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Group Runs

February 10, 2011

Tuesdays and Saturdays we have our group training runs.  Monday and Thursday we’re supposed to be running on our own.  Our running group has multiple levels to choose from – Beginner Run/Walk, Intermediate Half Marathon, Intermediate Full Marathon, Advanced Marathon.  My friends and I categorized ourselves as Intermediate Full Marathon runners, so our program includes 4 runs per week and 1 day of optional cross training.  Of course, we are turning our 1 optional day of cross training into 3 days of strength training, yoga, and possibly more with P90X!  Our coach is advising us not to strength train more than once a week, but I’ve heard success stories where people have trained for a marathon while strength training multiple times per week.  As long as we are careful not to overwork ourselves, I think this will only make us stronger!

Tuesday nights we meet in the Pacific Beach area for stretching and running.  With over 300 participants, we have to go out in waves for our 4-6 mile runs so we don’t take over the boardwalk.  Eventually we’ll also incorporate interval training.  Right now, the focus is on easy runs to build our base.  Easy runs mean you can have a conversation with your running buddy and never get out of breath.  You’re also running at no more than 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.  (See my previous post on how to calculate your maximum heart rate.)  Nicole and I did our first 4 mile group run together and let Jeremy stride ahead while we caught up on the latest details of our lives.  I wore my cute & tiny Stella McCartney for Adidas running shorts but was freezing in the nighttime cold.  I guess I keep forgetting I’m not on vacation in Brazil anymore!  Nighttime runs, like early morning runs before the sunrise, are chilly in the winter – even in San Diego.

Saturday morning runs begin at 7:30am and rotate around the San Diego area.  The first run met close to our house, so Jeremy and I only had to get up 1+ hour before our run to make sure we had time to eat a light breakfast and hydrate.  As the Intermediate Full Marathon group, we had the option of running between 5-6 miles (at an easy pace of course).  Jeremy and I ran together that day and decided to go for 6 miles.  Since we’re both really competitive, it was hard to turn around at 5.  We pushed through it together and finished 6 miles.

Where does P90X fit into all of this?  For the first 2 weeks of the dual training program, we are skipping Tuesday’s Plyometrics workout and Saturday’s Kenpo workout.  I plan to incorporate Plyo Tuesday mornings within the next couple of weeks because I think it is one of the BEST workouts for enhanced performance.  It definitely made me a faster runner last time around!  In November, I finished a 5k with a PR just over 24 minutes (a little over 8 minute miles).  Plyometrics means jump training, and Tony Horton says it will make you faster.  I know marathon training isn’t about speed, but rather, endurance…That doesn’t mean I don’t want to become a stronger and faster runner at the same time!  As for Kenpo, while I also enjoy this workout, it doesn’t make sense to run 6-20 miles and then add 1 more hour to my workout.  I just don’t need it. 

Incorporating P90X into my full marathon training is definitely a work in progress, but I know the benefits will be worth it in the end!

View of Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, Brazil

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