I started my fifth marathon training about a month ago. I am running the Blue Ridge Marathon on April 20th so my training did begin just prior to Christmas. I have this to say about training through holidays. It is definitely easier to start a training cycle then. I trained, starting in October, for my first marathon and that put major miles at Christmas time and did not work out well.
Looking back over this first month, I am happy with my training. It is not perfect but I have never had a perfect training cycle. I am a bit anal about keeping track of my running and other training. I have all workouts in a Google calendar so I get phone reminders each morning. I also keep an Excel worksheet so I can tell if I have been under total miles or over total miles for the week. In my past four marathons, I have never actually run all the miles I have had on my training schedule.
My first four weeks of Blue Ridge training have been hit and miss. The first two weeks were not the total miles that they should have been. Holiday gatherings and other items have gotten in the way. Then came week three which was actually a fall back week. News flash! I think I had three weeks of fall back. Week four was hard for me but I got all my miles in, even with a surprise visit from my out of town daughter.
On top of, or worked in to , my training plan, I am running the local running club’s January Freeze Series – 10K race every Saturday in January. I do not run the 10K distance a lot in races. When I ran my first one on January 5th, I had not run a 10K since October of 2010. I cut six minutes plus off my time. The second 10K of January was only 30 seconds slower than my first one and I ran with someone else, trying to help her lower her time.
Where do I see my training needing some attention? I really need to be more consistent with core, weight and general fitness work. My cross training needs to be more specifically spelled out for me. I do best with a specific plan, not a general cross training day. I am working on all of these issues as the 18 week training goes on.
Do you follow a training plan? How flexible are you with your plan? How much do you track what you are doing?