Today capped week 4 of Boston training. Funny how you can train for at least one marathon a year, but each time training comes around, you forget how hard it is.
My plan is 18 weeks, so I’m not into high miles yet, but my body is feeling it.
Week 1: 38 miles
Week 2: 43.5 miles
Week 3: 46 miles
Week 4: 45 miles
I’ve squeezed in two strength sessions a week, and it’s taken every ounce of willpower. My legs are heavy and tired. I squatted this week and failed after 92 pounds. Ouch.
I’m reverse dieting (adding in calories each week – think opposite of a ‘diet’), but I’m still starving. One day a week I end up eating half my kitchen. My brain is also not quite used to ‘six days on, one day off’ yet.
Marathon training is tough, mentally and physically. We see the shiny posts and pictures, but rarely hear the behind-the-scenes about how much it demands of your body and time.
This all sounds negative, so I should clarify: I love training. I absolutely love it, setting a lofty goal and going all in. The 4:30 a.m. wakeup calls, the miles, the mental games, the sweat. It’s a thrill to me, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.
The thing I’m struggling with is formulating a strength plan. Lifting and maintaining strength during a training cycle is vital, but my body is saying “no thanks.” I’m reading every article I can find and watching YouTube videos to see how others do it.
Some suggest not lifting weight at all and only using bodyweight. This seems odd to me, but maybe it’s what my fatigued body needs. I expect to lose a little strength throughout 18 weeks of heavy running, and I’m okay with that; it comes back quickly.
When training, you have to pick your priority, and right now, it’s to PR at Boston – not an easy feat on a tough, hilly course.
I’ll devise a structured strength plan this week for the remainder of training and share it here.