Thank you so much, Jessica, for letting me guest post on your blog!
Since Jessica and I are both about to start training for our very first full marathon, I thought I’d share my thoughts on training. I recently did a post on my blog about mentally preparing for marathon training, which you can read here.
Deciding to run a marathon is a huge decision, one that I did not take lightly. There was a time where I swore I would never run a full marathon, I just could not imagine even trying and I didn’t feel I needed to do it. Somewhere along the way, I changed my mind and realized I could not stop thinking about it. Now that I have run 10 half marathons, it seems like the logical thing to do, right? I’ve already come so far between my first and last half marathons, and now I need to set the bar a little higher. I love a good challenge.
It’s not the actual marathon that scares me so much. After ten half marathons, I know how exciting race day is, and how the excitement of the event usually carries me through and I am positive I will have all those same feelings on the day of my first 26.2 miles. What scares me is the training. I am the type of person who goes all in. I didn’t decide to run a marathon without knowing that I am committing – seriously – to miles and miles of training leading up to that day. 460 miles to be exact. That’s a lot of commitment.
Being totally honest, I only ever really and truly *trained* for one of my half marathons – my 6th one to be exact. I did 12 weeks of training and had a new shiny PR at that event. Every bit of training was worth it when I beat my goal time. That training was all for time. I wanted a faster time than I ever had before and I did it.
Running a full marathon to me – especially my first and maybe only one – is all about finishing. I am not setting a time goal other than I want to finish within the 7 hours I have to do it. All of my training will be about endurance and lasting all those miles.
So, I have a few training thoughts that I shared in my post the other day.
• I have a great support system in place. I have a husband who goes out with me, dark and early, so I’m not running by myself. When the miles get to be too long for him to run, he’ll ride his bike with me.
• My family is supportive – and proud of me. That is a great motivator.
• I am fortunate to have many running friends who can offer encouragement and advice to me along the way. If it were not for the friendships I’ve made and inspiration I’ve received from them these last two years, I likely would not be racing like I have been.
• Forget the time. This will be hard because in my last four half marathons, I’ve really tried to push myself on my time. Now is not the time (no pun intended) to set time goals. It’s as hot as the face of the sun outside and I am just running slower and that’s okay. Marathon training is about endurance and going the distance. I also have no specific goals for finishing, other than I will finish. Besides, my first full marathon automatically makes it a PR, right?
• There will be good runs and bad runs. I can’t let the bad runs set the tone of my training.
• Enjoy the training. This is a big deal for me and a huge undertaking of miles and training to run those 26.2 miles on race day. I’m doing it to prove to myself that I can indeed do it. What I once swore I would never do, I am now determined to do.
Despite all my fears, I am very excited to run the Space Coast Marathon and to see Jessica out there running it as well!
If you have run a marathon, what is one piece of advice you would offer on the training?