Currently, I am training for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon. I spend a lot of time training, learning and figuring out what works and what does not work for me. I hope that you can use some of the things that I am trying this 2011-2012 training season and beyond.
During this 2011-2012 season, I am trying to live a “more with less” mantra. Here are some ideas that I have already implemented as well as some I am still working on.
- iPod: I have never liked using an iPod while running to begin with; I stopped that a long time ago. I rather talk and exchange ideas during group runs with my buddies. If I am running solo, I enjoy just listening to my surroundings.
- GPS Watch: Do not get me wrong, I love GPS watches. I cannot see myself training without GPS. I like to know the speed, time, and distance that I run. However, I have stopped wearing my GPS watch during races these days. During the 2011 Tokyo Marathon, I was mentally stopped while looking at my watch at mile 17. I was still running a 7:05 min/mile pace. Being so far away from home, I start to worry that I was going to injure myself. My body was doing what it was doing, but mentally I did not want to push any more. Since then, I said “I would not wear a watch anymore during a race”. As we know that during a race an official time is kept at the finish line. It really does not matter what my watch says; I get what the official time is. I ran two marathons (PR both times), and a few 5ks without my watch. I will continue this tradition. I do admit that I miss it sometimes. I know that my body will move as it is able, I do not need a watch to tell me how fast I’m going during a given race. One more note on watches; on your next race or training run, try to see how often you look at your watch.
- Less Clothing: During training, I dress well. But I have started to wear less and less during race time (although, I am not going to be a streaker like one that I saw during the Flying Pig Marathon :-)). I do have to be careful with this mantra during wintertime. So far, the races that I have picked have been spring and fall-like weather. Even during heavy rain at the Flying Pig Marathon, I went with the “less with more” mantra.
Less gel and sports drinks during training and races
- Slowly, I am becoming accustomed to using less gel and sports drinks. I consume very little sports drinks during my training runs. I have completely stopped buying and using gel. Even though, I get a boost from gel, I am not sure what the side effects are. I am trying to buildup natural endurance. I do eat a lot of natural fruits that some of these gels are made of. No, I am not a health nut. I am just trying to experiment what works for me. You will see me eating a banana (yes, yellow kind), oranges and seasonal fruits.
More water and more natural food
- I eat a lot of natural fruits and food. I rather eat beans and rice than pre-made meals. I feel that it is much healthier for me. In this area of natural food, I am not as disciplined as I would like to be. I am still learning. I do eat a lot nuts. At my house, we run out of a 52 oz. of Peanuts very fast. I do drink a lot of water even when I am not running. It feels like I carry 4-5 lbs of water weight :-).
Less days of weekly Training – 3 weekly days of training
- During my 2009-2010 training season, I ran 3 weekly days of training with no junk miles or junk days of running except for races. I ran 6 marathons in 6 months during that season. I had mix feelings for that types of training. In the 2011-2012 training season, I have implemented a modified version – 3 weekly days of training. Yes, I am still running strictly only 3 days of running, but some days I double my runs. On Wednesday run, I run 9+ miles in morning, and 3+ miles in evening – total of 12+miles. Some days, I run 7 miles in morning and 7 miles in afternoon or evening. And a long-long weekend runs. Some weeks during this trining season, I am able to log 50 miles running only 3 days. It gives me 4 days of rest. NOTE: I do not run every day even during the peak of my marathon training cycle. I have gone up to 4-5 days of running in past training cycles.
During my 2010-2011 marathon season, I was able to reach a 3:30 finishing time. Let’s see with some of the mantra and modifications, I will have to see how far/fast it will take me to finishing line. I hope my new mantra for 2011-2012 season have a great outcome that I can talk more at the end of the season.
NOTE: I run multiple marathons during a season. For 2011-2012, I have 4-5 planned. Also, in coming weeks and months, I will go detail on each point from this blog.