2012-01-23

Another 18 Weeks

If you're planning on running the Ottawa Marathon, your 18 weeks began yesterday. I kicked things off pretty strongly yesterday, but it is a long and arduous process to go from where I am now to where I will want to be on Ottawa Race Weekend. Still, 18 weeks will be over before we know it.

As I mentioned previously - and hoped to deliver a few days ago - I've been working on a re-vamped 18-week marathon training regimen. Before I dive into that, I'd like to discuss the previous one a bit, and provide some explanation regarding what's changing, and why.

Out With the Old
There are a few things driving my decision to update and improve the training regimen.

The first reason is simply that no training regimen should ever be considered "perfect" or "complete." By providing an update, I am making tweaks and improvements that come from my last year's experience. The program itself was developed from my 20+ years competitive running experience; but it is the first time I have developed  something so lengthy and comprehensive. As such, there are potential improvements to be made. That's not to say that the existing regimen is bad, but rather that it can still be made better.

The second reason for the changes comes from two injuries I suffered last year. The first was my well-documented pulled calf muscle that ultimately forced me to pull out of Montreal. The second was a very minor sore back I suffered caused by some heavy weight training while I was recovering from that calf injury.

I have long maintained that running is a safe and effective activity (perhaps the most effective activity) as long as you maintain proper running form. The 18 weeks as I laid them out last year certainly do not encourage sports injury, and my pulled muscle was the result - as I now know - of inadequate stretching. Nevertheless, I had to make some tweaks to avoid needless risk. First of all, the morning workouts present a weight training approach that is also reflected in the afternoon running workouts. In an update, I no longer want that to be the case. I also wanted to place a greater emphasis on stretching.

The third reason for updating the training regimen is simplicity. As I have learned from my winter cross-training, there is a lot to say for having a more simplified exercise regimen. Most of these gains pertain to intellectual shorthand, true, but even that is significant if you have a lot to think about. ;)

In With the New
The new regimen presents a similar, albeit more refined 18 week training regimen for marathons. While I am undertaking this program with Ottawa Race Weekend in mind, you may of course begin and end the program at any time.

The current spreadsheet is in a slightly unfinished state. I am not quite finished outlining exactly what I want to present. However, I wanted to provide the full regimen to my readers so that they can get started immediately. If you already started the old program yesterday, you can easily switch back-and-forth between the two programs at your leisure. They are complimentary.

The new link is here. I will also update The Marathon page accordingly.

Good luck!