Marathon Training: Building My Way to The Brooklyn Marathon 2022

Here’s a look at my running accomplishments last week

Hi!
Thanks for visiting!

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

QUICK INTRO
Long story short: I used to run a lot. To date I’ve completed over 40 half and full marathons. It took a bit of a toll on me. After 5 years, I am training my way to back the elusive 26.2mi race.

I felt obliged to write about my training method, style, and habits. Another long story short: I’ve been running for over a decade, spent many years as a fitness specialist, and have worked with coaches, mentors, and other athletes along the way.

Each week I’ll post my running calendar of what I accomplished. I hope that someone out there finds it useful!

CURRENT PHASE: Mileage building.
Mileage building is to me, the most important step to success with any long distance race. Whether you’re new or pro, it’s really important for a few reasons:

  1. Prevents a lot of injuries from overuse, aka your legs and joints breaking down faster than normal due to the stress of a training schedule
  2. Eases you into the intensity of training. Sometimes this stuff really gets in the way of your life, and that can be frustrating.
  3. Figure out if you actually enjoy it! Cuz… if you really don’t like running, than forcing yourself into long distance is utterly stupid.

That being said, I’m not doing anything intense. I don’t feel compelled at all to do speed training, or the worse, hill training. As I’m writing this now, there are over 4 months till race day, so I’ll do some varied training later.

I literally go outside, put on my music, and run the streets of Brooklyn for the pure enjoyment of clearing my mind and accomplishing a running goal, one at a time.

Photo by sporlab on Unsplash

LAST WEEK IN RUNNING
Here’s a look at what I accomplished last week:

Monday: IDGAF RUN
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: EASY RUN
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: EASY RUN
Saturday: LONG RUN
Sunday: Off

IDGAF RUN
I am the captain of procrastinating. I am the captain of complaining, too. In fact, typically my nicknames growing up were, “Mr. Obnoxious”, or “Captain Annoying”.

Point being, I am the first human to sigh, blech, ungh, ugh, NOOOOO, my way towards any necessary run.

Thus was born, the IDGAF RUN. It was my way of slapping the Monday Blues in the face and being productive. I don’t set out for any particular length, speed, or goal. I just go. I just run.

Some days I’m like, “OK I HIT MY MINIMUM BASE MILEAGE (5k), and I go home now.” Other days I’m out and I’m like, “I feel really good, let’s keep going.”

The most important thing is: I ran. I did it. I accomplished it. The IDGAF Run.

BAM.

Photo by Ginny Rose Stewart on Unsplash

YOGA
Now that I’m in my 30’s, I need more recovery days than usual. I also realized after being a professional dancer, that the time it takes me to recover is much longer than before.

Hence, I like to do Yoga in between my running days. It has honestly saved me so much time. I can feel the healthy difference in my joints. There are numerous studies, articles, and journals written about the benefits of Yoga and posture; it pays a great deal of difference to have lengthened, healthy muscles, and upright, core supported posture.

Try it; your legs and joints will be super thankful.

Also like, I know so many runners that refuse to spend time on their muscle and joint health like this. Some of them will barely even do a simple Squat before going out and running. Like… ungh. Come on, guys.

I digress.

EASY RUN
About 2 months ago I started out on my mileage base journey. As I wrote above, my minimum mileage per run is a 5k. I started there: no matter what, on any run I did, it was always going to be a minimum 3.1mi.

About 2 weeks later, based on the training of Hal Higdon, I upped that minimum mileage to 3.5mi/4mi, depending on how I felt that day. I repeat these easy runs 2–3x a week.

Reminder: I’m not doing anything that is intense or stressful. My goal is to get out on the road and run. Feel it out; feel my legs, my lungs, my joints. Some days its hot, some days its cold, etc.

To date, my base mileage is 5.5mi, and I’ll probably try and up that to 6 in the near future. Last week my runs were about 5, to 5.5mi. Feeling good!

LONG RUN
This is probably the only thing stressful in the week.

When I say long, I’m looking at 8mi right now. I started at 6mi, just 2 months ago. I’m adding about 1/2mi every week. What will my long run goals be? That depends.

OK. There are some speed coaches that make training schedules based on running really fast, obviously. The length is usually like 8–12mi. The long runs on those schedules maxes out at 16–18.

Now, there are some, more, “traditional” coaches that say you should be able to run 20, 21, or 22 miles before race day.

I like to split the difference.

If my normal runs are averaging 8–10mi a few times a week, than I don’t really feel the need to run more than 15 or 16 miles in a long run. But, I do think it’s important to be able to repeat that length, a few times in the training schedule.

Photo by Alexander Redl on Unsplash

WARM-UP, COOL-DOWN, MOVE-ON
I just want to say a few more things before I sign off:

  1. Please do a little warm up. Sun Salutation A, like, 5x is a great place to start.
  2. Please do a little cool down. Maybe repeat Sun Salutation A, 3x, to finish your run.
  3. Drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, and then get on with your day.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that some of my words may one day benefit other runners out there.

-mw

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Software Engineer. Retired Dancer. Marathoner & Yogi. Photo Lover. Dog Dad.

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Matthew Walfish

Matthew Walfish

Software Engineer. Retired Dancer. Marathoner & Yogi. Photo Lover. Dog Dad.

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