Marathon training for real runners, Part 1…

Maybe you will enjoy marathon training as much as Jasper enjoys running with a balloon.

Here I am with my new weekly free time during speech therapy.  So I figure no better time than the present to start my marathon series of posts.

First, I thought I’d recap weekend Boston training.  I can’t believe we are five weeks away.  We have one last 20+ miler.  Mark and I managed a really good 18 mile run despite 45 degrees and rain all weekend.  I made it to Ashtanga yoga Sunday after another very wet run, and today have my usual Monday slight soreness.   The whole Boston training process and all the challenges that came up gave me the idea to do a series of posts on how I go about marathon preparation.

Why should you really care what I have to say?  Well, I probably have no better insight than most people, and I don’t think a lot of my friends who read this really need any of my advice, but it will give me a little writing project, and prevent my blog from morphing into a rant about all things toddler.  I also think with the proliferation of online coaching and running groups there are less and less experienced runners mentoring newer runners and not charging them for it.   I kinda figured out the marathon by trial and error, but when I moved up to ultras, I relied on a ton a advice and help from those who had done it before….and I made a lot of new friends out of  folks who were just happy to pass on what they had learned.   Maybe the couple of you who read this with future marathon aspirations may find some of it helpful when you decide to get your training started.  Please let me know if you do!

So first off, decide if the marathon is something you really want to try.  Why should you not try it?  Well, there is no shame in not running marathons.  Running shorter distances is just fine.  If the longest you ever ran was 3-4 miles, that’s still huge.  If you work your way up to a half marathon that is huge.  If you don’t have at least an occasional 3 hour block of time you should maybe not move up to it.   And finally, if you tried moving up your mileage before and didn’t like it, why force yourself into something you didn’t find fun?   At the end of the day that is why most of us are doing it.

So why should you try it?  A marathon is a very doable challenge.  It’s long enough to feel a sense of accomplishment, but short enough that even the long runs are pretty doable with most people’s schedules.   It can keep you motivated to get out and do your runs, despite all that can come up in your life.  It’s long enough that you can’t really fake it without it being miserable, so it helps knowing it’s on the calendar to get you of bed on a cold, dark morning.  There’s also the chance to meet other folks who are training, but you also get some valuable alone time.  And when you finish, you even if that is the only one you ever do, you get to call yourself a marathon runner for the rest of your life.   Not that it’s a resume maker or anything, but it’s a amazing how many people you end up talking to just based on the fact you both covered 26 miles.

So if your in, I hope I can provide some tips and tricks.   Like I said, let me know if anything at all from this is helpful.  I have some really good ideas for posts and hope I can pull them all off.


3 thoughts on “Marathon training for real runners, Part 1…”

  1. I have this post bookmarked 🙂

    With the pregnancy, I have been doubting my running a lot. In doing so, I’ve found a new passion for yoga – something I’m not going to stop once I have the kiddo. With that said, I’ve always enjoyed running [obviously!] and I don’t plan on stopping that either. My main focus will be trying to balance the new baby/home life/new passions/old passions. A few days ago I decided that I’ll take running as it comes, and that maybe I’m not meant for the marathon. Your post definitely opened up my eyes though. It IS doable, maybe just not now. Eventually, schedules will fall into place, kids will go to school, Army life will actually slow down [we can hope] and I can finally not only set the marathon in my sights, but RUN the darn thing. 🙂

    You’ll be one of the first to know lady! Can’t wait to see how you do at Boston! 45 and raining?? When did you get our weather!?

  2. Just saying hi. I’m bummed that I never see you and now you are moving farther away. I’m curious where you guys are moving exactly, but I get that you probably don’t want to post that on your blog. My knees have been doing pretty well (albeit with my current low mileage/low speed/minimal hills schedule) so maybe we can catch up on a run sometime soon. Or an afternoon playdate once I’m not so busy.

  3. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your tips and tricks! I’ve only done one marathon, and still have lots to learn. Doesn’t look like my second is gonna happen this spring unless my ankle heals up quickly, but I do want to run a few more in the future. Probably not every year or multiple times per year, as I prefer the half distance. But my first full was a lot of fun, and I’m not ready to be done with the distance yet!

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