…so do you actually like running that much?

A colleague recently asked me if running marathons was my thing. That is, would I continue running only to participate in the major races, or would I just keep doing them until my legs fell off? I hadn’t really thought about it before – my long-term relationship / future with running. I recently went through a lot of changes with family, work, and relationships, but the one constant in my life has been running. I wasn’t being aggressive about training these past few months, but it was something I could fall back on. Now that I’m back in training mode, it’s hard to imagine not having a motivating event on an annual basis. I guess the real question is how much am I willing to work to improve my time? Will it be a natural progression, or will I have to train that much harder each time? We shall find out this fall.

I am four weeks into my training and am loving every minute of it. Right before the deadline, I decided to use the NYRR Virtual Training Program (12-week program) and am so happy I did it. It was very easy to set up and figured me out pretty quickly with a series of questions. Based on the mediocre training I did in the first half of the year and my desire to train four days out of the week, it put me in the conservative program at 4:02 – 4:10. Obviously I’ll want to push the sub-4 marathon at some point, but I don’t think this will be the year. Philly was 4:12, so as long as I get a faster time than that I will feel good.

The plan for each week varies a little, but it’s similar to most others. Shorter runs during the week, including one speed workout (fartleks, intervals, or sprints), a flex day (either cross-training, an easy run, or day off), and of course, a long run. Since I chose the conservative plan, I get two days off, but I have the ability to switch to moderate or advanced in my options.

The program is also useful because it is constantly updating itself based on the times you’ve inputted. It took some time to stabilize, as well as some time for me to get back into the correct pace, but I think we are all on the same page. I currently have my plan set to a Sunday long run, but if I decide to change it, the rest of my training is adjusted accordingly. No real thinking on my part, which is fantastic.

So do I actually like running that much? Yes I do. Will I run a marathon in every state? I say, worry about one marathon at a time.

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