"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Friday, August 7, 2009

Plotting a Course

Finding a training program that fit my schedule was difficult. Many that I looked at required, in addition to the 3-6 requisite runs per week, multiple days of cross-training and lengthy strength training activities. This just doesn't work for me. I have a wife and two young kids, all of whom want, need and deserve as much time and support as I can give them. I work 45 hours a week. In addition, my current church responsibilities have me teaching a morning scripture study class to a group of high school seniors everyday before school. Combine the lesson/class preparation time and the time spent in class an it amounts to a 15-20 hour/week second job (unpaid). This doesn't leave a lot of discretionary time during the week.

I then found Art Liberman's State of the Art Marathon site (www.marathontraining.com). Before getting to his recommended training schedule, I liked much of what he had to say on a number of subjects, many of which I will probably reference here in the future. His training program is pretty straight forward and in two parts. First, a 19 week buildup program followed by a 17 week training program. He's not real big on cross or strength training (though he doesn't ban it outright by any means) and he's a big proponent of getting enough rest before and afte the longer runs.

To follow this program I needed to add an additional 8 weeks, which I've done by using the first few weeks of the buildup program as my preparation for a 10k on August 15th and another one on September 18th, after which I'll start into week 1. I've also adjusted things so that Sunday is always a rest day (as well as Thursday). Basically it's two or three days a week at first and three or four days a week later on with a longer weekly Saturday run. My strength training will consist of short quick workouts using dumbbells at home--things I can do while taking a break from lesson prep.

As to when to actually run, I think my best bet will be to leave directly from work before going home. Fortunately, there's a huge park with numerous trails within a few blocks of work where I can mark off as many miles as I need. Given the length of the runs, from now until January I should never need longer than about 50-55 minutes to finish. I'm most concerned about January and February, when the runs start to become longer and its too dark and dreary to do it in the morning (I'd have to be done by 5:45am to be able to get ready for class). March through May I might be able to get away with running in the 4:30-5:45am time slot (as a morning person anyway, this isn't a huge deal--the dumb cat wakes me up around that time everyday anyway so she can go outside, it would just be a matter of not crawling back into bed--mind over body, right?).

The time commitment poses the biggest threat to my preparation. I don't worry about the length of the runs or the discipline to do them. But finding the time, or making it rather, will be difficult.

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