This is the time of year when I start thinking dangerous thoughts about the upcoming race season. I’m someone who always needs a goal and a training plan to stay motivated, and lately I’ve been thinking about… the big one. The marathon. Could I really do it? It would certainly be something to work for. It’s stuck in my brain now, and I can’t shake the idea. I even googled to look for possible destination marathons next spring.
First things first though, right? Before I even consider marathon training, I need to build up my weekly mileage. I’ve been averaging about 20kms a week or so, and I need to just about double that to have a decent “base.” I’m using this buildup plan and so far it’s going well. (I’m halfway through Week 2.) I’ve successfully increased to running four days a week with 1-2 days of additional cross training. I’m still forefoot running, and my only pain at the moment is a twinge in my right calf. (I think some ice and Voltaren are in order there.) My current plan is to run the Sydney Half Marathon in May and then see how I feel after that. If I do go for the marathon, it would likely be the Melbourne Marathon in October.
The other big news is that I bought a Timex Heart Rate Monitor and I’ve been using it for the past week. For effective base training, I’m meant to stay within 70-80% of my maximum heart rate (with one run a week up to 85%). That’s actually meant slowing right down, and on warm days I have to walk the hills to stay within it. The more I do it though, the faster I’ll get within that range. The Timex works great, and I definitely recommend it for any other interested beginners. You do have to wear a chest strap, but it fits pretty nicely under the band of my sports bra. When I’m running with my HRM on my left arm and my iPhone with RunKeeper on the right, I feel like the BIONIC WOMAN!