Long May You Run …

Hello and welcome to Week 3! This week, we’re going to be using library resources (with the help of a website) to build a training plan for a middle-aged runner aiming for their first marathon. (That would be me, but I’m hoping I have some company out there.)

I started running in 2006, at the age of 44. I took a “Learn to Run” class early in the spring and loved it. Once I’d finished my first race (10 km) that summer, I was hooked. I ran my first half-marathon the following summer, followed by four “halfs” the next year. And then in the summer of 2010, I went back to school part-time and stopped running completely. I made a resolution in January 2011 that I would run a marathon that year … and did almost no training. Undaunted, I made a resolution in January 2012 that I would run a marathon that year.

Admittedly, 2012 started off better than 2011. By the end of June, I was running during the week and breaking 20 km on my weekend long runs. But my pace was slow. As I piled on the mileage, it got slower. And slower. And slower. I had a look at the previous year’s average pace times for the marathon I was planning to run. I was going slower than the people who were the last finishers.

At this point, I had an awful vision of myself on race day: plodding along, just barely past the half-way mark, when a police car pulls up behind me. Guess what happens next? The officer in the passenger seat rolls down his window and says “Hey, lady! Sorry, but we have to shut down the course. Hop in the back and we’ll take you to the finish line.” Yecch. You never want to be the “Hey, lady!” lady. I fell off the training wagon again, except for a 10 km race in August.

So now it’s 2013. I’ve learned not to make any resolutions but I still would really like to run a marathon. With that in mind, I went looking in my home library, and found Jeff Galloway’s “Running Until You’re 100”. I wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering but Jeff surprised me. An older runner himself, he’s developed a system that involves longer warm-ups, a combination of running and walking, specific drills, and slower pacing. He also has a section on nutritional advice for older runners, written by a dietitian. This book made a ton of sense to me.

I had a look at the marathon training plan found on Jeff Galloway’s website. At 32 weeks, it’s quite a bit longer than the traditional 16-18 weeks. And the pacing is much gentler than anything I’ve done up until this point. I combined the training plan from the website, information from another Jeff Galloway book called “Running: A Year Round Plan” and fine-tuned it with advice from “Running Until You’re 100”. I have a plan!

Now that I have a plan, I’m looking for some peeps. Specifically, I’m looking to form a little network of first-time marathoners. You don’t necessarily have to be over 50 and you don’t have to live in Edmonton. I want to hear your running stories and what you’re doing to train. Leave a comment or send me a note at LibraryLifeHack [at] gmail.com.

Chicken-Hearted Disclaimer
I have a plan. I do. And I will undertake this training in good faith, reporting back to you at the beginning of March. But I’m not quite ready to brazenly guarantee that I’ll be running a marathon this summer. Before I do that, I want to see how this training works. But … I’m excited! Dang! Let’s put this hack in motion and see what happens. (If you want to see the first six weeks of my plan, it’s here.)

To wrap things up, here’s the scoop on this week’s library resources:

Running Until You’re 100
Written by Jeff Galloway
Published by Cardinal Publishers Group
Released Aug 15, 2010
ISBN 1841263095

Running: A Year Round Plan
Written by Jeff Galloway
Published by Cardinal Publishers Group
Released Oct 31, 2005
ISBN 1841261696

Between amazon.ca and chapters.indigo.ca, the books average out to $14.78 and $15.82 respectively. Since you’re saving the cost of a marathon class, I thought we could add that in as well. Where I live, the most popular clinics are $69.99 plus tax, for a total of $73.49. That makes this week’s life hack worth $104.09.

Bonus Hack
This plan is built solidly around short interval training. Rather than investing in a piece of advanced runner’s technology, I went looking for an interval timer for my phone. There are several but this one looked perfect for my needs. And it’s free! Cha-ching!

That’s it for this week. Next week, I’ll be tackling a less ambitious life hack, and learning how to make gyoza at home. Remember … if you’re running your first marathon, drop me a line. And even if you aren’t, have yourself a great week!


3 thoughts on “Long May You Run …

  1. I am, in fact, running my first marathon on June 1st! I’m still putting together my completed training plan, but am hoping to have it mapped out by the end of the week. In the meantime, I’m still running!


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