Tuesday, October 22

Houston Marathon: Week 1

My first week of official training for the Houston Marathon is in the books, and I must say, it felt really great to get back out there. 

Week 1 Primary Focus:           Strength & Endurance
Longest Run To-Date:             6.9mi



For the first few weeks my primary focus will be on strength with some endurance. Often times this is referred to as the "Base" period in training as it lays the groundwork for the rest of the program. Think of this stage of training as if building the foundation for a house. Without a solid base, there's nothing to build off of. As the old saying goes, "You have to walk before you run." Or in my case, I have to run before I can run faster and longer. The foundation that I build over the coming weeks is going to provide me the strength to sustain higher levels of volume and intensity throughout my Houston Marathon training. 

Strength helps to maintain proper run formThis is important for several reasons. 

If your running form breaks down, you become more prone to injury. The more tired one gets while running, the more susceptible he or she is to reverting back to poor running form and thus increasing the odds of being injured. We'll talk in more detail about run form more in the future, but for now, know this: there is, in fact, a right way to run. 

Aside from increasing your odds of injury, poor running form, like heel-striking, slows you down and isn't economical. Just like a proper back swing in golf generates more velocity on the ball, proper run form allows for the ability to run faster. Also, poor run form is incredibly inefficient, meaning you waste energy and momentum if you're not running the right way. In order to run a 6:50/mi for a marathon, I can't afford to lose speed or waste energy. 

This "Base" phase of training will also contribute to what happens at mile 22 in Houston. The strength I build and reinforce now will help me maintain good running form/technique when fatigue sets in during the race. 

My first training day was a one hour "Zone 2" run, which, depending on the context, is typically a run that works on endurance. (Note: When I say "context" here I simply mean where the workout is inserted in the greater scheme of other workouts; in other words, some workouts can have multiple purposes to them.) If you remember back to the first Whole30 post, zones correlate with the effort put forth, so this run required a very moderate effort. It was an awesome way to officially kick-off my training, to ease back into it. After the run I wrote this feedback to my coach:

"Felt great... nice and easy. Walked a few times to bring HR (heart rate) down. No music, just the road and me back at it."

I thought this picture, while incredibly cheesy, was very fitting for my first week back in training. The past month had been a dark one, indeed. And no, I don't condone their heel-strike running form!




Back to the Houston Marathon home page.

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