Last year in the spring, a friend of mine ran her first marathon. I was really moved by the effort and vowed I would do the same. A year went by and she ran her second marathon and I was fairly stunned that a year had gone by. In the first year (of my non-training) I’d managed to start making better records of all the walking miles I’d been doing daily. This spring I double-downed and decided that I would start actually running this year.
I’ve written about this somewhere else, but my main idea was to break down a year of preparation into bite-sized pieces. If a marathon course might take me six hours of running, and I could take twelve months to prepare, then in six months I would need to be capable of running for three hours, in three months I’d need to be up to 90 minutes of running, in only one month I should be up to running for thirty minutes. This all averages out that I should be able to run one more minute today than the day before.
So I did that. I started running just a minute at a time, or a minute more than the day before, or each running portion of the day should be slightly longer than the longest running portion of the day before. Here’s what happened.
Day 1: 2 minutes; day 2 – 3.5 minutes; day 3 – 5.5 min; day 5 – 9 min; day 7 – 12.75 min; day 8 – 16 min; day 9 – 29 min; day 12 – 40 min; day 13 – 54 min.
Well that went faster than I’d expected. I ran no more than 3-days in a row, and those last two days included no walking at all. I had switched from intervals of jogging / walking and tried my local route with no walking. And on that last day, I’d completely stopped paying attention to the clock or my mileage and just ran until I was ready to stop.
I’m still stunned by that. In two weeks of training, I went from 2 minutes of running and interspersing running with walking intervals to running for 54 minutes without stopping. Apparently I was in better shape than I thought.
But because I had two major dance weeks ahead of me in April and May (General Skills certification training in ATS® and then Tribal Fest), I put running training on hold. I didn’t want to risk either injury or being too exhausted to do my very best in class or performance. But now I’ve been home for two weeks and, having finally caught up on my fitness records, noticed a distinct lack of training on my spreadsheet. So today I went out for just a small jog, light hills, just a quick 9 minute trip outside. It felt wonderful.
I may have to break up my training into bite-sized pieces to fit into my daily schedule (10 minutes here, 20 minutes there), but to be back on track I should be up to 79-minutes of running today. I last left off two months ago at the 54 minute mark. I should be on track in two weeks.
I love these pursuits. First marathon: Here I come. There are 275 days left until the LA Marathon.