February is here and your training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon should be well underway.
The big Sunday runs aren’t here yet, but they also aren’t far away either. The gradual increase in weekly mileage continues with a focus on building the base that will support the running that is to come in March and April.
Run the schedule, stay healthy
The keys to remember in February are sticking to the plan, and making sure you stay healthy.
If you don’t have a good training schedule on paper or on your online calendar, then that should be job one this weekend. Knowing what you are running now, and what’s coming up over the next few weeks helps ensure that you continue to take your training seriously.
I’ve seen too many people who don’t do all the runs in the first month and then pay a big price later on. The marathon training program from the Running Room (the one I recommend for new marathon runners) starts off pretty slow and easy. But once you get to week six or seven, look out.
If you don’t have the leg strength and miles under your belt when that increase in weekly and Sunday run mileage hits, you might run into some real discouragement along with the real risk of injury.
Ignore the soreness, don’t ignore the pain
If you do find yourself dealing with some aches or pains (as I am right now), don’t wait to see if things get better on their own. Go visit your physiotherapist, or find one if you don’t already have one.
The worst thing you can do is to push through some minor pain in the hopes it will resolve itself. It might just be some muscle soreness or tightness associated with the increase in running, but it also could be the first signs of something more serious. Better to check it out and make sure.
Big month, bigger months to come
The Running Room training plan that I’m using calls for about 175km of running in February. March and April will be up over 200km each. If this is your first time training for a marathon, those may be big, scary numbers.
Plenty of people ust like you have done it before and lots of people are doing it right now on the way to a spring marathon. Take training seriously and you’ll be rewarded with success on race day.