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October 27, 2017

The Idiot Marathoner Update: Still training hard, Eyeing 3:30

Folks, we have received the latest update from Scott Smith’s brother Nicolas! Here it is!

Time flies when you’re training like an idiot! It’s already been over a month since my initial blog about the challenge I accepted to attempt a 3:30 marathon while running no more than 5 miles a day to prepare. Read here if you missed it.

I’ve been asked by my adoring fans (read: Mom and Dad) to provide an update on how things are going, and perhaps clarify a few points about the challenge. Here you go…

The Five Mile Rule Clarification

The five mile governor on my training is largely arbitrary. I’m locked in to a year-long (and hopefully much longer) run streak that requires I run at least 3 miles a day. I outlined in my initial article that I began to stretch out that daily distance over the summer while fulfilling my duties as an assistant coach for Dana Hills boys’ cross country squad. For the challenge I’m limiting my daily run to no more than 5 miles.

This does not mean I can go do multiple 5 mile runs a day, as one of the other coaches suggested I do when I told him about the challenge. I will ONLY run 5 miles max each day. His next suggestion was that I should do some runs starting at 11:25pm and roll directly into the next days’ five miles, thereby getting in a 10 miler. While this TECHNICALLY wouldn’t be against the “rules” as outlined, it definitely would be against the spirit of the challenge. I’m trying to see what happens to my body if I severely under prepare my aerobic capacities for an extraordinarily aerobic pursuit (the marathon).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaKtsXWnZQE

Additionally, the training limit is somewhat by necessity with regard to my current obligations and (lack of) free time.  I’m in a season of my life where free time is pretty hard to come by. I’m a second-year high school teacher with an overloaded teaching slate (teaching 6 classes as opposed to 5), assistant coach of the cross country team (goodbye afternoons and Saturdays), helping out with about 8 other things on campus (not great at saying “no”), and trying to maintain a healthy relationship with a lovely, ever-patient girlfriend. It’s been suggested I could circumvent the lack of aerobic conditioning afforded by my stunted mileage by going for long bike rides or hikes. I’m not opposed to throwing in a hike here or there(especially since the GF could come along), but there aren’t necessarily three hour empty chunks of time in my week screaming to be filled with a long bike ride.

All that to say:  what you are going to witness on December 3rd is really, and actually, a man trying to run a 3 hour and 30 minute marathon while having run not once longer than 5 miles in preparation.

Ok, that’s not TECHNICALLY true

But, Nic, you might be saying to yourself, I follow you on Instagram (@the_idiot_marathoner), and I’ve seen you post days where you’ve logged 20+ miles. What gives?

First, thank you for following me on Instagram. Every like does wonders for my deceptively fragile ego. Second, what gives is that I’ve cheated a couple times while coaching. Depending on the race, we have up to four races in a day, and depending on how frisky I’m feeling I can cover easily a mile and a half running spot to spot to cheer on our boys. Added in with the “normal” 3 mile training run and other movement, that’s where those outlier mileage days come from. But I would qualify those days with a two part rebuttal:

  1. Those were not continuous long run efforts
  2. The type of running done while cheering was essentially interval training, which is going to have minimal positive impact on a 3+ hour effort.
  3. I’m not going to renege on my coaching responsibilities for some stupid bet.
  4. I’m not great at counting.

The Wrap up because this is getting to long and self referential

So that’s the update for now. We’re a little more than a month out, the plane tickets are bought, the arrangements have been made and this thing is actually happening. I’ll try to check in at least once more before show time to outline my race strategy (preview: don’t die). If you’re hankering for more frequent updates you can follow the aforementioned Instagram account (@the_idiot_marathoner), where I post close to daily training updates.

Until then,

The Idiot Marathoner

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