This past weekend registration for the Philadelphia Marathon opened up, and since it is my fall marathon of choice I signed up on the first day.
Now I have to prepare to prepare for the marathon.
This is a target race. That means that I will be aiming to run the very best I can run in that race and aiming for a personal best time. My current personal best in the marathon is 4:24:03 and I hope to drastically cut that down in November.
To aim for a personal best I need to follow a training plan, which usually span around 16 weeks leading up to race day.
Now, when I prepared for a race in the past I would count out sixteen weeks from race day and follow a plan to get me through those sixteen weeks. In the weeks before the training plan started I would do my usual running or biking or swimming and messing around with other races while I waited for my training plan to start
In fact, over the last two years I spent the first half of the year training for triathlon and the going right into marathon training. That short transition hurt me last year.
As I type this there are 32 weeks to race day. That is a long time.
But what I need to do now is take advantage of that time. I need to prepare to start an aggressive training plan that will help me run a marathon PR.
For the first 16 weeks I will improve my running base and conservatively increase my mileage. I have even mapped out the mileage and the runs for the next sixteen weeks to prepare for the training plan.
But the preparation is not just about running miles.
I need to do a few other things too.
I need to lose weight. I have gained a few pounds since the last time I ran a marathon, and if I recall correctly I was more than 15 pounds lighter when I ran my current PR in 2015.
I need to increase my flexibility. I can not touch my toes while keeping my legs straight. If I lay on my back and put a stretching strap on my foot and pull my leg up I can’t even get it straight in the air. I need to stretch every single day so that the muscles in my legs (and rest of the body) will loosen up and perform better.
I was listening to a podcast interview with David Goggins and he said that once he stretched and made himself more flexible his running improved immensely.
And that is easy enough to do. At the end of the day, when I am watching television before bed, I can be sitting on the floor stretching myself out instead of sitting on the couch like a lump.
And of course, there is the core.
My upper body is incredibly weak. My core is incredibly weak. This is one of the factors that makes me incredibly slow.
But this is another simple fix.
I don’t need some weird or crazy workout routine. No special DVDs or high priced training classes to strengthen my core and upper body.
All that is needed for me to see improvement here is the basics. Push ups, planks, hollow holds, russian twists, and simple moves like that. And again, these are things I can do while watching the latest binge worthy show on Netflix.
So there it is.
It starts today.
My preparation to get ready to prepare for the 2017 Philadelphia Marathon with an attempt at a new Personal Record time.