Ready to start a running program? Do you know how physically fit you are right now?
I already know that you have a couple screws loose upstairs since you committed to run a marathon.
But hey, that’s okay, runners are a little crazy.
We talked in an earlier post about the mental preparation we go through as we begin a running program as we prepare for our marathon, hence the crazy. And we did a deep introspection to determine our physical fitness level.
From my experience, I’ve found that there is a hole in a lot of marathon training programs. Many of them begin with a 4 day running schedule right out of the gates; some require an even greater time and physical commitment. If we are struggling to put one foot in front of the other, a multiple run week will be really, really tough. Being unprepared to handle the rigorous schedule can lead to discouragement and even injury. We need to be well prepared to start the marathon training program on Day 1 of the training schedule. To be properly prepared, we need to fill the gap from no running whatsoever to the start of the marathon training with a solid running program. Let’s go through a quick assessment checklist:
Can you ride a bike for 30 minutes? (No, Excitebike on Nintendo does NOT count)
Can you jump rope for 30 minutes?
Can you play a game of basketball or soccer consistently for 30 minutes?
Can you run for 30 minutes without barfing up a lung?
Can you walk consistently for 30 minutes?
Can you dance to The Blues Brothers, “Everybody Needs Somebody,” on Just Dance4 on the Wii? (I love the Blues Brothers, but I knew I was out of shape when I danced to this song for 10 minutes and I was totally winded.)
This will give you a couple of ideas to gauge your physical fitness level.
If you can complete any of these without a problem, you are in pretty good shape and you’re good to go. You may not need a running program; you’re already in a position where a multi-run week won’t completely shock your system. We will chat more about how to get started in the training program in later posts.
If you can’t, that’s fine, no problem whatsoever. It just means we’ll have to start a running program before we get into the longer term marathon training. This will get us over the hump from walking consistently to running consistently. Walking is probably the best precursor to a solid running program. There are many other activities that help your cardiovascular training, including cycling, swimming, stair climber-ing, break dance fighting, trying to look cool on the elliptical, circuit weight training, angry punch dancing, and many, many more.
First things first,
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your doctor before engaging in any physical activity. The doc is in the best position to provide advice specific to your individual physical condition. When you let your doctor know your marathon plans, he may ask if he fell and hit your head or if someone hit you in the head with a blunt object. “I’ll show you doc,” you’ll say, “I will run a marathon with your consent our without it..” Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy turbo don’t be so dramatic. Quite frankly though, most doctors are on board with the whole marathon idea, its exercise, it gets you outside and is great for overall health.
To help you prepare for a full running program, “My CHUBBY Training Plan” was designed with the goal of Continuous Cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes. As you begin, pick your favorite cardio activity. Follow the schedule strictly, we are building endurance and cardiovascular strength in preparation for the marathon training program. You can exceed the time listed, but try not to fall below. You can do it! Good Luck.
Once you have completed the running program, you are now ready to move on to the full marathon training plan. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun…(scary music) We will talk in other posts about the next steps as you begin your marathon training program. Great work, go get some pancakes. You’ve earned it!
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