Sunday, January 10, 2016

The New Ingredient in My Marathon Training: And

As you guys may know, I've decide to run the New Jersey Marathon again, as I did in 2014.

I've set myself some lofty goals (more on that later), so I'm going to have to work hard to achieve them. That means some departures from my Regular Guy routines, and it means some differences in my training from two years ago. My hope is that I'll also learn some life lessons from the experience -- and I hope that I can pass some of that along to the rest of you Regular Guys.

So What's Going to Be Different?


I've been thinking a lot about this word lately. It's going to be my mantra.

Last year, I helped LBC as a race volunteer (courtesy Long Branch Concordance)
Focus on self improvement? I can do more than just that. Completing 26.2 miles is a major life accomplishment, something to be proud of. And I'm looking to improve on my first time out. But I'm also running with a purpose. I'll be raising money for the Long Branch Concordance Family Success Center. Located less than a mile from the finish line of the New Jersey Marathon, LBC has all sorts of programs for folks in need -- everything from financial workshops to parenting education to family fun nights to counseling. LBC is an essential resource in a community that, just blocks from the boardwalk and beach, is still struggling. In the next few weeks, I'll get you all the information on how you can sponsor my run. Let's help the New Jersey Marathon strengthen its communities even more!

Worry more about exercise or on nutrition? Wrong. Focus on both training and my diet. I want to run the marathon at an ideal weight, to help with my pace. And of course, I want to be sure I'm properly fueled during both runs and recovery. So I'm going to be hyper-focused on protein and carb intake, as well as total calories. And I'm dialing back alcohol consumption -- something I was inconsistent about two years ago.

Sacrifice resistance training for treadmill or pavement time?
Nope. Especially in the first half of training, many base runs are just three or four miles. That leaves plenty of time to hit the weights before calling it a day. My pace has improved significantly in the past six months as I've improved my overall strength, so it makes sense to keep that progress going.

Improve pace or build distance? Both. Though my training plan, Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1, advises against speedwork, I'm going to include some. One interval session a week, especially at a moderate distance, will not detract from the overall buildup. But it will certainly help with both leg strength and aerobic capacity. If I find it too taxing, I'll dial back. But for now, that's part of the program.

Write a blog about all my training? I think I'll spare the world. I hope to keep you guys posted on my progress as training moves forward, and avoid a mind-numbing diary, as I wrote in 2014. So keep an eye on FftRG for updates if you're interested, and I promise to try not to bore you to tears with all things marathon.

Here Are My Goals

Raise $500 for LBC. If every Regular Guy pledged just a couple of bucks, I could get to $500 in a heartbeat. That's money that can do a world of good for a family in need.

Dan and I after he finished the Coastal Delaware in 3:48 (courtesy Christine McDevitt)
Beat Dan. Sort of. Regular Guy Dan McDevitt and I started running at about the same time a few years ago, and we try to keep each other motivated and educated. But somewhere along the line, Dan got faster than me. Way faster. Dan is running the NJM (and raising money for LBC) too, and I don't expect to pass the finish line ahead of him. But I am hoping to beat his current PR of 3:48 -- which would be a half-hour improvement on my previous time.

Don't Walk. Two years ago, the wind was howling out of the north on marathon day-- right in my face for the final six miles. I last until about mile 23, but it beat me down and I had to run-walk interval my way home. That added at least 10 minutes to my finish time. I don't want a repeat. I can't control or even predict the weather four months from now, but I want to run the whole way.

Check back here, on Facebook or on Twitter to see how things are going. All advice and encouragement is welcome! And please let me know if you'd like to sponsor my run for Long Branch Concordance Family Success Center -- you can make a difference! 

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Andrew! Love the idea of "and." It sounds like you have a great plan set out for your training. I'm sure you'll be crushing your goals soon! -Beth