Marathon Training: Fun Times Ahead!

Today marks the official start of my marathon training! In just 16.5 weeks I’ll be toeing the line at the Philadelphia Marathon and I can’t wait. I thought I’d do something different this training cycle and do weekly recaps to highlight how things are going. In the past I’ve been a little more hush-hush about my training, only posting it on DailyMile and a few Tweets here and there. I always assumed no one was really that interested in my training, but I always enjoy reading other people’s weekly recaps. So considering the work I know I’m going to be putting in, I thought it would be fun to share the journey with you!

Whenever someone talks about a big race, the next logical thing to think about are goals. So you’re probably wondering, what are my goals, exactly? Well, I’m not entirely sure… yet. Based on my half marathon PR from this past April, McMillan and similar race calculators suggest I can run a sub-3:30. Which, if we’re being completely honest, is terrifying. If you’re a regular reader, you know that my current marathon PR is much slower than that. I’m talking nearly an hour slower. While it’s true that PR was done on little training and is nearly two years old, it’s still scary to think I’m capable of running an hour faster. I mean, an HOUR? At a pace that not too long ago was a struggle during a half marathon? Yikes.

Regardless of what the online calculators say, I know I’m capable of a big PR, I’m just not sure how big. After my last marathon, my goal was to get in under 4 hours. Realistically, that’s still my number one goal. Without having any official marathon training and longer workouts under my belt yet, it’s difficult for me to say what my time goal(s) are beyond that. I have a great base, but I know that 20 mile long runs are a different beast from the 16 mile long run workouts I was doing for my half marathon this past spring. Would I like to BQ? Sure! But considering my initial goal was to just get under 4-hours, I’m not nearly as consumed with it as most people are… which I actually think is a good thing.

Since I’m yet to have a successful marathon training cycle, I’m actually looking forward to this one. We’ll see if I feel that way when I’m doing 18 mile workouts, ha! I know that right now I’m the strongest I’ve ever been as a runner and am confident that strength is only going to grow. Coincidence that my coach’s website is called Strength Running? I suppose not! Despite feeling strong, I know I have a ways to go. This training cycle is going to include a lot more strength work – core, hips, glutes, and making sure my always problematic feet and shins stay happy. I know it’s going to be time consuming, tiring, and I’m probably going to spend a lot of time being sore. Jason said he has some “fun” in store for me, but uses the term loosely… we’ll see how fun I think it is in a month! My ultimate goal is to follow my training plan 100%. This has always been my downfall when training, especially for a marathon. This past winter and spring was the first time – I think since I trained for my first half marathon –  I didn’t take any shortcuts or make a ton of modifications to my plan… which obviously paid off. Either way, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for an intense training cycle that will hopefully yield some big rewards!

Tell me…
Are you currently training for a marathon? Which one?

8 Comments

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8 Responses to Marathon Training: Fun Times Ahead!

  1. Kim

    Don’t be scared of big goals…go after it, speedy! :) I’m excited to follow along with your training!

  2. Excellent! I like reading training recaps, especially for marathons :) Good luck with the start of yours! I’m training for one in Indiana PA on November 9…14.5 weeks to go, and I can’t wait!

  3. I am SO excited for you to begin training!! What does your coach think your goal should be? I know this marathon will be a much better reflection of your abilities, and I am sure you will do awesome. As for your goal of sticking to the plan 100%…. I’d recommend adjusting that to 95% so you have some wiggle room – if you get sick, if you feel extra tired one day, if your schedule is too crazy one day, etc. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body. I know this will be awesome. Welcome to training!

  4. By “I’m not nearly as consumed with it as most people are,” you mean me, right? :)

  5. krissy m. murphy

    You’re gonna blow this race outta the water!!!!! Also agree with Dori! 95 percent is a good place to be.

  6. You are fully capable of a BQ. It’s hard when you haven’t raced the distance in ages (or even never raced it). I know you’ll do well though.

  7. Jess

    Super excited for you!! Don’t be afraid to set big goals! Can’t wait to meet you in Philly!

  8. You will do awesome at Philly and I can’t wait to follow along with training. I know that you definitely have the finish and sub 4 thing and I really don’t have any doubts about a BQ either, you don’t give yourself enough credit! There is a lot of time between now and race day and plenty of time to gain the confidence you need.

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