Marathon Training on Tour: Relentless Flexibility

admin | March 27, 2010 in Endurance,Running | Comments (3)

My last full marathon was the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon on November 15, 2009.  I will be out on the road with the Tim McGraw “Southern Voice” concert tour until the middle of October 2010.

So when it comes to running my next marathon, this is what I hear most often: “I guess you won’t be able to do a marathon this year, huh?  Too busy with the concert tour, I guess.”

Well, no.  In fact, when I did my first two, the 1995 Dallas White Rock Marathon and the 1996 Marine Corps Marathon, we were doing roughly 250-300 dates a year.

Currently, I’m training to run the ING New York City Marathon with Team McGraw in 2010.  I’m planning to improve my time significantly…and yes, almost all of my training will happen as I bounce from city to city, hotel to hotel, show to show.

This keeps my training regimen in constant flux, which confuses some coaches and running gurus.  They get locked into that “same time every day,” “run this route,” and “schedule your run as your most important appointment” regimen in order to make sure their runners remain consistent.

I understand that…but it just isn’t going to work out here on the road.  Our days are long, full, and they turn on a dime.  Set a schedule?  Really? That’s asking me to fail…and that’s not part of my training plan.

Here’s sort of how it works out here:

YESTERDAY: We arrived in City #1 around 11AM.  Tossed down a Clif Bar and a bottle of water from my backpack.  We stayed in a hotel downtown, surrounded by cabbies and public transportation.  Construction was underway in front of our hotel, and traffic was hell.  There was a park three blocks over – about a half-mile around.  We had rehearsal two hours later.

I knocked out six laps, three miles, around noon and called it good.

TODAY: We got into City #2 in time for a great breakfast.  No rehearsal this afternoon, but the hotel is adjacent to the interstate.  I can run on the service road for a while, but there’s no shoulder.  Everyone else in the hotel is seemingly asleep, so no one is on the one treadmill in the fitness room.

I gut out four on the treadmill around 2PM – (as this is all I can bear) – and move on with my day.

TOMORROW:  We don’t have a show, but we won’t arrive in City #3 until well after lunch.  We are set to stay near a park system that has converted miles and miles of old train tracks into a running trail.  The course runs along the river for almost thirteen miles.  No traffic, no dogs, no nothin’.

I’ll grab a long one, eleven miles on the trails around 4PM in the afternoon.

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: I don’t know.  Where am I gonna be again?

The consistency lies in the flexibility.  I can’t get my skirt blown up by a bump in the road.  Bend your knees, adjust for the change, and proceed.  No, I don’t always know where we are.  No, I can’t always make a plan.  No, I don’t often know where I’m gonna run when I jump off the bus.

But I’m out there.


3 Responses to “Marathon Training on Tour: Relentless Flexibility”

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  1. Comment by Doc RimMarch 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm  

    Way to go, Jeff. That’s similar to the way I train. Whenever I get a free moment, day or night, just do it! In the rain while the kids are at gymnastics, yep… Come home after work, change and run to the park where the kiddo has baseball practice. Saturday I ask the hubby to juggle the kids so I can get a long one in with the girls. And then there’s next week….Thanks for the info. Glad you’re staying strong.

  2. Comment by ChristineMarch 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm  

    When it comes to physical exercise and staying fit, My motto is to “Keep Moving.” And you’re definitely doing that! With your tour schedule, being consistent in your training would have to lie in being flexible. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t happen.

    I might just add; don’t forget to have fun on your daily runs, take some pics along the way, and be safe out there. You’re doing great!

    Ya Gotta Believe!

  3. Comment by Kimmy T — March 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm  

    Hey Jeff, here’s a little friendly advice….Make sure the bus is STOPPED before you jump off & start running ;)

    Stay safe, run strong….YGB !!!!

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