Yes, the countdown has already begun.
This is round two for me when it comes to Philadelphia Marathon attempts. The difference between last time and this time…this time I am GOING to run it! Yes, I will!!!
And I have a plan:
Strategy: Start off slow and then back off!
In all seriousness though, I really do feel like if I keep up with my training the way I have been, I will be a marathon finisher no matter what come November 20th!
I am sure that over the next six months, I will be full of questions and concerns about running my first marathon. I anticipate ups and downs- days of feeling great and days of feeling like crap. I know there will be some anxieties. I know I say finishing is my only goal but I also know I will have finish times in mind. I know I will think about every little detail leading up to the race. I already have my training schedule. I have a decent grip on what I want to do nutritionally. I have all of you seasoned marathoners- trust me, your posts are going to be monumental to my training. But what I have most right now, that I have honestly never had before with my running…is confidence. And I think we all know that confidence is key!
There are only two things plaguing me currently:
*Fear of injuries- I don’t think I will ever not worry about injuries. From day one of running, I have had issues- knee, shin, hip, calves, feet…you name it. It is only natural for me to worry about re-injury, which is why I am taking every possible step to stay uninjured. I honestly cannot do more than I am doing…stretching, rolling, icing, wearing compressions…I have it all down, now my body just needs to stick with me!
*Long Distance Training- I can visualize myself starting at the line and crossing it again hours later when I finish. But the idea of training those 16, 18, 20 and 22 mile runs seems insane to me! When I think about those training runs, I get completely overwhelmed. What route will I run? Should I do an out and back or a loop? What nutrition will I take? Where will I carry it? What if I need a bathroom? What if the boredom kills me? Questions like that run through my head daily. I mean, things like nutrition and bathrooms are kind of taken care of for race day. Training is a whole different beast!
So runners- here is what I need from you: please share your long-distance training tips with me so I can calm myself down!!!!
I’m right there with you! My first is 5 months and 10 days away and I am starting to sweat the long training runs already and I haven’t even started them. I will definitely be back to check out what your blog readers have to say on this topic. Wish I had something to offer you but I’m in the same boat. At least we get to embark on this journey together!
I have a feeling we will be doing a lot of emailing back and forth over the next few months!
Sounds good to me. 🙂
Care to share your training plan with me? I have an idea of what I am going to do but it’s always nice to reference what others are doing.
Jill – so excited for you! Congratulations on Philly. That was the site of my first ever marathon in 2006. Great course, great people, you are going to have a blast. I could fill page after page with tips and things I’ve learned about preparing for the marathon and still not scratch the surface of everything out there. I have however come to the conclusion that there are two things you absolutely “MUST” have in your bag of tricks come race day to be successful.
1. You have to want it. Bad. There is no half-way when it comes to preparing for the marathon unless you want a day of run/walking, feeling of lost hope, just a beat down that Lady Marathon puts on those who show up unprepared. If you feel like the marathon is something you “have to do”, then you’re in the right mindset. It makes all those training runs and especially those long runs on Sundays something that towards the end of your training you are actually looking forward to. I can hardly sleep the night before my 20+ mile long runs I can’t wait to get out there.
2. You can’t cheat your training. Build your base over the next two months and get to running your 4 or 5X a week (whatever your plan is going to call for) and before you start your 18 week training cycle, you should be running every week on the days you will when you are training. Make it a habit now, don’t wait until “training” starts.
Guess what, “training” started as soon as you put this post up. So run on T,W,Th,Sa,Su EVERY week. Bad weather? Run. Not feeling perfect? Run. A little tired, Run.
By the time your actual training cycle starts, there is no question. Look at the fridge, see the miles for the day. Run them. Move on to the next day.
There is not a single workout that is any more important than any other. It is the cumulative effect of all the runs, recovery runs, tempo runs, medium long runs, Long Steady State Runs, Long Slow Distance Runs that prepare you for race day.
Don’t skip, don’t cheat or the marathon will expose you. Guaranteed. That’s what it does, it seeks your weakness whether it is physical or mental – that is what makes slaying that dragon so damn incredible.
You’ll never forget it Jill. Nov. 19, 2006 – still one of the best days of my life.
e-mail me with any training questions, I am more than happy to help!
Best to you from TX.
Wow- thanks for the great, and detailed, answer! My schedule definitely doesn’t call for that much running- especially right now with Tri training. I will definitely be emailing you over the next few months with some more detailed questions. Thanks for all your support!!!
Wow! Joe said it all! Just take your training day by day. Don’t worry about race day now…focus only on the workout in front of you. And like Joe said, don’t cheat them. Confidence builds as you chip away at your training. There are no if’s, just WHEN you FINISH that beast. Erase all doubt from your mind: YOU CAN DO THIS!
I’LL BE IN PHILLY TOO!!!
The Philly Marathon is a great race to do as your first. I am training for my first half marathon in October and to me those long runs seem scary but I am willing to embrace it and enjoy it all
I noticed you are doing Baltimore- I have done that before and it is such a great and fun race. I will be there again this year!!!
wow, 6 months seems…..close! tons of luck as you kick off training!
long runs – vary it up. sometimes i like a point-to-point (it’s always cool to think “man i just ran from A to B”), sometimes i like a loop to do a few times (then you don’t have to lug your stuff), and sometimes i just like plain ol’ out and back.
hmm you’re already starting training for a ‘thon in november… i was contemplating one in september so that means i will start my glorious training in, august. maybe. haha. just kidding… i really need to start actually training for these things.
I love that shirt!!
I’m sure you will do great with your training.
Definitely see about getting into a training group if you can – I don’t know how I would get through some of those longer runs without my group. Even if you only run with them on the really long runs, they will be invaluable.
What route will I run?
Something flat for long runs, hilly for non long runs. 🙂
Should I do an out and back or a loop?
Maybe, if it is convenient.
What nutrition will I take?
I eat sour gummy worms…
Where will I carry it?
I have an Amphipod fuel belt.
What if I need a bathroom?
My trail has bathrooms along it. If you do loops instead of an out and back, you can plan bathroom stops along the way. I usually only have to go once or twice.
What if the boredom kills me?
If you don’t get a group to train with, see about listening to a book on tape. That got me through my 20 miles I did alone once.
Here’s the thing. I belong to a team. But they all run faster than me. And on days/nights I can’t. Very very frustrating!
There is so much to say here I honestly don’t know where to begin. Confidence is definitely going to be monumental to your training. All the questions you have about nutrition and what not, well unfortunately we can give you all the answers in the world but at the end of the day what works for us might not work for you. Just think of every training run as practice for race day and begin experimenting things to find out what works for you. After you get it down, don’t change it. The faster you fall in to a routine the less stressed you’ll get about those runs. Also you may want to enlist support for the really long runs from people you know will keep your spirits up and help you stay focused. Start out alone and have someone meet up with you after a few miles or for the last 10, it’s always nice to have fresh legs and attitude join you when the miles are starting to wear you down.
As for injuries, well the ghosts of injuries past will only haunt you if you let them. Keep up the xtraining and take your rest days seriously. Listen to your body and back off if something is not right. Loosing a few runs here and there will not affect your overall training so long as you get back on track as soon as you’re able.
You’re going to do great girl and you know you can always shoot me a message or give me a call anytime if you have questions.
Just take it one day/run at a time and remember to run your recovery runs at a slow pace to help yourself recover! I think you just need to experiment with your fueling! I Think you are capable of more than you think and just go out there and try it! Carry your cell phone and plan a long route and just explore!
Is it really only six months away? Somedays I wish it was sooner and other days I am glad I don’t have to start really training for it yet! 🙂
I was really intimidated by the longer runs before I started training for my first marathon two years ago, but I found that the gradual build up of the long runs made each one not as bad as I was expecting. 20 was scary when I looked at on the schedule at the beginning, but wasn’t quite as bad when I had already done 16, 17, and 18! I also found that it really helped me to have regularly scheduled walk breaks. I wasn’t doing run 10/walk 1 routine, but I did try to walk 1 minute on a regular pattern (usually every 30 minutes). This really helped me to break the run into segments mentally and I knew that I could get through 30 minutes.
You might find a local group training for that particular marathon that you can run with. This not only will keep you motivated with different routes but also up your accountability when you hit the high mileage weeks. As you build those long runs, they will take over your weekends. That second job may become difficult to juggle on those days, just because of the physical exhaustion from running a couple of hours and then being on your feet all night. Not to mention, you don’t just run and then resume the rest of your life. Stretching, eating immediately afterward, icing, etc., become important to injury prevention w/ long runs, so you basically will blow your entire mornings during the last couple of months of training. Be prepared for that.
This isn’t going to affect me as much as it will mmy family, R2 and friends. I don’t think they are ready at all for all this. Thank you though for not sugar coating all of this. I dont think I can be totally ready until I get there!
The second job is not optional, so I will have to fine a way to make it work!
Seriously girl, a big part of staying injury free is in the shoes.
It’s going to go great, I so know it. You keep me closeby and I’ll make sure this goes smoothly, ok? Ok!!
I have no experience with a marathon but when I was training for my half, the long runs could really worry me. I’ve run them all alone.
I experienced with nutrition during my training runs. I prefer to use gels, water and sportsdrink during long runs.
One day at a time worked for me too. When I looked at my schedule I could get overwhelmed. I have a complete schedule ready for my next half in October but on Saturday I sit down and look at my schedule for the week and compare it with my appointments that week and make adjustments if necessary.
When I started running the longer runs, the thoughs of having to run for example 10 miles could be too much so I broke my run up in pieces. For example when I started the run I only had to do 3 miles till my first water break, then 3 miles till my next break and so on. It worked!
Good luck with training, I look forward to follow your journey till the marathon.
You are going to love the marathon. And honestly, I loved training for it, too. Since I was training in the winter, I actually lived getting up super early, before sun rise, and starting off, sometimes with people, sometimes alone.
You are always more than welcome to join our Sunday morning run. I’ll show you all the water stops and bathrooms, plus you’ll have tons of people to learn from.
I am so excited you are doing your first full this year! I have only done one, but have trained for 3 (sigh) and have learned a lot. Each time I train, it gets better and easier so I have a feeling that with everyone’s input, you will do awesome!
Regarding the longer runs – they can be a lot of fun. Plan out great routes, some tunes or podcasts, or some friends to run with. Treat each one as an adventure and mix it up! Start experimenting with fuel early so you know what is perfect for you on race day. And experiment with pre-long run dinners too, to see what keeps you energized.
Best wishes with marathon training! I’m addicted to the 1/2 Marathons and not sure I’m ready to be “full” crazy, yet. But I’ll be here to cheer you on!
Just take the long runs one at a time. Focus on the first one first. Finish it, then think about the next one. Don’t worry about your 20 miler yet. YOU CAN DO IT!