QUESTION: I am currently training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October using the Novice 2 program. This will be my second marathon (although my first, five years ago, was a disaster). I am in very good shape, in part due to a "Boot Camp" fitness class I've been attending regularly for the past year. The classes offer a variety of strength, core work, speed work, and flexibility exercises. I've run a few half marathons while still attending Boot Camp on a regular basis. I am very much a people person and find I draw a lot of energy and motivation by working out in this setting. My question is, is it advisable to continue attending these classes while training? For my half marathon training, I ran three to four days per week and went to boot camp two to three days per week, which, admittedly, was a little tiresome, especially towards the end. I was thinking that maybe every other week, I could substitute a short run for a boot camp class? Do you have any thoughts? Is this too big of a goal? I'm afraid if I cut down on boot camp, my motivation will dwindle as well...
HAL’S ANSWER: That may be true, but the excessive training that is part of anything such as "Boot Camp" probably is an energy drain, and that may hammer you on the long runs. Once your long-run mileage clicks past 10, you probably need to start phasing Boot Camp out of your routine, cutting back from 3 days to 2 days to 1 day to 0 days, the last abandonment about the time your long runs hit 18, 19 and 20 miles. Could you go to Boot Camp and stand in the back and only do half the work? Probably not, so you need to think tough and expect that my program will be enough motivation to keep you moving the last five to six weeks leading to the marathon.
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