As I approach one week out till marathon training (my first!) I am excited and also full of questions. Whenever I write and share I am anxious to hear from other people; my hope is always to interest and engage and maybe even inspire. This time though, I am eager to hear from you because I need advice! This may become a frequent thing in the next few months as I set upon navigating entirely new terrain. I hope some of my thoughts and questions and concerns are on the minds of others more reluctant to reach out–it’d be awesome to help someone besides myself!
My first crowdsource subject? HILLS!
As this is my first marathon, my only goal is to finish happy and healthy (injury free). I’m putting in a lot of different work with intervals, track workouts, and hills on my short runs and also really fine-tuning my nutrition (I don’t plan to fuel on carbohydrates, more on this in future posts). I know it might seem odd to do speed-work with no goal time in mind but I’d like to be in the best shape I can be for the race; the variance helps me work different muscles and adds to my endurance strength.
As I mentioned, I’ve got a little over a week before I start an 18 week program (Hal Higdon). Since I am on hiatus from work, I have spent the past couple weeks putting really great time in at the gym strength training, adding extra yoga classes, and mixing up my treadmill work. Also, I’ve been keeping my longer runs on Sundays to no more than 9 miles at a nice and easy pace. I guess you can say I’ve been pre-habbing. On my hill intervals on the treadmill I’ve been doing 2 minutes on hills and 2 minutes off, and steadily increasing the incline as the run progresses. The pace I keep on these runs is completely dependent on what I have in me on that day. Which brings me to the whining portion of my cry for help…are these hills going to get any easier?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s no overnight success anywhere in my story; I know that everything is a process and takes work. Still, it’s always been easier for me to charge forward and stay on a path when I can see some progress, even if it’s tiny and incremental. I can even deal with the 2 steps forward, 1 step back approach, but I swear, these hills are giving me NOTHIN! It’s been about a month since I’ve been incorporating them into my runs at least twice a week and they have not gotten any easier. In the latter parts of my run it takes everything I have to not grab onto the handles on the treadmill and relinquish some of the weight off my legs.
Have you ever traveled up a few flights of stairs with someone and been winded and they turn to you and say, “But you’re a runner, how are you tired?” I always respond to this with, “Stairs are not the same, they don’t care how fit you are!” Are hills the same? Am I never going to conquer them? Or am I going too fast? Should I not be increasing the incline so steadily as I run, should steeper inclines come later in my training? What about pace–should I be dropping it down a bit more or should it match the flat intervals? Or should I just keep doing what I am doing and quit being so impatient?
Any and all comments and advice are welcome and appreciated. Please share your experience–I need some inspiration!
Also, how goes whatever phase you are in? Pre-habbing, training, resting, in limbo? Where are you at and what are you struggling with? I always think it helps to talk it out so please feel free to share. As always, thanks for reading! x