Today was Day 1 in the 16 week journey of marathon training. Even though this is the seventh time I have started a training program, it's still pretty exciting. I have tried several different methods and training techniques in the four years I have trained for a marathon and this year will be no different. One of the more challenging aspects is trying to figure out what actually worked and what didn't. So, I try to keep track of what seems to work in training and how my body responds and feels to these different methods. The wild card is that you train for 16 or 18 weeks for one day. And on that one day, anything can happen. You might not feel 100%. It may be incredibly hot, humid, raining, windy, or cold or even a combination of any of those. In the three to four hours it takes me to run a marathon, you really just hope for the best and hope that the training you did in the months leading up to the race has prepared you for the big one.
With that being said, one of the techniques I will be using this year is trying to make every run count. I will attempt to do that by applying a goal pace for nearly every run. This morning's goal pace was an 8:31 across 7 miles. I came in a little fast at an 8:16, but I am okay with that. It felt pretty comfortable. The 15 second per mile difference was probably because it was the first day of training adrenaline and I really haven't timed myself in run since last fall.
It's easy to fall into a routine where you're just getting your miles in. In years past, I may have 38 miles scheduled to run in a given week. Maybe that included these five runs: (in miles) 5-7-5-8-13. In the past I have put as much emphasis as possible to get the run in no matter what it takes. If I felt a little sluggish, maybe I'd plod through my 8 mile run, or maybe even cut it to 6 miles and call it a day. I do realize it's very tough to run on every scheduled day because things do come up. But I will try even harder this year to make that happen.
2 days ago