New year, new goals, new races. All of the excitement of everything to come means right now is the time to put in the work, it’s marathon training time. I am going to make a point to bring you all along on my training journey this year, including all of the ups and downs that come with training for a marathon. I am running two full marathons this year and I really think I can shave some minutes off of my overall time, but to do that I need to get serious about training. I am adding in more speed and interval training than ever before, while also making sure I am cross training with strength. I know where my weaknesses are, so I am going to push them in training and get in a level of shape that my body hasn’t seen before. To start, I’ll recap where I am, and my more immediate struggles.
I am currently just diving into training. I wouldn’t say I’m starting from zero, but I took some decent time off over the holidays, so I need to make up for some skipped days. I have marked out all of my workouts from now until race day in my calendar so I can’t use the excuse that I didn’t see something coming. Last weekend I ran a 7 mile long run and felt good. I wasn’t running fast, but I wasn’t running particularly slow. It made me feel like I was in a good starting place.
My current struggle is that it’s cold in New York. And I’m not talking slightly chilly, I’m talking the high temperature is below freezing everyday, the wind hurts my face, and it’s possible to get a brain freeze without chugging a slushy type of cold. That affects me in a few different ways, first it makes it really hard to get out the door. When it’s that cold, I want to stay as warm as possible for as long as possible, and without easy access to a treadmill (and my actual hatred of treadmills) it makes going outside for a run an extra battle. Secondly, it actually hurts when I warm up and while I’m getting used to the cold. Extra prep is needed for every chilly run that wouldn’t normally be necessary. And finally, it’s always dark outside. For safety reasons, I won’t run in the dark by myself. So this creates a problem when I need to be extending my miles.
To mitigate these issues, I plan out my runs in advance and with other people. If I tell friends that I’m going on a run, I am much less likely to skip. And if I’m running with a group, I don’t mind running in the dark because there is safety in numbers. I also take extra precautions when getting dressed for a cold run. I use this guide created by Runner’s World to help me figure out how many layers are necessary to keep warm on my run. It’s possible that I dislike overheating even more than I hate being too cold on runs, so it’s a careful balance on figuring out what to wear when getting my miles in.
Looking into the next week, I am pre planning my workouts so I don’t skip too many days while hiding from the cold. If I am going be serious about my marathon goals, I need to be serious about my training. Knowing what is holding me back is a great beginning on pushing past my first big training barrier of the year. It seems a little silly that the biggest issue I am currently facing is the weather, but New York City cold is no joke, and being extra prepared can only help when setting myself up for success.
It’s early in the season, and I’m hoping for a strong start!