After Rock 'n' Roll Madrid, I took some time off from running, mostly because I felt I'd been asking too much from my body with back-to-back-to-back marathons over the past two years. I didn't move a muscle for a week or two, and then I joined a gym and practiced weight training with John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein's Engineering the Alpha program. With two Fall marathons planned, it was soon time to pick up running again. I took advantage of all the free time I had after finishing my master's program requirements and did two-a-day workouts, running in the morning and lifting in the afternoons. (I have since learned that I'd probably have been better off lifting in the morning and running in the afternoons, but oh well. And besides, my arch-nemesis worked at the gyms in the mornings, so I'd have to wait till he left at 2:30 to go.)
Anyway, I've been running strong since. I've been working with Zach Bitter, who's been a great help so far. Not sure what sort of witchcraft he's been pulling, but I've been running more weekly miles than ever with no signs of injury. Last week I ran a half marathon in 1:49, which is faster than I've been able to run in quite some time. (And we haven't even gotten into speedwork yet!)
A smarter, less rigid training program is certainly part of the equation, but I'm sure my recent dialing in of my nutrition has had a lot to do with it also. I've been eating a high-fat diet for some time now, and this summer I began consciously carb and calorie cycling, meaning I eat more calories (and a higher percentage of carbs) on days I work out and less on days I don't. I've also begun supplementing with magnesium (topical and in the form of ZMA tablets) and CoQ10 in addition to my usuals, as well as taking extra care to get as many high-quality ingredients in my body as I can.
The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon is the first weekend in October, so it's coming up quick and I'm really excited about it. I can feel a PR coming on. Not to mention it'll be my first point-to-point marathon, which is also exciting. After that I'll be running the Washington, DC, Marine Corps Marathon on October 27. I've got no races planned after that, but I do have the vague idea that I want to do an ultramarathon in 2014.