I’ll start by saying that there are millions of philosophies about race training. Here I’ll share what has worked for me, and what I am planning to do for the Mississippi Blues Marathon, but this is not the only way (or even the best way) to train for a marathon. I’d love to hear thoughts about what has worked well for other people.
In short, I like to make a rough sketch of a training plan for each marathon so that I don’t get completely off-track, and so that I can anticipate holidays, travel, and work events and prepare accordingly. Usually I just jot it down on a calendar or in a Googledoc (or now, in a blog post). The most important runs for marathon prep are the long runs, so I make sure to note what my goal long run is for each week, and then I have the option to do that run any day during the week (but usually Saturdays or Sundays). I don’t generally write the week’s non-running activities (Orangetheory, pilates (upcoming post!), barre, yoga (also upcoming post!), swimming, etc.), or my run commute, in my training plan, and while I do sometimes put in shorter runs, all of those are subject to change. Each week is different, and I vary based on my own schedule and how I’m feeling. Missing a few runs isn’t going to totally kill your training. Really. I take at least one, but usually two, rest days each week. Continue reading →
I will start by saying there is an entire blog devoted to this topic, and the blogger there covers this issue very, very well. In fact, I read several of his posts before adopting the run commuter lifestyle. So here you go: The Run Commuter.
But I will add my few cents here.
I started running to work about six months ago when I changed jobs. My new office is 2.5 miles from my home, and there is not a particularly direct way to get there using the public transportation options. In fact, I am not even sure if I could save time by using public transportation. And it would certainly cost more than running. Biking was another option, but I am less comfortable with city biking, and I would have to lock up my bike in a dungeon each morning and unlock it each night. That sounded like a lot of time taken up by logistics for such a short ride.
I figured that if it took me about 30 minute to run to my new job, that was a reasonable commute time–very similar to my walk to my old job, and about what many people drive or Metro from nearby suburbs. And of course I knew I was physically capable run the 2.5 miles (whether I would WANT to would be another question…). Here are the main benefits I’ve identified:
I get a minimum workout each day. Most days, I have a nice, quick jog for 2.5 miles to work, and then I walk home in the evening. I burn close to 500 calories just getting to and from work. I can extend my morning run if I want, but even the shorter run has impacted my fitness. I can tell that my legs are looking more toned, and my race time is back under 4 hours. I still try to do some other workout about 4 days a week, including a long run if I am in training, Pilates, yoga, lifting at the gym, or Orangetheory.
Instead of causing me stress, my commute helps me mentally prepare for work in the morning and decompress at the end of the day. I come home at night having left the stress on the sidewalk.
Running saves a lot of money compared to taking a bus or Metro. I’ve only had to take an Uber a few times, usually during serious evening rain storms this past summer or if I am stuck at work super late. The only cost of running was the initial investment in the backpack, plus getting shoes slightly more often.
Good for the environment. Keep your Prius; I’ve got LEGS.