41st Marine Corps Marathon

26.2 miles.  Wow.  I don’t think I want to do this.  I’ve never believe marathons were healthy for the body, especially the knees!  Yet, as a fitness addict, it feels like I have to do it, at least once.  If I’m going to do it, I might as well do it while I’m in good shape and before I have children!  Plus, we’ve moving to the East Coast, so as a proud military spouse, it’s fitting that I want my first (and possibly only) marathon to be the Marine Corps Marathon!  So, here we go!

A Marathon?!

My knees hurt just thinking about it!  Why the sudden change in mind?  2016 naturally became a year of fitness challenges.  It wasn’t my New Years’ Resolution and I wasn’t deliberating it…all of a sudden on January 3rd I had the urge to follow a Body Building Program called 4 Weeks 2 Shred (Kris Gethin’s 4 Weeks 2 Shred is available in the Body Space app).  By January 8th, I was feeling strong and wanted to make sure my commitment in the gym led to results, so I decided to increase my protein intake.

I’ve eaten “fairly” healthy for as long as I can remember (cutting out processed foods, making meals from scratch, etc.), but I definitely enjoy a serving of chocolate and gummy bears now and again.  We don’t buy “junk food” and tend to “shop the outer loop” at the grocery store (produce, dairy, meat).  However, after spending years (16+ years) exercising daily and not feeling like I ever reached my goal, I decided I need to focus in on my macronutrients (protein, carbs, sugar, fat).

Mid-January, we received military orders to move to the East Coast.  After a mention of the Marine Corps Marathon, we couldn’t stop thinking about it.  So when the Active Duty tickets went on sale March 3, we pulled the plug!  I couldn’t purchase mine until late-March via a lottery…and I got it!  So now we’re doing it.

Starting Point:

I’ve been running 2-3 times per week for the past few years, and for over 16 years it’s been part of my routine.  So, I run, but it’s not my favorite, so I don’t go very far.  About 3 years ago, I remember my normal speed being about 9 minute miles, and I’ve been proud that more recently I’ll average 7:30-8 minute miles.  This past month, I’ve increased leg weightlifting to twice per week and decreased carb consumption to 100 grams daily (which is normally too low, but it’s temporary), which I’ve noticed has affected my run time.  It’s only been about 4 runs so I’m still experimenting, but my run time slowed to about 8:30 minute miles for the past few runs with these changes.  I’ll continue to monitor and share my progress as I adjust my macronutrients, weight lifting routine, and start marathon training!

My current fitness plan (for about 6 months prior to marathon training) has been to incorporate a variety of daily cardio and regular weightlifting.  (FYI – For the 2 years prior to this routine, I always did 45-60 minutes of cardio per day, but I didn’t have much time to weight lift, so it’s been about 2 years since weightlifting was a part of my regular, consistent routine.)

So, right now, what do I do?  I usually run or bike to the gym on weekdays, which is 1 mile each way, and then add cardio and weights.  Here’s the basic version of what I’ve been doing from January through June.  In the end of June, I’ll start official marathon training!  (FYI:  Many experts recommend having run 15-20 miles weekly before marathon training.)

Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

“Long Run” (4-6 miles)

Run 2 miles; Elliptical 30 min Bike to gym; Elliptical 45 min Run 3-4 miles Bike to gym; Elliptical 45 min Run 2 miles; Elliptical 30 min Bike 10-12 miles
Legs Back & Biceps Chest, Triceps, & Shoulders Legs Back & Biceps

Chest, Triceps, & Shoulders

Interested in a detailed plan?  Contact me!

We’re taking a vacation, but that does not mean fitness stops!  I’ve already created a routine that I’ll be able to maintain for the two weeks we’re away.  Here’s what I’m planning to do:

Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Bike

Run Run Bike Run Bike

Run

Chest, Shoulders, & Calves Legs & Triceps Back & Biceps Chest & Shoulders Legs, Calves, & Triceps Back, Biceps, & Abs

Abs

When we return from vacation, I’ll have about 3 weeks until marathon training, so I created a routine to help me prepare for the increased running.  My plan is to reduce leg weightlifting to once per week, as I’ve noticed my hamstrings are constantly tired and I know they’ll need more of a break after my long training runs!

Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Bike

Run Elliptical Run

Run

Elliptical

Run (long)

Chest & Triceps Legs & Calves Back, Biceps, & Abs Chest & Triceps Shoulders & Calves

Back, Biceps, & Abs

After 4 weeks of that, it’ll officially be 1 week into marathon training, AND a HUGE life change!  We’ll be moving across the world (literally, from Japan to the East Coast).  I’m sure this be challenging as I’ll be living out of a hotel for 20 days, finding a house, searching for a job, etc.  That’s all a part of being a military spouse though, and I’m excited to see what the next duty station brings!

Marathon Training:

Read my monthly posts here!  July, August, September, & October

This is the basic marathon training plan that I tweaked to fit our lifestyle.  I added the weightlifting, but didn’t make myself do it every day if I was still recovering from a run.

Sunday

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Elliptical Run (shorter distance)  Elliptical or Bike  Run (medium distance) Run (shorter distance)  Elliptical or Bike  Run (long distance)
 Back, Biceps, & Abs  Legs & Calves  Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, & Abs Back, Biceps, & Abs  Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, & Abs
WEEK MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
1 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 8 Cross
2 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 9 Cross
3 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 6 Cross
4 3 Rest 6 3 Rest 11 Cross
5 3 Rest 6 3 Rest 12 Cross
6 3 Rest 6 3 Rest 9 Cross
7 4 Rest 7 4 Rest 14 Cross
8 4 Rest 7 4 Rest 15 Cross
9 4 Rest 7 4 Rest Rest 12
10 4 Rest 8 4 Rest 17 Cross
11 5 Rest 8 5 Rest 18 Cross
12 5 Rest 8 5 Rest 13 Cross
13 5 Rest 5 5 Rest 19 Cross
14 5 Rest 8 5 Rest 12 Cross
15 5 Rest 5 5 Rest 20 Cross
16 5 Rest 4 5 Rest 12 Cross
17 4 Rest 3 3 Rest 8 Cross
18 3 Rest 2 Rest Rest 2 m run 26.2

Interested in a detailed plan?  Contact me!

Marathon Nutrition Plan:

As of January, I’ve really focused on macronutrients.  I mentioned I’m trying to reach 100 grams of protein per day, ideally 130-140.  It can be hard to reach that goal while still keeping my calories low, so it’s important that every bite of food counts.  That may sound like a lot of protein, but there are many benefits.  I stay full longer, it’s easier to maintain muscle, and it helps me focus on what types of food to eat.  I’m not as concerned with calories, because naturally things high in protein are healthier (chicken, fish, tuna, eggs, etc.).  If you’re buying processed protein items (bars, drinks, etc.), make sure to keep the sugar, carbs, and calories low, as many options are not healthy and in reality are a candy bar in a fancy wrapper.  There are many healthy recipe sites too, but not all of the high-protein recipes taste good.

Music:

I don’t like building playlists, but good music definitely helps a run!  I came across these options, and thankfully, you can stream it through an app!