“Success does not come to the most righteous and rigorously disciplined but to those who continue running.” ~Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World Editor at Large
So much of being not just a successful but consistent runner is determined by what you do when you’re not running. Three half marathons and (almost) one marathon later, I am finally learning that lesson.
Yes, I was told all this before I took my first step and yes, I should have listened…but I didn’t.
I was told to cross train.
I was told to do weights.
I was told to do a core workout.
Did I do any of these when I was training for my first marathon? No. Did I pay for it? Yes.
Will I make that same stupid mistake again? Not on your life.
So now that I have started running again, after being injured, I’m going to be a smart runner. I really like Amby’s quote above because so many times during my long runs, I remember thinking, “all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.” I would play these games where I would just have to continue to the mailbox, or the next street or the fire hydrant. Then I’d start all over again. The goal was just to keep me going. But now I see that although continuing is half the battle, you need more than simply continuing. You need discipline.
I don’t want to get hurt again from something I could probably avoid if I ran smart. I hated not running. Although I know I will get through it, these grueling runs while I get back in shape…not the most fun thing to do in the world. If I could avoid it…I most definitely would. Hence why I have decided to run smart this time around, to be disciplined in what will make me a stronger and healthier runner.
I am starting to devise a race schedule for the fall and I’m thinking of doing the Women’s Half in Nashville September 25th. I’m going to check my school cal for next year but hopefully it will be a fun time to come home to Nashville, see everybody and run with the ladies of East Nasty and Girls on the Run. So…I would need to start training on a half marathon guide in July. That gives me a month to get in shape and build a good strong base.
Here is my plan for this June:
Tuesday: Core+Weights+cross (bike or swim)
Thursday: Core+Weights+cross (bike or swim)
Saturday: Core+walk/something low impact (recovery)
Sunday: Core+walk/something low impact (recovery)
This past week I did my core workout everyday and my dad helped me figure out a good upper body workout. Two things: 1- didn’t know I had all these muscles in my body till they started to hurt and 2- it is amazing how incredible I feel already. After my first run, which turned out to be a walk/run, about 18 minutes of true running, my second run felt great. Still out of shape, still slow (and still dreadfully hot) but I ran the whole 2.5 without stopping! It’s the little things at this point I could feel my arms and core muscles aching in the beginning but I felt so much stronger during the run.
I guess what they said was right. Go figure. After that run, I have no doubt that my running and overall fitness will improve from doing core and weight workouts, not to mention adding cross training. I have no idea why I thought I could train for a marathon without those things.
The important thing to remember (especially for a stubborn person like me)…since I’m working at the law firm this summer which sometimes consists of coming in at 7:30 and not leaving till 7:30 that night, I need to leave some flex in my schedule. Just like going out to run and setting an unattainable distance goal for yourself will discourage you, so will not meeting your schedule. It’s ok to miss a day. It’s ok to save a run for the weekend if you get home and just want to take a walk after a long day. The big thing to remember is its your schedule. It has to fit your life.
What do you think? Are weights and cross training important for a runner? What do you incorporate into your workouts?