So, I figured after this race I would either hate running for a while or want to do another. Well, I have already found my second marathon: Rock n’ Roll San Antonio.
It’s in December, which gives me some off time and plenty of time to train in the fall. Here are the mistakes I think I made in my last race and how I plan to address them to make my goal of coming in under 4 hours.
- No strength training. I totally intended to strength train, but my 5-day a week running schedule made that hard to do. This summer, my focus will be on getting strong. I’ll be doing this Master’s Bodyweight Circuit from Runners’ World and rowing on my rowing machine to work on my core and hip strength. My plan is to do this three days a week and do yoga on my off days. I am going to time my mile periodically this summer to check my speed. If I don’t think what I am doing is working, I plan to get a trainer to help get me going.
- Not doing glycogen depletion runs. I learned about glycogen depletion, but didn’t read quite enough. I should have realized that sports drink is a source of sugar (!) and so I never did a true glycogen depletion run, because I always had sports drink on my long runs. So when I train next time around, I am going to use chews or sports drink on my longer tempo runs (8+ miles at race pace) and use those long, slow runs to really train my body to switch to fat-burning mode in absence of glycogen.
- Not taking water with chews. OF COURSE it says not to do this right on the package, but until learned why, I ignored it. You absorb the sugar in the chews faster when they are taken with water. So next time, I’ll either switch to gels or have my Camelbak for better absorption of carbs on the run.
- Up the pace on the long runs. But not by much. I ran my long runs at 10-10:30 minute miles, and for a desired race pace of 8:30s, that was probably a little slow. I am going to aim for a 9:30 pace next time.
- Prepare mentally. Now that I know what to expect, I can give myself different benchmarks for the race. I know I have to get to mile 23 to get my spirit back, and I know I have a good chance of bottoming out miles 19-23. Knowing this will help change how I fuel and how I pace myself.
I’m totally addicted to the marathon. I never would have imagined I’d say that. It’s so difficult, but the challenge is what I like. I have never in my life been motivated to strength train, not even to look good, and here I was in the backyard this afternoon doing weights. My oldest daughter came over and asked why I was doing that.
“Because, honey,” I said, “Mommy wants to be fast.”