July started with a bang with 82 miles in the first seven days. And it ended in a whimper: only 199 miles for the month.
But I had a great reason for running so little: I got married and went to Hawaii for two weeks! The wedding was on July 9 and we left on the 11th for12 days on the Big Island and Maui. Both the wedding and honeymoon were incredible and easily some of the best moments from my life.
Even though I didn’t run much during the honeymoon, I stayed in very good shape and am attacking my training plan for the Philadelphia Marathon right now. I received a seeded entry so I’ll be starting in the first corral this November. I’m excited, anxious, terrified, and happy. What a whirlwind.
During the honeymoon, I ran a lot of short runs with some targeted fast running to keep me in good shape. Next Monday, I’ll be releasing a free guide – How to Stay Fit on Vacation. It will be added to the Runner’s Gear Bag, a collection of workouts, guides, and extra content not available on the blog. Sign up here to get instant access.
The honeymoon was a mix of swimming, snorkeling, adventure, and eating. Maybe a little too much eating. Actually, I gained four pounds from the wedding to the end of the honeymoon. I knew this would happen since my diet included a lot of unlimited gourmet buffets, no restrictions whatsoever, and my exercise volume was a lot lower. I’m not worried, though – once my volume increases and I start doing workouts, I reach my “racing weight” very easily.
When I wasn’t exploring lava tubes (see above…) or hiking to waterfalls, I did some running in the morning. Here are some of July’s stats for you numbers people:
- 199 miles in 24 runs (8.3 miles per run)
- Seven days of no running
- Three long runs: 18, 19, and 15 miles (in that order)
- One medium-long run: 13 miles
Many of the workouts I did were “mini-workouts” like 6×30 seconds hard or 2 x mile at Marathon Pace and Half-Marathon Pace. None of them were too difficult and most were designed to maintain fitness, not build on it (I’ll go a lot more in depth on how to this in the How to Stay Fit on Vacation guide).
One of the benefits of my honeymoon is that I was active for most of it: snorkeling, paddle boarding, hiking, a lot of walking, and playing around in rough waves. While it’s not running-specific, some general exercise activities can help you keep weight off and maintain a baseline of fitness during a period of no running.
Internet –> Real Life
People that exist on the internet actually exist in real life! I met Steve Kamb, author of Nerd Fitness and the Rebel Strength Guide, at a DC Nerd Fitness meet-up.
While Steve’s not a runner, I’m a strength guy, so we get along. Here’s a picture of the crew – clearly, I’m the only one wearing a race t-shirt.
Finding the Perfect Shoe
And of course, a monthly training update is not complete without an update on my shoe collection. This month saw me training in four pairs of shoes:
- New Balance 101
- Adidas Adizero Rocket
- ASICS DS-Racer
- Saucony Grid Fastwitch
These are ordered above from most minimalist (101) to least minimalist (Fastwitch). Most of my training was done in the Fastwitch and the DS-Racers, with only a few short runs and lifting sessions in the others. I love my minimalist shoes, but it’s hard to run long in them. Think of minimalism as a tool.
The 101 and the Rocket will be limited to runs of 7 miles or less. Longer runs in these shoes could leave me too sore to run the next day or do a workout. My thought on wearing increasingly minimalist shoes is that unless you have a history of injury, there’s no reason to keep progressing to less shoe.
Some runners prefer the “minimalist lifestyle,” but for regular training and those who are hoping for time goals, find a spot along the minimalism spectrum that benefits you the most and stay right there. You’ll reap all the rewards without over-stressing your system.
I’ll leave you with the image above, the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. It’s an isolated red sand beach in a cove on Maui. Off the beaten path, it requires a 15 minute difficult hike to get to from the road, including some gnarly cliffs above high surf.
You’ll see that there is a line of volcanic rock that separates the bay from the ocean. It creates two pools of calm water with raging ocean just a few meters away. It’s surrounded by cliff walls and is truly breathtaking.
As I get in to my marathon training, how can I help you with your goals in the next few months? Don’t be shy – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, don’t forget that How to Stay Fit on Vacation is launching this Monday. Sign up below to get access to the Runner’s Gear Bag and the new free guide.