Imerman Angels

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Marathon training

Hello! It has been an extremely busy month with traveling and work, so this has gotten neglected. An update on a few of things will be coming at some point, but the most recent thing that is going on is marathon training! Lets go back to May and run through some things that had been on my mind.

One of the first things that came to mind is what marathon training plan I would use?


I really had no rhyme or reason for choosing this book. The only thing that I really knew about the plan is that the longest training run is 16 miles. A friend and I ended up at a book store one day and I decided to purchase it. This is not to say that the Hal Higdon plans have not worked, but trying new things is never a bad thing. The book taught me a lot and it has not left my side since it came into my hands.  I even got a few friends to do the program with me! 

Could I handle an increase in mileage and running six times a week?

A-We are finding that out right now! As I have gotten to know other runners, increased mileage is part of training, so I knew that it had to happen. Running six days a week also seemed challenging, but after reading the book, it is not as much hard mileage that it sounds like. A lot of the miles are spent are what the trio calls "easy miles (a minute or two less than goal marathon pace). That's another thing that is important about the Hanson Method;it really stresses proper pacing and hitting those numbers consistently. Commitment is also a huge part of the program because workouts are placed in order for a reason.

View from the Ann and Roy Butler Trail in Austin, TX

What I looked like after my first run in Austin.
That's commitment, right?

The next question that had to be answered is what were some realistic goals for the marathon?

A- Reading the book and training with the team I coached allowed me to set some goals that are very reachable. Last year I had a time of 3:47:40 and definitely thought that could be improved up and came up with a goal of 3:20. There are charts in the book that help you determine what paces you should be hitting during your runs, speed workouts and strength workouts. Below are some of the numbers that I should be hitting on some of the runs: 

Goal Time: 3:20
Easy runs-8:38
Tempo (marathon pace):7:38

Even though speed and strength workouts (i.e. mile repeats) are not listed above, I am and will be doing them. Speed work is new to my training plan and so far it has been a lot of fun doing them. 

What shoe will take me across the finish line?

A- Probably the New Balance 870 or Brooks Ravenna 5. Both shoes have been good to my feet and will make a great choice. If I were forced to make a choice today, it would be the 870. It is definitely one of my favorite shoes that I run in right now.

How is training going so far?

A-My body is tired, but I am loving it. My first tempo run is tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how it goes. Wednesdays are my new favorite day of the week thanks to the scheduled days off. 

That's all I have for now! How is marathon training going for you?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ragnar Tips

How do you get over fear of missing out on the next upcoming Ragnar after doing your first one? Answer: Get convinced by one of your Cape Cod Ragnar teammates to do the Chicago Ragnar. I did not expect to be back in the saddle so soon, but here we go again.

Back in the day (a.k.a-three weeks ago), the thought of doing my first Ragnar scared me. I did not know what to bring, if I would get lost, how to dress and so on. The more tips I read, the more comfortable it made me feel. Here are some of my tips on how to handle your first Ragnar. These tips are in no order of importance.

Tip 1: Don't over pack

This is an important tip because it is important to remember because, there are other people who bringing their things and there will not be a lot of space in the vehicle. I felt like I packed pretty light  for my Ragnar, but I ended up not using a lot of things.

List of things I suggest bringing:

Dri-fit gear or gear that is anti-microbial

Shoes (your running shoes and comfortable shoes like flip flops or sandles)- If there is a strong
chance of it raining, you could bring two pairs of running shoes.

Baby wipes (may be most important item)

Nutrition items like Gu or Cliff Bars

Big sandwich bags to put wet or smelly clothes in.

Comfortable clothing to wear when you are not running

Something that can help with over packing is communicating with your teammates on who is bringing what. My Madison to Chicago team met recently and we ironed out some important details on what to bring and who will bring it. If everyone brought a lot of the same things, there would too much of it and it would go to waste.

Tip 2: Don't expect too sleep much

Sleep is something that really, just will not happen a lot. Any sleep that you get during a Ragnar is a bonus. I am not someone who can fall asleep anywhere, so this is something I expected and handled pretty well. There are a lot of people out there who really like their sleep and I do not blame them for that. They will just have to prepare to catch up on that after the weekend. Personally, it probably took two to three days to get back on a normal sleeping schedule.

Tip 3: Get out of the van as much as you can

It is exteremely important to stay loose to keep your body ready for the next leg. I had a little routine I did before every run to try and keep myself loose. If you are a runner who has a routine like this, do it before each run. Ragnar is not a normal running event and it is important to try and keep it as normal as possible. I am not saying that doing these things will completely eliminate soreness, but they definitely will help. With that being said, bring a stick (I suggest the Type A or C roller from Addaday) or foam roller to use before or after runs.

Tip 4: Now is not the time to be anti-social and have fun

This is not the event for anyone who is anti-social. Or I should say, someone who is not ready to break out of their shell. There is a lot of time in the van with your teammates and sometimes, it will be with people who we may not know very well. Get to know your teammates and have a good time. It really is a great event and one that is meant to bring people closer and learn more about them. On the last Ragnar (Cape Cod) and on this Ragnar (Madison to Chcago), I did not really know many of the people on my team. They were not complete strangers, but over the course of the weekend, I got to know them a little more.

There are a ton of other things that could be said, but these are the most important to me. If you are reading this and doing Madison to Chicago, have fun!

What are your Ragnar tips?