25 Week Marathon Training Boot Camp: Week 2
Now that you have signed up for your marathon and have completed your week one training, you are well on your way. No going back now!
I recommend figuring out this week what you would like to accomplish with this marathon. It is good to set mini goals inside your big goal (running a marathon) to keep you on-track and help you know exactly what you would like to see with this marathon. With my first marathon, my goal was just to complete the marathon without stopping. This helped me because I had that goal in sight as I was training (I knew that I needed to get my mileage at a comfortable distance so that I had confidence I could complete the marathon without stopping). It also helped me on the day of my race to stay focused on what I wanted to accomplish.
Your goal could be anything, just make sure that it is a realistic goal (you probably don’t want to make your goal for your very first marathon ever to be something like, qualify for the Boston Marathon). You could make that a goal for your second or third marathon. You could have a goal to get a faster time than your last marathon or to just simply finish or whatever you would like. Make sure that you write this goal down and place it somewhere that you will see often throughout your training.
Keep this goal in mind as you are training. Hopefully, as you do this boot camp, there will be tools that you will see to help you accomplish this goal.
Running schedule for the week:
Day 1 (Monday): Run 2.5 miles
Day 2 (Tuesday): Rest or cross training
Day 3 (Wednesday): Run 1.5 miles (speed/hill workout)
Day 4 (Thursday): Strength training
Day 5 (Friday): 1.5 miles (light run)
Day 6 (Saturday): Run 4 miles
Day 7 (Sunday): Rest
Tips for this week:
You will probably notice that I added a speed or hill workout onto your Wednesday run. These are so important to increase your stamina and speed for your race. It is also so important to practice running hills so that you are ready if your marathon has hills. You do not want to go into a race that has hills without ever practicing on hills because this will very negatively impact how you are feeling during your race.
A good thing to do is to alternate every week between a speed workout and a hill workout. You can choose which you would like to start with this week but I am going to include a hill workout and hill tips this week so I suggest you start with hills this week!
I have to start out by saying, I, like most people, do not enjoy running hills. I do enjoy how I feel after I have gone out and done a hill workout so that is one thing that gets me through a tough hill workout. Hold on to that as you are doing this hill workout. I am including an outdoor hill workout this week, but in a few weeks I will include a hill workout that you can do on a treadmill if you don’t live near hills.
Here are some tips to making that hill run a little easier:
Keep your chest up: A lot of people have the tendency to really tighten up and lean forward too much as they are going up hills. This gives your chest less room and makes it harder to take deep breaths. Try to maintain an open, upright position as much as possible, focus on standing tall.
Stay loose: Along with the first tip, make sure that you are keeping your shoulders loose. Don’t bring them in to your neck. If you keep your face relaxed, usually the rest of your body will follow. Keeping everything loose will help you breathe easier too.
Use your arms: Make sure that you are pumping your arms, this will help propel you up the hill.
“Shift down”: I heard an analogy once that I really liked. When you are riding a bicycle uphill, you need to shift down to make it easier. You need to do the same with running. Take smaller steps and you will have an easier time making it up the hill.
It is okay to run hills slower: It is natural to run at a slower pace uphill. Your body has to work harder to run uphill than it did on a flat terrain. Slow down so that you still have some energy left over after you made it to the top.
High knees: Try to lift your knees a little higher as you are running uphill, this will help you get up the hill a little easier than if you are dragging your feet.
Downhill: Let the hill guide your momentum. Try to step lightly so that you don’t hurt your knees. I always use the downhill as a chance to catch my breath before the next hill. Try to stay as upright as possible. If you feel like you need to slow down, you can lean back slightly but you shouldn’t lean forward or you could get off-balance and fall.
Find a nice hill that will challenge you to run up. You will want this hill to take about 60-90 seconds for you to run to the top. You do not have to run at full speed, but you do want to feel challenged by the time you reach the top of the hill.
10 minute warm up
Run up hill 5x (using downhill to catch your breath)
10 minute cool down
This should take you about 30 minutes or so to complete
If you don’t feel challenged enough, add a couple more hill repeats on there. Make sure you are paying attention to your body to avoid injury.
Your legs will likely be pretty sore from your hill workout. Use this as a good excuse to get an arm workout in. It is very important for runners to strengthen their arms because the arm swing makes for more efficient running.
Here is an example workout for the week:
Push Ups (10 reps)
Tricep curls (12 reps) Arms straight up in air holding a dumbbell, slowly lower dumbbell behind head and back up.
Fly (10 reps) Lie on back, arms straight out in front of you holding dumbbells, slowly extend both arms to the sides and back up.
Arm press (12 reps) Arms at a 90 degree angle by ears holding dumbbells, slowly extend arms up to ceiling then back down.
Bench press (10 reps)
Bicep curls (12 reps)
Crunches (15 reps)
Plank (30 seconds)
Side plank (15 seconds each side)
REPEAT 2-3 TIMES
Good luck this week! I always find that the second week is harder than the first week so just make sure to stick to your goals and whatever you do, don’t skip your long run and you will have a great week! Good luck!