day together. I took him to the doctor and walked around the mall for a bit when we went to buy his medicine, since he was feeling well from the effect of the fever reducer.
I bought him the World Cup sticker album and we’ve been pretty busy with that all afternoon.
And new earrings for his sister, because we couldn’t come home without something for her as well. He’s such a good brother.
Any training mistakes you’ve realized you were making?
For me, not enough runs at an easy pace.
Who are you rooting for in the World Cup?
If you are a runner, you consider running a marathon at one point or another.
You don’t have to run one, it won’t make you a better or worse runner, it’s not a rite of passage, or a title you must own. But you will think about it, ponder if you should do it.
Here are the reasons why I decided against running a marathon this year, and why you might too:
- Get the body adjusted: Running a marathon is hard on our bodies. Jumping into it with just a few months of running background is not enough. We’ve all seen the 4 months training plans, they are great and they work, but it’s not always clear that to start one of those programs we need to have a solid running base. I’ve been running for a year, to me that’s just not enough. I know I can run a marathon if I wanted to, but at what pace? How would my body react? Would I be risking injury? I need more time.
- Haven’t trained enough: I could have played this one differently, but it just didn’t happen. By the time I started thinking about running a marathon, it would have been a tight schedule to make the February/March marathons coming up in Israel. Rushing training, especially for my first marathon didn’t make sense. Sure, I could find a race abroad that fit my schedule, but I rather keep it local for a first, and avoid the extra stress.
- I have no time: Not only will marathon training require 4 months, something we don’t always have, but also those few hours long runs would take me away from family/work/life. I know it’s doable, but now it’s not the right time for me.
- I’m scared shitless of the distance: Yes, it’s true. 42.2KM/26.2M scare me. I’ve been getting better at long runs, and have made it up to 25KM/15.5M feeling good both during and after, but still, I’m a long way away from 42.2KM/26.2M.
- If I do it, then it has to be good: Many people run a marathon for the experience, a one-time thing that you treasure forever, even if it took them 7 hours and they walked half the distance. I accept we all have different reasons for doing all things in life. However for me, when I do run a marathon, I’m going to push myself to get the best time I can manage. For that I need good training, smart training. Sure I could wake up tomorrow morning and run/walk a 42.2KM/26.2M, but that’s not my goal.
- I don’t want to hurt myself: This year has been a good running year for me. I started training and running much harder than I was, I made progress, and I want it to stay that way at least until the end of this running season. I know I can run a marathon without hurting myself, hopefully, but I’m not willing to risk it.
- It’s not going to improve my running: As much as I like a good challenge, the distance, the time spent running, the glory of saying “I did it”, running a marathon is not going to do anything for my running. It won’t make me a faster runner, it won’t make me a better runner.
And here are a few reasons why I might run one next year:
- I love running: Oh you knew that..? Well, it’s true. Mastering a training plan, doing all the training runs, managing longer and longer runs, all that sounds like a lot of fun for me.
- Smart planning: There is still a lot of time until next year’s marathons, so I’ll be able to plan accordingly. I can take a rest period before I start training so my body is well rested before I start to push it, I can schedule a few weekend mornings away from home for the long runs, etc. The gift of time.
- Body and mind in the right place: This might not be the same for everyone, but I feel like running a marathon will mean a big investment from me in terms of time, mental energy, body strength, etc. The more time I have to come to terms with it, plan accordingly, and get my body and mind to the right place, the better.
- Bragging rights: come on, it’s not like you any of us are or would keep quiet about running a marathon… the sooner I do it, the sooner I can brag about it.
Have you thought of running a marathon? Have you run one? What made you make the decision to run it or not?