Marathon Training: Taking Risks

The first time I trained for a marathon, I rarely stuck to the “plan” besides the suggested LR distances. In fact, I rarely even glanced at it during the week, and I skipped most of the speed workouts as my interest was really surviving 26.2 miles, not racing them.

What else did I overlook? Strength & Cross training.

Since I was training during the Winter (January – March), opportunities were limited anyway. You’d find me at the occasional Bikram yoga class, or with Jillian and her crazy workout DVDs. However, consistency was not my friend. If “rest” was an option, I happily obliged! Not in that I chose to be lazy, but I was afraid of overdoing it.

This time is different.


Sunday: My legs felt no aftermath from the 14-miler.  One of my favorite ways to spend Sunday morning? On the bike, with D. It’s become a little tradition; for now, we watch the Tour until 11:30 (EST) and then head out!

Sunday rides have been “norm” for a while now. Initially I wondered, will it be too much as my runs get longer? The counter-argument: if it’s normal/routine, why stop now? I don’t take these rides too seriously; we aren’t busting out 40+ miles, or crazy hours, or high speeds, or tons of hills. We’re just riding; enjoying the bike, getting some exercise, sweating for the day, and loving the company!

Yesterday, we did 27.5 miles (thanks, G!) in about 1 hr 50 minutes. It was a HOT day in DC; I went through the whole bottle of water and then some of D’s. 😉 Note to self: next time use both water-bottle holders.  Today, my legs feel just fine!

I take one day OFF per week – I don’t exercise on that day. Walking might be acceptable (I did this last Friday morning – I still wake up around 5:30 a.m., alarm or not, so I took the opportunity to sweat a little bit), but no running/riding/yoga-ing/strength training.

I plan to continue doing this throughout my training, keeping it the norm and using this cross-training to work those muscles differently – if/when I do get sore from a LR, I’ll take it easy. I fully intend to listen to every cue my muscles send, but if they’re up for it? So am I.


Another new “risk” I’m excitedly taking? Power Yoga! Kate and I are going in for Round #3, tomorrow. This will be my second adventure for the day – but you’ll hear more about that later.

What risks are you taking?



Filed under bike rides, cross training, days OFF, doin things My way, following the schedule, learning, marathon, strength train too!, things that make me Happy, training

9 responses to “Marathon Training: Taking Risks

  1. I think it’d awesome that you are evolving/expanding your marathon training. Strength and cross will make you an even stronger marathoner and runner in general.

    Waking up at 5:30 on your rest day… wow. I wonder if my internal alarm will adjust with my early workouts a few days a week.

  2. Good stuff all around. Glad to see you watching Le Tour, it’s been a fun one to watch.

    I am awful about still doing something on my “off” day. It’s been hot but it hasn’t stopped me oddly enough.

    Can’t wait to hear how you like Power Yoga.

  3. I’m the same way – one complete OFF day a week (usually Saturdays to rest up for my LSD) and then the other days I bike/do hot yoga/strength train. Unfortunately I’m not as in to biking as I’d hoped to be. It is really enjoyable for me but I think I might enjoy it more if I had someone to go with. Also, there aren’t any good routes near where I live so anytime I want to go on a decent length bike ride I have to load up my bike and haul it somewhere!

  4. Sounds like your a pro! I have to get more than one day of rest.. my body hates me and i’ll end up getting hurt if i dont! you are lucky!

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  7. I’m loving my bike ride day right after LR day as well. Plus it’s easy to fit in a long ride on a Sunday that you have wide open. I’m going to do a 30 miler in a couple of weeks that sounds insanely far right now, but should be fun. 🙂 Oh, and you must have missed the post w/my new bikes name: Princess Leia. 🙂

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