During the stay at home order to break up the monotony of the day, I would randomly go for a run. I would just set a timer and run in one direction; when the timer went off, I would turn around and run back. No goals just wanted something to do fitness-wise that killed some time.
Running is a great workout, not my favorite workout, but its something just about everyone can do—no equipment needed, only some shoes and a little will power.
When we reopened, I found myself still wanting to run, even though I hate running, or so I thought. So I started to write up a running program that I could do.
When I say a program that “I could do,” what I am saying is I wanted a program that I can stick to. My two main complaints about running are how boring it is and my knees. When running, it is just you and your thoughts, and sometimes that can be a good thing or a bad thing. For me, I usually start to have some knee pain, and then my thoughts are solely focused on that for the remainder of the run.
I am the type of person that needs something to train for. So I decided to sign up for the Houston Marathon in January. With something in the future to train for, I know I will stick to my running routine and probably never miss a workout. That alone will prepare me for the 26.2 miles.
For my running program, I wanted to do two days of speed training and one day of long slow running.
This isn’t the usual way of training for a marathon that most people do. Most are trying to get miles in each week so that they can be prepared for the volume of a marathon, but I think I can train a little differently and still get great results.
First, I am going to continue to train CrossFit each week. High intensity, constantly varied, functional movements across broad time domains is the key to building general fitness. I will have my running for the specific fitness goal for the marathon.
Second, my running training during the week will be one day of interval sprint work and one day of moderate distance intervals. These intervals have to be run at a precise pace to prepare me for 26.2 miles because even on a longer interval day, I am probably only putting in 3-4 miles worth of intervals, and to make up for the lack of volume the intensity of the pacing will prepare me.
I tested two runs for my intervals. I tested my 400m run and my mile to get my paces. Depending on the length of the intervals I have written for the day will depend on the relative speed based on those time trials. In short, I am not just running 3 x 800m runs. I am running 3 x 800m runs at 10 seconds faster than my mile time.
In theory, I am training for speed on these days while getting some running volume in. What this means is I am training myself to be faster rather than always just running at a comfortable pace. My third day of running will be my long and slow day.
My first long and slow day I ran a time trial 5k, and each week I have used that pace to dictate my longer runs. My first run after the 5k, I did five miles at a minute slower per mile pace than my 5k, and each week I have tried to add a mile or two while keeping that pace or a bit faster. For the most part, this has been successful, and in 5 weeks, I have added 4 miles and taken off 20 seconds per mile.
I believe that this type of structure can be good for anyone that is looking to get better at running or wants a program they can do at home. I have logged every run that I have done so far and plan to continue to do so throughout my 28 weeks of training for the Houston Marathon. If you are interested in following my program, send me an email. On days that are not running, I have included some at home High-Intensity workouts that you can do at home to mix up your training as well. This is a total of five workouts each week, all with written and video instruction.
If you are looking to be a better runner or just some fun at home workouts, let me know!