Ramping up with Marathon Training

Now that the long list of 11 races in the first half of 2012 are behind me, I can now start to focus upon my next major challenge: the Chicago Marathon! I am both excited and nervous about this race. Having completed the AVON Marathon Walk, I have a sense of the distance, and some confidence in having been able to successfully speed-walk for 26.2 miles.

However, running the entire distance will involve a different training regimen, a new mental discipline, and a few new challenges I haven't even thought of yet. So I decided that it would be a good thing to partner with someone who has tons of experience with the Marathon, and who has the ability to impart that knowledge and experience to a newbie like me.

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However, running the entire distance will involve a different training regimen, a new mental discipline, and a few new challenges I haven't even thought of yet. So I decided that it would be a good thing to partner with someone who has tons of experience with the Marathon, and who has the ability to impart that knowledge and experience to a newbie like me.

So I decided to join the Road Runners Club of America chapter in my hometown. The chapter is sponsored by the Healthbridge Health Club out here, and for an annual fee, you get the benefits of membership which includes their Marathon Training Program.

The trainer for that program is Cari Setzler, who was the instructor for the Natural Running course I took a few months ago to help with my running form and my transition to minimalist running shoes. That course was very good, and I found Cari to be an awesome teacher and motivator. So I am very excited about her leading this training program.

The program started last Sunday but unfortunately, I had to miss it because of the North Shore Half Marathon race I entered. So my first experience will be next Sunday. The program includes three runs per week, with presentations on numerous topics like nutrition, strength training, strategies, etc. More importantly, they work with each person to develop a personalized training program to prepare them for the event for which they are training. And the coaches are available throughout the program to provide support and suggestions to help you improve and succeed.

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The program started last Sunday but unfortunately, I had to miss it because of the North Shore Half Marathon race I entered. So my first experience will be next Sunday. The program includes three runs per week, with presentations on numerous topics like nutrition, strength training, strategies, etc. More importantly, they work with each person to develop a personalized training program to prepare them for the event for which they are training. And the coaches are available throughout the program to provide support and suggestions to help you improve and succeed.

Runs are scheduled for Thursdays (Track Workouts), Saturdays (Short Runs), and Sundays (Long Runs). The Long Runs are fully supported with water/Gatorade stations, aid, etc. And after the run, they provide food, and you can cool off in the outdoor pool at Healthbridge.

I look forward to having some structure around my training for the Marathon. It gives me some comfort to know I have someone I can turn to for advice and encouragement, who will kick me in the butt if I am not doing the work I need to be doing. My only worry is the month of July, because I have about 17 days of that month allocated to conferences. Getting my training done when I am out of town in hotels will be a challenge. Let the fun begin!

Yesterday, I found a new race that I signed up for. It is the Fox Valley Fall Final 20, a 20-Mile race that is advertized as being the perfect race for your last Long Training Run (20 miles) before the Chicago Marathon. The race is supposed to be flat and fast (and runs along the Fox River) and is scheduled for September 16, which happens to be the date in my Training Plan for my 20-mile Long Slow Run. So I figured if I was running 20 miles anyway, why not get a cool medal and technical shirt for the effort (not to mention good course support for water, aid, etc)! This will be the perfect end of my marathon training because after the 16th, it will be 'taper time'!

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