26.2 miles, that is. The Savannah Rock-N-Roll Marathon debuts this November 5th!
Hard to believe marathon training time is here again already. I thought I was really enjoying my "just-for-the-fun-of-it" runs. By staying on a regular schedule, and ensuring that schedule included a 10-ish mile run about once a week, I felt confident about being comfortable and less vulnerable to injury when training started again. Usually I count back 12 to 15 weeks before the chosen race day and attack a three-day-a-week plan which rotates from a speedwork day, a tempo day, and a long (but not really easy pace) run day. Running on consecutive days has never felt good to me, so I like the plan even though it demands a more intense effort than most marathon training plans.
You're looking at the calendar and you're saying to yourself, "Self? It's only June. Why, that seems a lot longer than 12 to 15 weeks before November 5th!" You are so right, dear reader! Because I have joined the coaching team at C.R.E.W., a division of Fleet Feet Sports in Savannah, I am helping about 2 dozen people to train for the completion of their very first marathon. Cool, yes?
First timers are going to benefit a great deal from having all this extra time, 23 weeks total, to get into the swing of this marathoning thing. CA and Trainer Jane are together coaching the morning marathon group. We meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:00 a.m., and gather with the evening marathon group and the half marathon training groups for a long run on Saturday mornings at 6:30 a.m. Is this going to put the kabosh on my Friday night singing career? You betcha! Unless I can get some of those happy hour gigs. But what the heck, there's always Saturday night gigs... after a disco nap.
Sure enough, we are following the three-day-a-week plan I've used successfully for either three or four marathons now. Yes, I am losing track. I've followed so many different training plans, from 55 miles in 5-days-a-week to Galloway's run/walk method, and I believe I have generally suffered the least during training with this three day approach.
Now, doesn't that sound encouraging, "suffered the least?" Even Trainer Jane finds marathon training arduous. The race, on the other hand, is SO GREAT. Few people have an easy time completing a marathon. Rising to the challenge of the mythic marathon distance is compelling, and it's a rewarding accomplishment! With a smart training program, it's attainable, but it's still a tremendous effort. Training with a group is making the effort so much more enjoyable, and it's only week three! This particular group of first-timers -- eager and anxious, hopeful to make a good showing and hungry for answers to their many questions -- I know this group is going to do Savannah proud. Perhaps they will inspire their fellow Savannians to get moving and get healthier. I look forward to each session a little more, and I love sharing my resources in such a positive way.
Wait until you see all the shapes and sizes and ages and styles represented in this group of runners! Hint -- a photo post is upcoming. I can't wait for you to see "what a marathoner looks like!"
It's not too late to join the C.R.E.W. half- or full-marathon training program. Check out www.fleetfeetsavannah.com for more information. Lovin' me some Rock-N-Roll training!