Keeping Track

I was a novice runner when I started training for the Disney Full Marathon with the Team in Training program. I can't believe I did it! This is a link to the running schedule my coach, Tim Vinson, set up for me on Microsoft Excel when I started my training.

Running Schedule and Log

As you can see, it starts very easy and moves up gradually over 20 weeks. As long as you start at a level you are capable of, move up the mileage very gradually, and give yourself plenty of time to train, you will be able to get up to the higher mileages.

You also have to remember to run at a pace that is comfortable for you. If you notice yourself struggling to talk to or keep up with your running partner, you should just slow down. Slow and steady wins the race. Well, if you're like me, you probably won't win, but at least you'll finish. I only run at about 5 mph!

You probably noticed that there were spaces to put down what I actually jogged, the amount of time it took me, and some comments about the run. This is also called a running log or journal. Keeping track of your mileages and times helps to build confidence in your progress but also keeps you from slacking. I always felt really guilty when I had to put "zero" in one of those spots. If you include comments about the run, it will be easier for you to remember how long different routes are, how certain liquids or foods made you feel during your run, and can help you pace yourself during the actual race. Your total mileage will also let you know when it's a good time to buy new shoes.

You may also notice that about two to three weeks before the race, Tim told me to start running less, or "pare down" my workouts. You should reach about 18 miles before you run the race, however, you should reach that before this paring down period. This resting point is important because, while you want to keep your body in shape before the race, you don't want to be running such long distances that your body will not have time to recover before the race. So just make sure you're still doing some activity, just not so much that the recovery time will interfere with race day.

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