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16 Weeks to Your First Marathon: Week 5

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If you are like me, you may have found that the best time for your body to go on a run is early in the morning.  Also, the morning may be the only time you can find in your busy schedule to devote to running.  During the winter months, it is easy to feel like you may have lost your mind when you wake up at 5:30 am (or earlier) and leave the comfort of your warm bed, only to run around in below-freezing temperatures for hours at a time.

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge how ridiculous that is.

ideal daily schedule for long distance runnersRidiculously awesome is what I meant to say!  No matter how much of bad-A you are (and I know you are), you need to give yourself time to rest.  Waking up in the morning and getting proper rest can be tough, especially with the ultra-connected, chaotic lives many of us lead.  Ensuring proper rest and down-time is not only important for your body, your marathon training and your sanity, it also shapes the way you interact with those around you.  Here are a few tips derived from an Ayurvedic lifestyle to help you catch all the Zs you need in order to run your best everyday.

1. Eat Dinner On-Time- Eating dinner no later than two hours before you go to sleep helps your body to begin to digest your food before you get into bed, which will help you get a more restful first few hours.

2. Step Outside- Take a moment each evening outside and spend some time appreciating the nature that is around you.  Even if you live in the city, look at the trees and plants along the sidewalk, gaze up at the stars and listen to the breeze blowing.  Taking a second to reconnect.  Nature is calming and will help you to unwind in the evenings, especially if your job keeps you inside during the day.

3. Turn Off the Screens- At least an hour before you go to bed, allow your brain to relax.  Turn off the TV, put down the phone and close the laptop.  Spend some time reading or just hanging out with your family (fur babies, too!)  If you are able, spend a few minutes meditating on how your day went.

4. Timing is Important-  According to Ayurveda, the best time to go to sleep is before Pitta time (10pm-2am) which is a period of higher energy.  If you remain awake during this time, you may find it harder to get to sleep when you try to lay down.  If you are asleep during Pitta time, your body will use that energetic period to heal itself (very important for runners!) and to sort through the information from the day.  It is best to wake up before Kapha time (6am-10am) which is a time of lower energy.  If you can wake up before Kapha time, you will awaken during a period of energy and clarity, allowing you to rise refreshed, clear-minded and ready to tackle the day.  Waking during Kapha time will result in sluggishness and sleepiness.  Ayurveda recommends going to bed no later than 10pm and rising earlier than 6am.

Rise and shine! It’s time for your fifth week of recommended workouts:

Monday: 10 minute warm up, 35 minute easy run, 5 minute cool down

Tuesday: 10 minute warm up, 6x hills (strong, fast run up-easy, controlled run down), 1 mile cool down

Wednesday: 10 minute warm up, 45 minute easy run, 5 minute cool down

Thursday: 10 minute warm up, 65 minute easy run, 5 minute cool down

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 1 mile warm up, 18 miles easy run, 5-10 minute cool down

Sunday: Cross train 30-60 minutes

Keep up with your weekly marathon training and find running tips every Monday on Peaceful Dumpling!

Week 4: Cross Training

Week 3: Natural Blister Cures

Week 2: Proper Nutrition for Distance Runners

Week 1: Safety Tips

Week 0: Finding the Right Distance

Photo: Claire Harris

Claire-Marie Harris
Claire-Marie Harris is a writer, blogger and vegan cook who recently returned to her home state of Texas after living in Asia for many years. A passionate traveler, animal activist and food lover, she is the founder of Kimchi Tacos and is currently writing her first cookbook. She lives in Dallas with her husband and three furry kids where she continues her work in animal welfare. Find her on her blog, Flickr or Instagram.
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