Monday, September 26, 2016

My Training Needs to Expand Beyond the 5am Hour

It's a alarm goes off at 4:30am, I roll out of bed and throw on my running clothes, drive to one of two spots to meet my running partners, and run one of a couple varying routes. The temperature is rather consistent throughout the different seasons. I always fuel {or in most cases don't fuel} the same way. I come home and get ready for work, go about my day, and do it all over again the next morning. I do this 6 days a week.  Many times in life a routine and consistency is key, but when it comes to my training, I need to expand it beyond the 5am hour.  Physically and mentally, I need to prepare for varying race day circumstances, and I need to embrace the full picture of training, not just the running component.  

I can honestly say that right now my training consumes 1-3 hours of my day, and that is it.  As I start my day, I quickly forget to hydrate, often times neglect proper fueling, and fill my day with obligations which end up taking a priority over sleep...none of which are advantageous to taking care of my body as I train for a marathon.

In 9 weeks I will be toeing the start line of my 6th marathon, and I want to know that I did everything to prepare for the best race I am capable of, and that means more than just being disciplined at getting up at 4:30am.   Here is where I intend to improve my discipline & focus, to ensure I make the early morning wake-up calls worthwhile:

FUELING: This is not necessarily an issue of what I eat, rather what I DON'T eat. I'll be the first to admit I have been know to skip breakfast, wait hours to refuel following a long run, and not consume enough to properly fuel by body. Sometimes my lunch consists of a trip to a co-workers offers to grab a piece of candy from her candy dish. No bueno!  I plan to focus on eating to FUEL, ensuring everything I consume is advantageous to my training, while making certain I am getting all of the nutrients needed to properly fuel my body.    

Being an early morning runner, I ofter times don't fuel before or during a run either.  These next several weeks will be my opportunity to dial in my race day fueling plan. 

HYDRATING: I'm going to be honest...I'm a sweater. I run warm.  More than others. Following my morning run, it is so easy for the hours of the day to slip away, without drinking any water/ I will be making a valid effort to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

SLEEP: For those who know me, you know this is hard for me...but I have been saying NO to commitments, to free up my schedule, and make sure I have time for proper rest & sleep. While I feel like can survive on little sleep, I know that it is detrimental to my training. Here's to 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

TRAINING VARIATION: While I love my morning running routine and all of my training partners, it is time to switch things up and add a little variation to my training.  My body is SO accustomed to running at a certain time, in a certain temperature, over a certain terrain etc..none of which simulate race day conditions.  I have started running at different times of the day, on the treadmill, solo, and on different routes, in an effort to add variation, while keeping things fresh!

RECOVERY, STRETCHING & MORE: It's time for me to be more diligent about my stretching, foam rolling, recovery and more, in order to be a more balanced runner and really optimize the miles I putting in.  I am looking forward to incorporating Jasyoga 26.2 into my training regimen & becoming a more balanced & resilient runner on my journey to the start line. 

TIME & STRESS MANAGEMENT: I am notorious for overcommitting & over extending myself.  While I genuinely enjoy everything I am involved in and blessed to be a part of, it is stressful! Even positive stress takes a toll on the body.  As cliché as it sounds, I keep reminding myself that saying NO to something is saying YES to me!

I also have control of how I respond to situations in my life, and I have become more aware of the unnecessary stress I bring to my life.

As I write all of this, it all seems so obvious, and I KNOW what to do...but if I am honest with myself, running has just become a routine part of my day, and I need to refocus...because there's more to training for a marathon than just running.