Marathon What!?!

Joes Barbell
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Before my first endurance event…

before I almost drown…

drowning… 20 meters into the swim

pretending to swim…

recovering from a near death experience (I sat in the transition zone for 8 minutes)


This time next week I will have, hopefully, completed a marathon.  For those of you who know me best (short list I know) I can already see the double take.  Why am I doing something I have said many times over and over that I’d never do?  For one; just to do it.  Two, I was trying to be a supportive husband but ended up just a husband running a marathon.  Three, I’m trying to break out and try new things.  Most of the time people try new things they are excited about or think they might be good at, neither of which is the case concerning next Sundays marathon.  In fact I’m pretty freaked out.  The closest things I have done leading up to this event are a tri-sprint (which I almost drown in), a 5K, and most comparably a 20 mile trail run through the rain forests of Oahu.  The last of which was completed about a year ago and actually pretty fun. 
It’s funny.  When I talk to people who have never run a marathon they say, “you’ll be fine, you look like you’re in pretty good shape.”  When I talk to people who run marathons they ask if I have been training and with a snicker wish me luck.  They also offer me tons of advice.  Hopefully most of which I’ll remember on race day.

So, how have I been training for the marathon?  The only way I’d enjoy it; with heavy back squats, crossfit, and the occasional evening jog around Ala Moana Beach Regional Beach Park (That’s not entirely true.  I did run around Lanikai twice, once).
What I have read about marathon training I knew I wouldn’t enjoy.  Running long and slow is the pits in my opinion.  So I figured I’d just get my legs as strong as possible the best way I knew how.  I incorporated sets of 5 across into my training 3 times a week.  Last week I ended this little phase at 335 for 5×3.  For those of you scoffing I beg you to give it a try.  Coming out of your 14 and 15 rep you know you have just done something, especially 6 weeks into the program.  It’s something I believe I’ll keep in my training as long as possible.  For more info check out Rippeteo’s Practical Programming.  I’ve plugged this book a few times.  If you’d rather use the internet look into Crossfit Football and its amateur strength wod’s.  Their both based of the same principals. 
In terms of crossfitting I’ve been hitting the 808 house WOD’s and doing my best to practice my pose stroke when ever running was part of the WOD.  It was also important for me to run over a marathon pace whenever running came up.   
The jogging went surprising well.  I really just went out a few times a week and ran for time.  Distance was never a concern.  Rather, when I went out I’d work hard to keep an efficient running stroke and work equally hard to not walk at all.  The longest I worked up to was 45 minutes (during which I ran 5 miles but whose counting).  The best part of this little running regiment is that I’m super confident that under most circumstances I can run 3-4 miles at a 9 minute pace.  Worst part is that I haven’t tried it after running 20 miles on concrete.  That part of the experiment will be worked out Sunday hopefully around 9-10 am Hawaiian.     

At this point I’m about as ready as I’ll ever be.  The plan for this week is to run 20 minutes MWF, hit Crossfit hard Tue. and Thur., rest Sat and complete something I swore I’d never do on Sunday.  No one can accuse me of over training, which I’ve heard is a common practice for these things.  Over the course of the week it’s my plan to share my goals and thoughts as race day approaches and provide a full account of the event itself.  I may even give live tweets during the race.  Stay tuned folks.  At worst this should be very interesting.          

By the way… those tri pics are pre hawaii (i think april 2009), pre paleo, pre crossfit. just in case you were wondering.