Well, with only two days remaining until The Wasatch Back (The Ragnar Relay) I am already looking ahead to see what race I will be running in the fall. I love running. I do. But unless I have a race on the books, as I call it, I tend to slack on my training. I am a very goal oriented person, and it really helps me stay on track.

I am running the Hood to Coast Relay in Portland on August 23rd and 24th. As of yet, I don't know which runner I am so I don't really know what my legs look like, but that's ok.  I will contact my team captain for that race and see if I have any big challenges in my run that I need to prepare for. 

In the meantime, I am making plans for a fall marathon. I have my eyes on Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon on September 14th. It is one of Utah's famous all downhill marathons. It is also a Boston Qualifier. Most runners have a bucket list of runs that they someday would like to run. For me, the ultimate would be Boston. Even in light of this year's tragic events, I still would love to qualify. It is the ultimate prize. Proof that I am a runner, a true marathoner.

In order to qualify for Boston, I am going to have to do a couple of things in my training:

1. I will need to make sure that I get all my long runs in (this is always a challenge for me)

2. Really revamp my diet. I mean, I really need to have a "training diet".

3. Hydrate properly. All the time.

4. Sleep. During the school year I average 6 hours sleep. I really need to be getting 7-8 hours. Research shows that really makes a difference. 

 

I feel confident that if I really focus on these four things, I will definitely have a better marathon. A Boston qualifier? Not certain, but my hope is that I won't spend the last 6 miles cramped, and in agony.

 I mentioned before that I use the FIRST training for my marathon. In the past few weeks, since I discovered the Go Dough snack (see Go Dough, My New Love) I have seen my training times improve. I am hopeful that I will see that pay off as I run my long run this weekend. 

With that in mind, I will begin my marathon training next week (actually considering the runs this weekend as my "long run"). That means I will begin with week 15 of the training.

I highly recommend two books:

1. Run Less, Run Faster -the book includes so much extra information including charts for determining pace, information about the cross training workouts, etc. My copy is underlined, bookmarked with sticky notes, etc. 

2. Performance Nutrition for Runners-this one is also marked and underlined. This one is one I use to determine if a recipe I find on pinterest is a good recipe for my running health. I mean I want to know more than just it's healthy or not. This book talks about how much protein, fat, and carbs we really need. I just need to really stick with this plan. 

I would love to have you train with me for a big race. So, I am going to post my weekly workouts the Sunday before. In the event you don't want to purchase the books, or you are waiting for yours to arrive, I am going to include each week a link to the FIRST training plans.

This one is for the beginning marathoner who is running their first marathon:

Finish with FIRST  

This training plan is for a runner who has already completed a marathon and wants to run faster than the last time (this is my plan):

FIRST to the FInish

Will you run with me? Can we support one another in this quest to a better marathon, or maybe a first marathon?

I hope you will visit me each week to work through the very tough training that brings home a marathon completion.