Marathon Training Musings

(source: Pinterest)

(source: Pinterest)

I can’t believe it but I’m actually nearing the end of my marathon training. Last week was my peak mileage week and after Saturday’s 20-miler I’ll officially be in taper mode. With the Big Sur Marathon roughly three weeks out, it’s given me pause to reflect on what I’ve learned so far. Everyone says the most important part of training is learning what works for you so you’re prepared come race day. But, in my opinion, I think training teaches you a lot about yourself, your determination to reach a goal, discipline and some very important details about your body that, for non-runners, would be too much information. So here is a rambling list of things I have learned while training for the marathon. I hope you enjoy and can partake in some of my wisdom (I’m kidding).

  • Marathon training and general high-mileage distance training will leave you tired… all of the time.
  • You’re also going to be slightly sore but not completely sore all the time.
  • Another thing that’s going to happen all the time is hunger. I’ve been hungry this entire 12 week period and no meal has satisfied me enough. (But you learn to keep a well-stocked snack draw in your cubicle.)
  • You must get enough calories. If you don’t Aunt Flow will stop visiting like she did to me, which leads to other problems like calcium deficiency and stress fractures (and possibly no babies in the future), all of which is no bueno.
  • I’ve developed an abusive but dependent relationship with my foam roller.
  • Yoga is my friend, although I’m not the best yogi out there (I’m trying!)
  • This song can get me through basically any run: Skrillex “Rock ‘n Roll”
  • You’ll get faster overall. While long runs might be slow, you’re general fitness will increase and you’ll be running shorter distances faster than you could have imagined.
  • Body Glide.
  • I take the time to untie my running shoes and remove them slowly incase a toenail decides to jump ship.
  • Best post-long run meal: grilled cheese on whole wheat bread with jarlsberg cheese and tomatoes. Yummm…
  • Sacrifice. You’ll have to miss out on fun times with friends but you’ll never cease to be amazed by their unconditional support.
  • You’re training for your own marathon. Not another runner’s. Don’t get bogged down by other people’s progress, paces and distances. Train for your own race and be confident in that training.
  • You’ll be in crazy-amazing shape. Seriously, my legs muscles are cut and nothing jiggles. Boomtown.
  • You’ll be humbled and touched by your family’s willingness to listen as you regale them with a breakdown of your long run (even though they may be doing a looping eye roll on the other end of the line).
  • The running community, both in real life and virtually, is made up of the most supportive people I’ve ever met. Whether you had an amazing long run, or you’re sitting on your couch searching for motivation to go out and get your recovery run done, in the rain, slightly hung over, they are there to give you the extra push.
  • You’ll get addicted. There’s something about distance running, the discipline it takes to train and the pain you’ll feel along the way that’s just addicting. Although I haven’t crossed the finish line and officially become a marathoner, I’m already planning my next 26.2. Stay tuned!
  • Above all else, marathon training has taught me to be fearless because if I can conquer 26.2 miles, what else am I capable of?
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29 thoughts on “Marathon Training Musings

  1. Fantastic post! I am training for my half this summer and then right after that I will jump into training for the full thing in October. With a a few nine-mile long-runs under my belt, I already feel fantastic and I cannot wait to push myself even farther! Good luck!!

    • You’re going to do great! It’s really fun to push yourself and you learn so much along the way. Good luck!!

  2. Congrats on all your hard work! I am in definite need of motivation after my last half marathon. I know I just need to get going – and get addicted all over again! :)

  3. I’m training for my first half, and some of these things are definitely true. I am hungry constantly and am tired a lot. But the support of the running community and my people has kept me going through the rough patches. I think our races are the same day (April 28th?) so I can’t wait to hear how you do on your marathon when I’m done with my half. Best of luck for the rest of training/tapering!

    • Yes, my race is April 28th! That’s so exciting you’re going to be running your first half! Enjoy every moment of it, your first will only happen once after all :) Good luck to you too on the rest of your training/tapering!

  4. Training for a new goal in the 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon and this was by far the most meanful thing I’ve read about running in awhile: “You’re training for your own marathon. Not another runner’s. Don’t get bogged down by other people’s progress, paces and distances. Train for your own race and be confident in that training.” THANK YOU!

    • Ah, I’m so happy you found that helpful!! That’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned so far. I have a lot of friends who’ve run multiple marathons and have much more experience than me yet I find myself comparing my training runs to theirs, which is silly! Good luck with your training and enjoy it!!

  5. Yes Yes Yes! I agree with all of these, but especially the last one. As cheesy as it sounds I feel like I can accomplish anything now that I’ve run a marathon, amazing how that works! (Oh, and the being hungry all the time…SO TRUE!)

  6. Great post! I agree with all of these points! Especially that making a commitment to training definitely takes time away from family, friends and relationships! It is hard, but when the support is there, it is worth it!

    • Thanks Ashley! The support is definitely the best part and I feel so blessed to have such a great support group with me through this journey! Plus then it makes the post-marathon party that much better!

    • Good tip! It seriously is my favorite cheese, besides gouda, I love that too but it doesn’t translate well for grilled cheese.

  7. Awesome post, Hannah! I just posted on my own blog today about taking the leap to finally sign up for 26.2. This was a great read for me…funny and also a good reminder of the miles that will come. I look forward to those toned legs this summer! ;) Can’t wait to hear about your race day – you will rock it, girl!!

    • I just saw your post and that’s so exciting you’re running MCM!! I hope this post helps you on your journey to 26.2 :) enjoy every moment of the training and build up. It’s a crazy ride but so worth it!

  8. Yes, yes, yes to all of it! Well most of it, never met Aunt Flow. Took me a second to get that one! ;) I can eat five slices of pizza and a couple of beers for supper when I’m deep in my marathon training. And I’ll still be hungry in an hour.
    Great post!

    • I’m glad you liked it and could relate to (most) of it! The hunger is definitely the hardest part to control but it’s soooo important!

  9. Thanks for this post. I’m training for my first marathon in July and just needed some confirmation that all the crazy things I’m experiencing, like being tired and hungry all the time, is normal to marathon training! I feel encouraged.

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