Training for a Marathon over the Summer, or: “On seeing my reflection I’m looking slightly rough…”

Yes! More self-absorbed runner talk! Who’da thunkit coming from this blog? How excited are you to read all about my summer training pro–


Well anyway… I get that this isn’t the most exciting and entertaining of subjects to my non-running audience… if I even have one. I’m not quite sure that it’s even of interest to runners anyhow. But I’m on a mission.

Here’s the deal: I’m running the Space Coast Marathon on November 30th, 2014. I’m really excited for this race. First off, it’s a Marathon, a full 26.2 miles, and I haven’t run a full marathon since the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, which was 18 months ago. I’ve got a lot to prove, all of it to myself. I want to show that I can go the distance (again), but this time without injuring myself or running out of juice by Mile 20. I want to finish strong, steady, upright, vaguely humanoid-looking, and in less than 4 hours 45 minutes. I’m also going to be running with a host of buddies from our running club Friends In Training, which is always a bonus because post-race boozing is a massive necessity, plus there will be a long-awaited reunion with fellow photobombing running blogger Rhonda Paula over at Eat:Watch:Run, and if you haven’t read her blog please check it out ASAFP as she could be redonkulously hilarious even reading the phone book.

In order to actualize this dream, my strategy is twofold. The first (1) is to drop my body weight to a very slim (but lean and wiry) 190 pounds by November. I currently weigh around the 238 pound mark. That means taking off some bulk while minimizing the loss of lean muscle mass. I’m in the midst of doing it the same way I dropped from 290 to 218 back in 2011 — a slow but steady two pounds a week by eating healthy and adhering to a very strict six-day-a-week training regimen. And speaking of which…

The second (2) part of my strategy is this very strict six-day-a-week training regimen: three days of running, three days of cross-training. The cross-training generally entails getting to the gym and hitting the weights consistently, or jumping on the elliptical, setting the resistance as high as I can make it, and doing 45 minutes of cascading hill training (if you think that’s “just doing more cardio”, you’re fulla beans, pal). I also want to try some more yoga and integrate some swimming as well, but primarily the weights will be at the forefront of my cross training.

Will it work? It already has. Put it this way: I’ve already dropped 11 pounds since May 1st, and my running strength and overall fitness level has dramatically improved.


Speaking of running: down there below is my training calendar, detailing my mileage from now until November 30th. I’ve basically cannibalized the great Jeff Galloway’s Marathon training plan for the 2015 WDW Disney Marathon and transposed it for a “go-live” date of 11/30/2014. It involves running three days a week, as follows: Tuesdays consist of 6 mile runs, which will be done on the treadmill. It’s damn hot our their folks, and I like the speed control (and inclines) I can accomplish on the treadmill. On Thursdays I’ll continue doing my local 5 mile trek with the Ft. Lauderdale Run Club, a group that meets at the Fort Lauderdale Runners Depot every Thursday night. That run will include bridge repeats as part of the training.

Finally, Saturdays will be my long run day. We’re establishing a base-line of 10 miles, and building in longer runs every other week. In other words, every week we’ll alternate 10 mile runs with runs of generally longer distances. During the four Saturdays of July, for instance, we will run 10 miles, then 13 the next week, then 10, then finally 15.

Come August, speed training comes into play. We’ll alternate our baseline 10 miles with speedwork and long runs. For instance, August 2nd the schedule calls for 4×1 training. That means running four 1-mile sprints at a pace roughly 30 seconds/mile faster than our desired goal pace for the run. After running the full mile, there will be a five-minute walk before running the next one. Each successive speedwork run will increase the number of mile sprints.

And of course I have running events scheduled all the while. There’s 22.3 miles of races at the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend in August, plus the Miami Beach Half in October, and the Disney Wine & Dine and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathons on two successive weekends in November. I’ve integrated these races into my training program so I can still train while having some fun and challenging myself accordingly.

Anyway, if anyone wants to follow my training program or is just particularly curious about my day-to-day regimen, here’s a lovely Google calendar that provides all that, plus a rebate!

There’s no rebate. But I hope I was able to keep you even moderately entertai–


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