As of yesterday, I'm training for a half marathon.
There is no great story or project attached to this. It's quite simple, really. I bought a new running watch, and I'm having lots of fun with it. Part of the functionality of the watch is the ability to import training schedules from Garmin's online platform to the watch. I searched for a half marathon training schedule that seemed to work for me, found an upcoming half marathon to train for, scheduled the workouts, exported them to my watch, and away I went. Really, it was just another way to play with my new watch.
What I think is great about this is the fact that virtually anything can be a good excuse to try something new. If something as silly as a new watch can get me excited about running a race, well, that's just fine. I love little motivating things like this. I've heard stories about how certain famous songs were written, and they often begin with the songwriter having been out somewhere, having seen something that stuck out for him/her, and having decided to write a song about it. We often get the impression that people who do things do them for grandiose reasons. I wanted to accomplish something great! I wanted to set a world record! I wanted to give the world a powerful message! That can be very inspiring, of course, but it's just as fun when something meaningful grows out of a simple experience or observation.
Not that training for a half marathon is extremely important or meaningful. On a personal level, it will take a few weeks of time and effort on my part, of course, but it's not something that anyone else necessarily ought to care about. It's just something I've decided to do, inspired by something relatively meaningless, and that makes me laugh a little.
This "Level 3 Half Marathon" schedule, made available by Garmin's affiliates, is a relatively challenging schedule. It's rare to come across schedules that are designed for people who are better-than-beginners. This schedule seems quite good, actually.
One thing I noticed about it is that, since it is designed around timed runs and heart rate zones, my weekly running mileage will probably increase. I've been going out on fast, five-mile runs, 32-33 minutes at a time. Those are fun runs, of course, but when my schedule tells me to go for a "40 minute run in Zone 2," that's still five miles or more, but it's a recovery run. I come out of a run like that feeling much more refreshed and ready to do more. Consequently, the schedule has more to do: Tuesdays and Thursdays are two-a-day running days, with a recovery run in the morning and a speed workout in the evening. And then, of course, we have a weekly long run. So, that's still six days of running per week, which is what I generally try to stick to, but it's eight workouts instead of six, and very comparable per-workout mileage. I might end up running as much as 50 miles per week under this schedule, which is about a 15-20 mile lift.
I may have to cool the P90X a bit while I do this. Training hard as a runner makes it hard to also train hard as a Beachbody enthusiast. But in a way, that's what the shorter P90X programs are there for. I intend to try to keep up with a P90X3 regimen -- the 30-minutes-per-day version of P90X -- while I do this. That ought to keep me in good muscular shape, with good flexibility and balance, while I train harder as a runner.
All this, because I got a new watch.
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