Monday, November 9, 2009

Couch to Marathon 5 Day Plan

This plan will take you from your couch to running a full 26.2 mile marathon in only 5 days. Like most people, you have thought of running at some point in your life, but have procrastinated (like almost all people out there). Now you are a __ year old wreck with nothing left to show from your former high school wrestling physique. Are you ready for a change? Even if the answer is a resounding no, at least I made you think. And if you had a thought, it could grow to an small action, which, my friend, can lead you to finishing a marathon race in just 5 days from now. Nothing in life is easy, and this plan is no exception, but you will be pleased with the results and the sense of accomplishment at finishing a marathon! Follow the plan below and join the club:

Day one: go out in the morning at an easy pace walking then transition to a slow jog when you feel comfortable. Continue this for two hours. Return home and apply ice to your entire body below your waist for 3 to 4 hours. Eat 2 Advil every 2 hours and rest. Later that day, run an additional 5 miles to 'stay in the zone'. Do not eat. Instead, drink plenty of fluids and go to sleep.

Day Two: Continue as day one, but add 1/2 hour to your morning 'run'. Your running form may feel a bit unorthodox at this point, but don't worry, you will be striding like a champ in no time at all! Continue to apply ice (even during the run if needed) and continue the Advil regimen, increasing to 3 every 4 hours. Eat food today and drink plenty of fluids. Afternoon run should be about 8-10 miles two times. You may be feeling 'sore' by this time. Stretching and relaxing after your run will help. If you are experiencing cardiac discomfort or abdominal cramping, drink water and consult a physician as this is most likely a normal reaction for your body type. Take an evening light jog of 3 miles or so to cool down and prepare your body and mind for a restful sleep.

Day Three: This is a no food day, but you should drink plenty of fluids, especially before your morning run (22 miles) Take your morning run at a faster pace -you will probably be somewhere in the 8-9 min/mile pace by now and working though the cramps and other body ailments that are normal in such an abbreviated running plan. Are you icing?? Ice all the time now -your body needs it! Eat Advil at the same rate and frequency as Day Two. You want to prep yourself physically for the final push before your taper day. Afternoon run is an interval workout. This might sound tough, but you need this increase and variety in training. Keep thinking, "26.2!! 26.2!! 26.2!!" For the afternoon intervals: run 1 mile at race pace then 5 minutes at a much slower 9 minutes/mile resting pace, continue for 90 minutes. Cycle through three of these interval plans this afternoon. Need I say ice?? Also, I tricked you at the beginning of this day. Eat dinner. Eat a bean and cheese burrito and drink a Heineken. No, that was a dream you just had. This is not an 'eating day'. You'll eat plenty tomorrow during your taper. Take a light evening jog of 8 miles at a 9:30 pace. Ice, brothers and sisters, ice!!

Day Four: Taper day!! Eat breakfast, eat some Advil (all you want at this point) and ice your bad-ass self !! We want our bodies to recover for tomorrows big event, so we need to taper. You will have a short morning run of 12 miles at a moderate 8 min/mile pace. Follow this with some easy easy easy speedwork on a local track. Do 8 400 meter runs increasing each until you are at a full sprint for the final 400. You will need to ice a lot after this which is very normal. For the Advil, ask yourself if you are feeling any pain in the region of your liver. If yes, continue to consume in like dosages as yesterday. If not, increase dosage until you feel a slight to medium level of discomfort coming from your abdomen (also possibly blurry vision and other melodramatic symptoms) --that's the Advil working! Rest this afternoon and carb load. Eat about a pound of pasta with cheese and drink 3 Diet Vanilla Cherry Dr. Peppers. Tonight, watch a running video on You Tube. You are ready.

Day 5: Race Day. It's here! The day you have been waiting for. Do not go out too fast and spoil your later miles. Take in the scenery and stick to your plan; the idea is to be competitive while having fun. Life is short and you have trained hard for this. Be sure to forgo the goo, gel, and other sugary traps that newcomers to this sport fall into. You need water, and lots of it. And did you think you were done with the Advil? Brother, you're just starting! Eat 2 at each mile and you should be fine. Continue to ice your lower body and don't waste mental energy staring at someone else's butt. Keep your eyes on the road about thirty yards ahead of you and soon you will see the 'one more mile' marker. Since you have never felt the thrill of finishing one of these beauties, you are in for a treat. As you cross the finish line, grab onto the nearest person and give a big kissy right on the lips. All finishers are entitled to this ritual. Get away fast and make your way over to the food and freebie lines. Wear your medal and space blanket into the med tent and let them pamper you back into the land of upright walkers. Hope this plan helped you, and hope to see you out there on the road to 26.2!!

I'd love to hear how you are doing. Send me emails and/or comments on this blog.

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