Steve and I knocked out one of our last early morning training hikes before our upcoming trip. While we were trading notes about gear, packing, and so on we kicked up a couple of deer. After a while we got on the topic of what type of training plan we should have for next week. My gut instinct was to hit it even harder and hike more miles on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with more weight to make sure I was as prepared as possible.. even though we would be hiking for reals on the very next day.
I’m grateful for lessons I learned from training for my first marathon, especially how to train during the last week or two. When training for a long distance run there’s always the same desire to run hard right up until the day of the event to make sure I’ve maximized my training time. This thought is total garbage and completely wrong. By running strong until the race my body would be beaten up and exhausted. If I take the last week to relax my legs have the opportunity to relax, refresh, and recharge. This lesson is a perfect example of how sometimes I must remember to go slow to go fast.
For my first marathon there was a two week cool down. The penultimate week saw me drop my miles by almost 50% and the final week about half of that. What’s funny is that even though I should have relished the thought of taking a break I couldn’t help but feel like I was losing fitness. I felt like I was trapped and climbing the walls. It felt so wildly wrong that I confirmed the strategy with more than a handful of other resources to confirm it was correct. But it worked. It worked so well that I successfully completed the full 26.2 miles.
After remembering how great it felt to finish my marathons even though it felt awkward I knew I needed to heed the lessons learned to help with hiking. Next week will be a much reduced mileage and weight week in order to help me be as ready as possible for the end of next week. All the hard work is already done. I started early and got myself into the shape I wanted to get into. Now it is time to rest and trust the process.
While prepping for my blog I knew I wanted to find a race pic to attach. When I attempted to find the one I wanted I instead stumbled into some hysterical pics of a random-fish weekend night downtown with friends. I was literally chuckling to myself while I paused to cruise through all of them and re-live those memories. How cool that I stumbled into another benefit of blogging tonight.