Type 2(6.2) -- Marathon Training!

I began training for my first marathon yesterday … officially! I’ve been running for a little over a year now. Starting at age 42 had its challenges, but I’ve been lucky enough to stay pretty much healthy the whole time. Last year I raced in several 5ks, 10ks, trail races, and did a half marathon. My goal in the half was 2:00 and I came in at 1:59:49, so I was happy with that.

My first marathon will be the Madison Marathon at the end of May. Here in Wisconsin that could mean temps anywhere from 50 degrees to 80s, so I’m hoping for the lower temps. Last year I ran in the “quarter” marathon at the MM – essentially a 10k. That seemed like a big accomplishment to me then, and it was! I started running 6 months before and could barely run a half mile on the treadmill without puking. I had also quite drinking a little over a year prior to that. Its something that I did on my own (with support from my wife) because … well because of so many things, but the fact was I was physically dependent on it. And now nearly two years later (in April) I can’t believe how different my life is. Training for a marathon! Training to become a personal trainer – so I can work with other type 2s and alcoholics who want to change their lives.

Actually my marathon training is a bit of a step back in my running. Its an 18 week plan by Hal Higdon (www.halhigdon.com), and starts out with lower milage than I’ve been running, but that’s important. One of the things that has kept me healthy has been fairly conservative milage after a year (about 20 or so a week). My biggest problem is now running less than 5 miles at a time. It doesn’t hurt that its FREEZING out. I love running in the cold, but with temps in the low teens and wind chills in the single digits, I can handle some milage on the treadmill. Basically low 20s and sunny are about my limits outside. While I run hot and don’t mind the temps, its the variable sidewalk conditions below that that are really a problem.

Anyway first week goes something like this: 3 miles T,W,TH, 6 on Sat. Cross training (exercycle or spin) on Sunday. Additionally, I’m doing some light upper body on Wed, Sat, and Core on T,Th,Fri. I found that core was important for me during longer distances (over 10 miles) because I was having some ITB (ilio-tibial band syndrome) issues.

The goal for the first marathon is simply to finish. That’s why I won’t likely be doing intervals etc. in the training. Truth be told though I want to finish in 4 hours. If all goes well, a fall marathon is in order, maybe in San Antonio where I have family. Long term goals? Boston by the time I hit 45 which currently has a 3:30 qualifying time. Who knows?

kick ■■■! I’m a big fan of hal’s he’ll get you there. not a big issue yet but look at in-race nutrition later. you can’t do the whole thing on a empty stomach. gels or my favorite sport jelly beans should help keep you from bonking. good luck and have fun

Yeah, I’m pretty dialed in on the nutrition end. I am a big fan of GUs Espresso Love. They have a new blackberry flavor as well. Can’t do the beans or shot bloks, I have a hard time chewing and running!

gu makes some good stuff. haven’t tried that one I will be on the look out for it thanx

I’m way past 45, but also trying out Hal Higdons amrathon training program. The only real problem I have with marathons is that in the last two miles (18-20 mins) I have got the most sever cramps in my calves. It’s happened in the last two I have run. I completed the Rome Italy marathon last year for the second time (we were living in europe for a while) and it really bugged me as I was on for a good time. Any ideas ?? I do use gels through the race and try not to over hydrate… I’m planning on the Calgary Marathon on May 30th, so would be interested to hear how training is going… rgds john

Congrats on the two marathons. As this is my first marathon, I haven’t run into the over-20 mile issues. The farthest I’ve run is the half I did last August. I am pretty concerned about the 18 plus, especially because I sweat like a pig. I run with an Amphipod belt that allows me to carry up to 4 8oz bottles. Its been the best solution for me. I cant run with a camel back_ it sloshes too much, and i can’t drink from it while running: breathing and sucking water from a tube at the same time is impossible. I also cant run with the whole bottle — either the hand held one or waist mounted one – too much bounce and weight.

My training is going well, even with the cold and snow. I had always had at least 1 day of rest between runs but with Higdon’s program I am running t/w/th/sat, with cross training on sun (usually indoor cycle). I’m also doing core 3 days a week and upper body twice a week. I’ve found core to be pretty important as I am prone to ITB issues. The three days of running in a row havn’t had any impact on my recovery.

I 5k on sat, with snow predicted, so I don’t know if it will be a fast run. I’m scheduled for 5 miles as a long run that day (3rd week step back) so I will run a couple after that.

I’ve had a little pain in my left arch as well, which I think I can attribute to an interval session which I had pretty long strides.

I’m also in the process of reevaluating my diabetes. I may be type 1.5, and having all the markers for that reevaluated in light of low fasting insulin levels. Haven’t written much about it as I am waiting for results and doc visit next week. The biggest change will likely be change from orals to Byetta if I am 1.5, which can present problems for athletes… so we’ll see and will update next week when I know more.