Hard to believe that it’s been 3 years since I’ve trained for a race. I came close to doing one last year, but a lot of stuff was happening and I was getting sick too often. Well except for my little dental mishap a couple weeks ago, things have been much better lately and that’s what prompted me to give this another stab.
Breathing wise, my lung function has been pretty stable with my FEV1 running in the low to mid 30’s and my O2 sats above 90%. I haven’t had any hospitalizations since February which is also good. Probably the biggest challenge I face right now, is that I’m 3 years older ( I’ll be 60 years old when race day comes around) and Im not in as good a physical shape as I was the last time I did this. During these past 3 years Ive continued to walk almost every day, but there’s a huge difference in doing maybe 1-2 miles per day at a casual pace versus doing 30 miles a week of racewalking. Looking back on it, I can’t believe I did it.
As for a training strategy, pacing myself will be theme this time around. Instead of pushing myself to walk as fast as I can when Im feeling good, I’ll actually be forcing myself to slow down and walk at an even pace. Sounds like an oxymoron for a race I know, but that’s what Im gonna have to if I wanna finish the race. Obviously Id love to racewalk, but racewalking is akin to running as far as the lungs are concerned, and with less lung reserve than in previous races, if im not super careful,I could easily throw myself into bronchospasm and hyperinflation, which would spell the end of any training or any hopes of finishing the race. (Too bad they don’t have a 7.5 hour pace group, that would be perfect.. lol)
Below is the training schedule I came up with. You’ll notice that the bulk of my training consists of walking… lots and lots of walking. I simple don’t have enough time ( or energy) to incorporate any significant cross-training into the schedule. Whether this will hurt me I don’t know. I crossed trained heavily for the 2011 Boston marathon and ended up with a personal best record. But folks, when you’re talking in terms of 7 to 8 hour marathon finish times, 30 minutes either way isn’t a big deal . It’s not gonna get me any awards..lol As always, the goal for me is just to finish the damn thing in one piece..much harder than it looks.
Normally, I give myself a 16-18 week window to prepare for a full marathon, that way I have a few spare days I can fall back on should I get sick while training. But with less 3 months to prepare for this current race, there’s absolutely no room for error. A single bad exacerbation could wipe out any chances I have of doing this race.
Btw, the main reason Im doing this just to see if I can still do it.