Saturday, May 17, 2008


At the moment, my life has no structure whatsoever. It's scary. I'm now formerly a graduate student, having chosen to leave school; I have finished all the grading for the class I taught this past semester; and I have no job. I am moving out of Manhattan in about two weeks, and I have no idea what to do with myself between now and then.

"Oh!" you say, "You're so lucky! You have all the time in the world to do so many things! You could run all day if you wanted!" Technically, those things are true but unfortunately those things are also not that easy. Since finishing the half-marathon, I have felt sort of lost running-wise. This isn't unusual and it is, in fact, the reason why I started training for what would have been my second marathon immediately after finishing my first. This time around, instead of diving right into a new event, I've sort of just sat around doing very little. Except a lot of eating (and mostly for emotional reasons. The stress of not having a job and, essentially, no direction in life is incredibly weighty and entirely new to me). At the same time, though, I don't want to repeat the same mistake I made last time and start training for something else.

The structure has to come from somewhere, and it looks like I am the only one who can give me the kick in the butt that I need to move on from this driftwood state and start using my free time to accomplish things. So I have been thinking about what my non-training running schedule should look like. Here is what I have been thinking so far:

Principle goals: 1) run 5-6 times a week; 2) run about 30 miles/week.

Weekly breakdown (subject to change or modification):
  1. Monday: off, weight training.
  2. Tuesday: Hills (4-6 miles)
  3. Wednesday: mid-week middle-distance (6-9 miles), light weight training.
  4. Thursday: tempo/speed work (fartlek, intervals, whatever you want to call them) (4-6 miles)
  5. Friday: off, weight training.
  6. Saturday: long run (10-15 miles)
  7. Sunday: easy 5-8 miles.
Any suggestions? I have never really attempted anything like this before. Before I started training for my first marathon, I would just do whatever felt good, trying to meet a minimum amount of mileage. I think this is a pretty balanced plan, but I am also wondering if it isn't a little bit compulsive. I guess that's the nature of running, though. I would like to work on my speed and strength a little bit, and figure the hills and tempo/interval training are essential for that, and I also want to have a little bit of variety throughout my week. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Susan said...

I think you are doing the right thing by trying to make a schedule - see how this works, you can always make adjustments. Good work!

chris said...

I think you created a good schedule for maintenance running and FUN running. Remember, that is the main reason we run, right? For fun? Gotta keep that in mine. I also think you don't necessarily have to run for an event.

Ok, so this is just my opinion, but I think you should have 1 day of rest a week. For me, it's Friday's. I do absolutely nothing on Friday's. I also believe you need 2 days of weight training. That leaves you with 4 days of running.

One long day on the weekend
One middle length day mid week
Two days of 'training' runs (tempo, speed, or hills)

Not sure if that will give you 30 miles. Again, just my opinion. What do you think?

Rachel said...

I think that you've made a good maintenance schedule. I think when it comes down to it, it's what you are comfortable with. It can always be changed if it's too much or too little or if you need more variety.

Anonymous said...

It looks good in my opinion. I like training 7 days a week, but nutrition plays a big role in accomplishing this goal, you have to be really careful with what you eat and with portion sizes to keep you going day after day.
The only thing I see that can be tough on our body is that you don't have a rest (non-running) day after your long run on sat, maybe you could switch your long run to sundays, or your off day from monday to sunday... But you can see how you do with what you have planned so far and make changes 'on the run' depending on how you feel.

*jen* said...

I know exactly what you mean about the driftwood feeling. I just moved and am currently unemployed and despite having nothing but time, I get absolutely NOTHING (included running) done. It's driving me nuts.

Your schedule looks pretty tough. I think Chris has a good idea throwing a full rest day in there. Good luck!