I’ve been going back and forth trying to get my training plan right. I am working with a Marathon Heart Rate Training group plan which calls for me to keep my heart rate at, or under 140 bpm. I also have been thinking about using the Galloway method of run/walk/run intervals to train. I keep going back and forth with the benefits of each plan. The heart rate plan builds my anaerobic systems and should keep me healthy and injury free. The Galloway plan also keeps me injury free as I’m building in recovery and not continuously straining my ankle tendons. I keep asking myself, Do I realistically expect to run 26.2 miles without stopping? Do I want to train using run/walk/run intervals, or continuous running like I did for my half marathon? There are so many things to consider and honestly my achilles is still not feeling great. I’ve been trying to push through and modify as needed but the pain has not totally subsided. It’s super hard to be motivated to train and run when it hurts.
When I returned to running this spring, I was using intervals to build my stamina back up. I always felt the time went faster and it was a great workout. Yet, I still thought of it as a temporary measure, one that was meant to build me up and then taper away. As I continued, I had the goal of increasing the intervals until they were gone. A few weeks ago, I began continuous running and worked up to 6 miles on long runs. If I’m honest with myself, my feet were crying from mile 5 on. After the run I had difficulty walking and my day was pretty much left to roll, soak, elevate and rest. Clearly, something had to give and that something was my EGO.
Last year, I joined a running club in Manhattan – The Galloway Club. I never went to one run and just decided it wasn’t for me because after all, I was a runner. This year, I joined the club again and told myself I was going to try it, but didn’t. While I did try intervals, I didn’t go to join the club for the long runs, which by the way are geared to training for the marathon. This week I had a long, honest talk with my EGO and decided that if I am going to make it through this marathon I need to do what my body needs, not what my EGO wants. Wednesday morning I met with Filicia, a local Galloway club member and we ran 3 miles at the park. We did 45:30 intervals and I noticed that my pace was much quicker than when I run continuously. I also noticed that my feet didn’t hurt quite as much. The rest of the day I didn’t need to recover and elevate, ice, etc my feet. Listening to her tell me about the three marathons she ran successfully really helped me make my decision. I am officially doing run/walk/run interval training and plan to run the marathon using this strategy. Thanks Filicia for talking me through this and for running with me!
Today, we met again and ran 7 miles, the same route I ran last week. Last week by mile 5 my feet were pretty shot and I wasn’t sure if I could finish. This week, though I had some soreness, I finished the run and didn’t feel finished for the day. I’m super excited to feel like I WILL complete this marathon using this strategy. I also am excited that perhaps my achilles will finally begin to heal. When I compare how I felt this week recovering from the run to how I felt last week it is really a no brainer. I feel much better and more able to go about the business of my day.
In reflecting on why this decision was so hard for me to make, I know my ego is the cause. I didn’t think of run/walk/run intervals as “running”. I felt that if I needed to use this strategy, I was weak. I am fully aware that the man who created this method, Jeff Galloway, is an Olympian, but I just couldn’t get past feeling like a failure. A funny thing happened on these last two runs – I felt like I worked hard. I wasn’t slogging along slowly, praying for the run to end. I actually felt invigorated and more athletic than before. It’s hard to explain, but I felt very accomplished and know in my heart I made the right choice. The reality is, whether I walk, run or crawl, a mile is a mile and I’m out there moving forward!
What are the bullshit stories you tell yourself when you workout, or run? Please share below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.