Marathon Training

Jenn's First Marathon
Andrew Azab, Tim Gallus, and Jenn Bowie ready to take off on on the 2005 Dunkin’ Donuts Cape Cod Marathon. Yes, Dunkin’ Donuts sponsored it. I’m as amused as you.

I may have mentioned before that I’m training for a marathon. The Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco to be exact. I will not link to their website because it sucks dead donkey balls, but here’s a link to the race course and profile (pdf).

This morning I ran the week’s long run. 12.1 miles to be precise. The race is on October 19th. For those of you who are quick with the math, that’s 5 weeks away. At 5 weeks, I’m supposed to be running about 20 miles on this training plan. I’m obviously a bit short. It’s because of three things: Getting started late on training, injury number one, and injury number two. In order to make an attempt at not bonking during this race, I am therefore doing something that every book, coach and experienced amateur will tell you to never never do: I’m accelerating my training. This gives me the willies.

Training and racing without injury is the foremost goal in my exercise philosophy. I am not interested in “pushing through the pain”. When I get hurt, I stop. I don’t push it harder than I think is good for my recovery and I delay any training plans accordingly. Unfortunately, this marathon has been planned a year in advance, the tickets are purchased, we’re going to San Francisco. I am NOT going to San Francisco and then NOT running this race. Thus the risky training acceleration.

I could do what others have done and simply train up to the maximum distance that is achievable under a sane training plan and then just gut out the last miles in the marathon (in this case that would be 6 additional miles). Alas, I’ve seen that plan crash and burn. Ask Tim, featured in the image above about that. No, I’m throwing out the old adage of “never add more than 10% in volume from week to week” and going with a 16% increase this week and next week, and then 20% until the race, with no taper.

I’m somewhat confident that I can do this without violating the cardinal rule of no injuries, if for no other reason than if I feel anything wonky, I stop and walk for a bit1. But five weeks is a long time, and 26.2 miles is a long way from the 12.1 I did today.

So, wish me luck. I’ll keep you informed.


1Another reason I’m confident about this is that I’ve thrown out all of my time goals. The only goal now is to finish the race injury free.

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2 Responses to Marathon Training

  1. Belinda says:

    This is entirely off topic, but the guy in the middle in the photo – Tim – is his race number 666?

  2. Tim says:

    Yep…not only was my race number 666 but I believe that marathon happened right around halloween. Go figure.

    Best of luck to you Bill…managing to finish a marathon was a huge feeling of accomplishment for me (and pain…lets not forget pain). I hope your run goes great.

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