For runners training for the Boston Marathon (April 21, 2008), March is the feared Monster March. While we start training in January and slowly ramp the mileage in frigid February, it is March when every weekend entails a 14+ mile run; on cold snowy Saturdays! Brrrrrrr!
The long runs planned for each weekend in March start at about 16 miles and end with the longest training run of 21 miles on March 29th – three weeks before the Marathon. After this, we reduce mileage during the three-week ‘taper’ and run 26.2 on Marathon day. So in April, you only have one 26.2 mile run. But in March, every weekend is a 14 – 21 mile run. And that does not include the mid-week lower mileage runs!
Thus surviving March is key for a successful marathon! If you get through March, without getting injured, sick or the equally dreadful – over-training injury, the actual Marathon can be very enjoyable, though exhausting!
Despite my ankle injury in January, I have nearly caught up with the mileage in my training program. But I find myself running at a woefully slow pace: about 1 minute slower! 😦 And March finds me tired all the time. The long runs (with associated stretching, prep, driving to the course, etc) take up entire Saturdays. Sundays is for rest and catching up on sleep. I need an extra hour of sleep each day – to just recover from the trauma of running! You could catch me dozing off on the T and even at work. And socializing has shrunk to zero. I need my rest!
And the amounts of food I have been putting away is quite disgusting! In prep for the Saturday long run, I order a take-out pasta dish meant for two, and gorge on it myself. I actually get tired of eating, and will take a little break from dinner, do some cleaning and then come back to finish dinner. Yeah, gross!
Here’s my weekly training schedule. Notice emphasis on Stretching:
- Monday: Stretch (~15 minutes); 45 min intense spinning;
- Tuesday: Stretch; 4-miles fast on Treadmill; stretch;
- Wednesday: Stretch; strength training (upper and lower body); stretch;
- Thursday: Stretch; 4-miles fast on Treadmill; stretch;
- Friday: Stretch; light strength training; gluttony!
- Saturday: Stretch; long run; stretch; nap; ice knees and ankles; early to bed!
- Sunday: Stretch; 90 min Iyengar Yoga; Eat well and rest at home!
Surprisingly, recovering from the long runs has been very quick; must be the banana I force myself to eat immediately after the run, along with a bottle of water.
If you need more tips, don’t hesitate to holler! 🙂