Here’s how my brain normally works for race prep:
Miles. Miles, miles, miles. Then some more miles. Hills, sometimes? Speed work, once per week. Long runs. LONG RUNS ARE GOSPEL. Don’t skimp on any long runs.
Here’s how my PT is making my brain work for Chicago Marathon race prep:
Strength. Strength, strength, strength. Planks, heel raises, squats. Millions of squats. Ease back into running, carefully, slowly. Count minutes instead of miles. Today, 8 minutes run/1 minute walk x 3. Later, 30 – 40 minute runs on back-to-back days to see how my body handles the load. How many miles is that? Some awkward, in-between, non-rounded-off number, no doubt. Long runs? Forget ‘em for now. Build a strong base of strength to carry me through more intense running closer to race day, instead of a steady 18-week stream of pounding through miles that will leave me worn out/possibly re-injured right before race day, according to my PT.
This week marks 18 weeks out from race day, so I am of course panicking. In a perfect, injury-free world, this Saturday would be when I’d start weekly long runs: the ones that uptick by one or two miles each weekend with the sweet reassurance of yeah, I can do this/no, I’m not crazy to bite off 26.2. The ones that are better than therapy. The ones that show you what you’re made of. I miss those runs. But following his plan, I probably won’t start any long runs (over 6 miles) until August. Say what?!?
He’s confident he’ll get me to the finish line. He’s happy with where I am right now. He’s got no worries.
He’s also not the one running Chicago.
But I’m putting blind faith in the program, because downloading random training plans off the internet as I’ve done for previous races does not make me a sports medicine expert.
Running for minutes instead of miles is a whole new mindset for me. I’ve stopped wearing my watch so that I won’t obsess about pace or distance. I’m just setting my phone timer and running by how I feel.
It’s liberating, until I think about having to run 26.2 miles for the first time ever. I NEED TO COUNT THE MILES!
(I map out the distance afterward, because I just can’t help myself.)
This marathon will either be a train wreck or a Hail Mary pass caught by Rudy in the end zone. As long as I’m injury-free, I’m down for finding out which one.
Do you run by minutes or by miles? Which is better?
#justkeeprunning #blindfaith #RudyForTheWin