Training Thursdays #1 - 2023 Plan
That is an obnoxiously large picture that Wix won't let me resize. It's also funnily enough, not my most recent marathon medal. I just ran my 4th NYC marathon in November, and for the 3rd year in a row, I've gotten slower. Let's get real about why and how I'm going to fix it.
2022. Another year of working from home, eating well (too much), and making excuses on how I have time and don't need to hit all of my runs to succeed. I was also injured for a month right before the marathon and it was a nearly 80 degree race day in which even pros struggled, but again, just more excuses.
In 2022, much like in 2021, and in 2019, I didn't train much at all and got progressively lazier. I ran probably about 1/4 - 1/3 what you need to in order to have any hope in the marathon distance. I've said it before, but I consider the half marathon the last 'fraudable' distance. Most people will be able to finish a half marathon with absolutely no training. It will be terrible. You will probably hurt for a week or more. But you can do it. I've walked more than that in one day several times, and pretty much any time a friend from out of town visits. 26.2 miles though - little different.
Can you walk that in a day? Absolutely. But we're starting to reach ridiculous levels there. If not in physical effort, we're reaching levels of commitment that are just kind of strange to willingly put yourself through (while acknowledging there are 100+ mile races in the desert which are just...a lot). So while I am proud of myself for powering through 4 marathons, proving to myself that I can push myself when needed, I'm really tired of committing to such a long distance (~106 laps on a track, 461 lengths of a football field, etc) without doing the work to do well at the distance. I'm tired of struggling.
So this year, not only am I committing to actually running (obviously), but I'm going to greatly change up how I view my training. For the first month of a training block, I'm barely going to worry about mileage. I'm simply going to run at an easy pace, for a set amount of time. This week I've been doing blocks of as little as 10 minutes, just to get back into it. As I graduate from that, and if I stay injury free, I'll jump into an actual weekly session that has distance and pace in mind.
The other big change I'm making this year is that I'm running 2 marathons, not just one. Not only will this test my resolve and see if I only finish marathons because it's the NYC Marathon (and therefore personally embarrassing to fail in front of 2 million people), but it will also keep me on track for NYC. Historically, because that was my only big race of the year, I'd skip the crucial early-year base building. No longer. I have the inaugural Jersey City Marathon at the end of April, so I am already training for that. Coming out of that, it'll be a natural course of action to slide into my fall training routine.
So while this was titled 2023 plan, the plan is actually quite simple. Run more, run for an amount of time rather than "I must hit x miles," and run 2 marathons in a year. Separately, I'm tightening up the diet and really trying to cut the excess weight. I think if I do all of these things, I'll have some success.
And to end this post with a time goal, please see below for desired times:
5k: 25 minutes or better
1/2 Marathon: 1:59 or better
Full Marathon: 3:59 or better.