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Co-Training RKC with NYC Marathon

Cherie Sussner

 

Did you ever wonder if you knew today what all the challenges, stumbles, and victories you were about to experience in the next 12 months, would you really want to have known about them in advance?

How many of you are willing to co-train for a 3 day repeat strength event followed 6 weeks later by a 26.2 mile endurance event?  One year prior to the NYC marathon, I knew I would be running it.  That’s more than enough time to prepare.Five months prior to completing the RK

C kettlebell instructor course is when I knew and began preparing to complete the course.  The significant difficulty is that the NYC marathon was 6 weeks after completing the RKC.  So how do you go about preparing for a 3 day strength event and follow it up 6 weeks later with an endurance event?

This was my fifth and final full marathon so experience made that training component very simple.  Adding the strength component to my natural tenacity as an endurance athlete certainly required significant dedication and planning.

Fortunately RKC Corey Howard guided me with very simple direction on the strength training component and I morphed this training plan with my running schedule.  Unfortunately, the very first thing I did was break my foot (5 months out from RKC).  While I don’t recommend this, the beauty of this scenario was I couldn’t run but the break was in a location that still allowed me to lift so I could spend a month really digging into my lifting workouts without the lure of running instead of lifting.

Here’s a brief outline of what the next 5-6 months looked like:

Sunday:  Long run that every 2 weeks goes up by 2 miles.  This peaked at 22 miles 2 weeks before the marathon.

Monday:  Single bell workout

Built up to continuous 10:00 of 1 arm swings

Followed by 3 rounds of this circuit:

1 arm swing 5/side

clean & press 3-5/side

1 arm swing 5/side

clean and front squat 3-5/side

1 arm swing 5/side

TGU 1-3/side

2 arm swing 15 reps

snatch 3-5/side

1 arm swing 5/side

 

Tuesday:  Double bell workout

3 rounds of the following circuit

clean & press 3-5 reps

TGU 1-3/side

clean & press 3-5 reps

clean & front squat 3-5 reps

clean & press 3-5 reps

2 hand swings 10 reps

clean & press 3-5 reps

snatch 3-5/side

clean & press 3-5 reps

3 rounds of the following circuit

clean & front squat 3-5 reps

2 hand swings 10 reps

clean & front squat 3-5 reps

clean & press 3-5 reps

clean & front squat 3-5 reps

TGU 1-3/side

clean & front squat 3-5 reps

snatch 3-5/side

clean & front squat 3-5 reps

 

Wednesday:  Medium distance run of 6-10 miles

 

Thursday:  Bodyweight & deadlift day

30 minutes of the following circuit

crawl 1:00

pushups 5-10 reps

crawl 1:00

squats 30-50 reps

crawl 1:00

pullups 3-5 reps

crawl 1:00

deadlift  150 x 10 reps

 

Friday:  TGU, snatches, & short fast run

TGU: 5 x 3-5/side – complete all, then go onto snatches

Snatches:  Built up to continuous 10:00, then went on short fast run

Run:  Fast 5 miles

 

Saturday:  Chase my son, eat, and sleep!

 

Part of this workout is an adaptation of Brett Jones’s RKC prep so I had used that as a starting point and adapted it to fit with marathon training.  This training schedule is not for the faint of heart, nor would I recommend it long term.  However, it did well prepare me for both events.  I wasn’t sore during the 3 days of RKC and I thoroughly enjoyed running the streets of New York with my sister without physically hurting either.

For anyone who thinks this was crazy, let me add a couple of notes to this 7 month period of my life.

1)  At the beginning of this training, I was nursing our 9 month old son, and I nursed him to 12 months.  AKA, another huge demand on my body.  You wouldn’t believe how much food I ate!

2)  The very first week that I started this training schedule, I broke my foot in a volleyball tournament and had to alter the training the very next week.  I might’ve been more mad because it made me miss the Brooklyn half marathon which was 4 weeks after I broke my foot.

This training was taxing, physically and mentally, but that’s part of why we train.  Preparing for these events is as much about your physical prep as it is your mental prep.  You don’t go straight to a 20 mile run and you don’t go straight to snatching a 24K for women.  You physically build your base and while you’re doing that, you mind changes as well.  I am capable of this.  YOU are capable of this!!!

It might not be going through RKC.  It might not be completing a marathon.  Whatever your challenge is, 1 pullup, connecting with each of your family members every day, running a 5K, prepping your weekly food each weekend, being comfortable in your own skin, you have a challenge you’d like to meet.  Make a plan and make it happen!  YOU are capable of this!!!