One week down, 15 to go!
In line with my “older and wiser” training approach, I’m following this “Less is More” marathon plan from the folks at the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST). Their train-less-run-faster claim is actually backed by the experiences of real runners who followed the program and got results (myself included, having PR’d in my last half marathon using the program).
Here’s what the schedule looked like for Week 1:
- Tempo run – 3 mi
- Track workout – 8 x 400s
- Long run – 10 mi
I knocked out the Tuesday tempo run with a quick jog around the neighborhood after work, but Thursday’s track workout posed more of a challenge. Tracks, while plentiful out in the ‘burbs, are few and far between here in the city.
The closest option open to the public is Kezar Stadium at Golden Gate Park (former home of the 49er’s), so my husband, a friend and I decided to venture out for an early workout on the 4th of July. We got off to a bit of a rocky start by having to scale a fence to get in, but then we had a blast doing our laps alongside people practicing their sprints, hurdles, long jumps and relay team hand-offs.
Saturday’s long run took us around the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m sure that dodging tourists threw us off a tad from our goal pace, but the views are always a welcome mid-run distraction. And as you can see in the pictures, the weather wasn’t cooperating; it was super cloudy, windy and cold!
Now that weekend runs are getting longer, I’m starting to experiment with mid-run fuel, too. Heard about hitting ‘the wall?’ Well, I’d prefer to avoid it altogether by making sure my glycogen stores are topped off.
For a quick energy boost, energy chews are the way to go because they’re easy to carry and easy to digest. The general rule of thumb is to take in about 100 calories after an hour of running, and then another 100 calories every 40-45 minutes after that, but I tweak it based on individual workout duration and intensity.
I’m partial to Sharkies (love the watermelon flavor, but they come in a range of fruity options!), which are electrolyte-spiked chews made from organic and vegan ingredients. One package is 140 calories and provides 110 mg of sodium, 30 mg of potassium and 17 g of sugar.
Sharkies were created by a triathlete (so you know they work), but the best part is that they’re free of high fructose corn syrup, which means they won’t hit my sensitive stomach like a ton of bricks as I’m running. Aside from being a little sticky on my teeth, they’ve been working well (and have gotten glowing reviews from my running buddy crew, too).
Stash a pouch in your belt (or in my case, sports bra), and you’re good to go!