from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

the end in mind

So I signed up for the rock 'n' roll Arizona half marathon in January. Ouuch! That was expensive. $85. What to they do, carry one across te finish line? Well, I guess with 60 live bands along the course, they kind of do.

I ran 12 miles on the Academy track today. Had 13 in mind, but it was hard. I took frequent and long walking breaks, not as part of a strategy, but because my body decided to. I went along, confused. My overall time score did not vary from that of continouos running - 2 hours 17 minutes.

Walking breaks are a big dilemma. I have nothing against them. But I noticed that I cannot take them during races, so why take them otherwise? I practiced performance target shooting for eight years, and the idea was to keep practice and contest consistent - same protocol, same ammunition, same rhythm. It makes sense to train the way you will race.

But I find myself unable to keep up with the difficult track at Academy. Perhaps it is a sign that I should view the Arizona race as a training run, not an opportunity to kill myself on the course, live music and all. After all, 13 miles is means to an end, not the goal itself.

I want to run a marathon.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

The runners I know have done all kinds of things. My friend Jenny trained with me for Portland - slow pace, walk breaks and all. Then at Portland she booked - she got a 4:30-something. No walk breaks, fast pace. My husband has trained with no walk breaks, then decided to take them in a marathon - and still qualified for Boston. I think it's the "some days you need them, some days you don't" method. You know, the old "listen to your body" thing.

I used to think I wasn't really running if I took a walk break. I refused to do it. Then my heart slapped me upside the head and made walk breaks a non-choice. Been doing them now for three years - at every distance from 5k to marathon. It is very hard, mentally, to take a walk break in a 5k, let me tell you!

I bet you'll have a blast in AZ, and you will be running a marathon before you know it!

At 7:03 PM, Blogger R2B said...

Thanks for reminding me about Ab work Lia!I had forgot all about that as a remedy.

Now back to you,walk breaks are fine if you are doing the training at the same overall pace.
Respectfully target shooting and running have some mental similarities but it's ok to do 90% of your training at below race pace and save yourself the hard stuff (some training and racing)

You know what a few hills here and there never go astray and as the heartrate goes up the effect is the same as speed training.


At 5:27 AM, Blogger Lora said...

I loooove walking and running. My first three miles of any run I'm walking and stretching after each mile. Then I'm ready to fly by mile 4. My body is grateful for this!!

AZ 1/2 Marathon is supposed to be a blast!! You're going to love it!!

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Bob Gentile said...

Hi Lia

I am a walk/runner too and have programmed myself like that for years... trying to work it out a bit.. My Coach wants my walking to be POWER Walking and also she has me time my runs and walks.

for example -- run 8 mins then power walk for 2 mins do this for an hour... that's been helping me maintain a good pace and yet walk too :-) She says nothing wrong with walking as long as you have a game plan on when you walk...

now if your body is telling you something else during the race well then u have to listen to it but at least going into the race you have a plan to do ur walks/run and have still make a good race time.

hope this helps and good luck in AZ race.


At 11:04 AM, Blogger traveler022 said...

Race fees do add up. I think some of it goes to road closure(police enforcement) and marketing. I love racing and my t-shirts:), so gotta pay.

For my short races, 5K - 12K, I usually do all run. For my halfs and marathon, I do run/walk 6:1 ratio. When I trained for my first half, I did all run and I was sore for 2 days. Now I do run/walk and I recover much faster. I can walk just fine after a 14 mile run. Walking doesn't really slow me down. It helps me not to go out too fast and save my energy for the end. In the last 1 or 2, I run all the way and I usually feel strong.

Have a great run and trip to Arizona! Look forward to reading your race report in Jan!

At 5:35 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I take walk breaks periodically when I run with others as well as when I am out trail running. All though when I am on the trails it is usually a forced walk break due to the incline. Glad to hear you signed up for a half. They sure do get spendy.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Brooklyn said...

when it comes to walking in training, I'm the ultimate - I always have to walk and it drives me nuts.

But the body will respond and serve up its best on race day; and I think you'll find that's true, too.

So happy you've signed up for Phoenix; should be an awesome race. If you run across the head marathon doc, tell him hi for me... he's my regular sports doc. :)

I think to tackle marathon distance takes as much mental training as physical training. The book I read before my first marathon emphasized this a lot and it really got me through.


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