The Road to My First Marathon continues…
Marathon Training in Process
It’s been a while since my last blog and I’m now in week 19 of the ChiRunning 24 week beginner marathon training program. Many hours have been spent running and it’s less than six weeks to the Dublin marathon. There is still some serious running to be done but as long as my body continues to hold out, I might just make it to the start line.
Training for a marathon requires such a huge investment of time both mental and physical if you want to arrive at the start line prepared and in good shape. There have been a few challenges along the way, including running in some unusually hot weather (at least for us in the UK), finding long routes to run in new places while on holiday and figuring out the best way to fuel the long runs.
I have been lucky to do some of my running on the stunning coastline of North Cornwall and to run several miles of the marathon course. I have exhausted the parks and towpaths where I live and feel blessed to do the bulk of my running in beautiful places.
A pleasant surprise has been the recovery from the long runs. I am just not tired given the volume of running I have been doing. I have no muscle soreness. I am not eating any more than I did at the start. I don’t feel hungrier. I try to go to bed a little earlier and as the weeks have gone on I just find myself naturally making better choices about what I eat and drink.
Somebody asked me recently what do you think about when you are out there running all that time. Well that’s easy – my form, mostly. ChiRunning gives me plenty to think about. On a long run, it’s a constant back and forth between mind and body. Doing a body scan, looking for tension and trying to let it go. Relax, relax, relax Michelle!
Many of the ChiRunning focuses help me on a long run. Some of my favorites include staying tall: feeling length in my upper body with an engaged core, relaxing my head and neck. Cadence: keeps my rhythm, stops me from over-striding and helps me stay light on my feet. Lastly, pelvic rotation: helps me to relax, reduces the workload on my legs and my stride feels more fluid. And did I say relax!
A colleague said to me recently, the marathon is the reward for all the training. What a great way to look at it. My goal is to get to the start line injury free and feeling strong. If I can do that, I will be more than happy.
Senior ChiRunning Instructor