Marathon Training: Not for the weak

As I reflect on the last 8 months… yeah I’ve been in a training circuit for 8 months now… I can agree that marathon training is not for the weak. Self discipline is absolutely key along with a lot of other things. 20229258_10105916176741414_1049480267060415635_n

Follow our journey on Youtube! Check out Post Run Banana!

I began my 2017 training for my second half marathon. It has almost 400 feet of elevation so this included hill training. This year I felt that training came far easier to me. The stress of my first half was over and I was far more prepared. The half came and went swimmingly with me pulling in my first sub-2 half marathon (this is chronicled in another blog post if you’d like to check it out).

Next up was continuing this training for my first ultra marathon. To be fair, this was a 24-hour endurance race on a 5 mile loop course. It was still a HELL of an experience. Unwisely, I chose to run the 50 mile option instead of the 50K cause who wants to do the shortest distance allowed? (Smart people, that’s who.) With a foot time of 13 hours and a lot of persuasion from my poor husband, who took numerous hours of verbal abuse, we accomplished the 50 miles. Our overall time including breaks was 17 hours and 34 minutes. However, finishing this race gave me the confidence to sign up for my first marathon. I had run the first 25 miles of the 50 miler easily without breaks but at a far slower pace than my norm. BOOM Columbus Marathon here I come.

My husband, 3 girlfriends, and myself all signed up the following week. I had trained up to 15 miles for the ultra but we backed down to give ourselves a little break and began building back up from 8-10 miles. We are currently back up to 16 miles this coming Sunday. I feel like our training is going very well as none of us have ended up super sore after any of our long runs. Along this crazy course I have learned some things about running and about myself that I will now share…

*Distance training in the summer months is a b*tch. Never having run with a water source on hand, I learned REAL quick that when it is 85+ degrees outside and you are running over 5 miles, you bring water. I purchased a 10oz Nathan Hydration Quickshot. Its the perfect size for me to keep my throat wet and have a little pouch for my energy chews. For nutrition I bounce around between Clif Bloks and Jelly Belly Sport Beans. I cannot do Gu. The texture just doesn’t do it for me. I only use these if I’m running over 10 miles.

*Distance training in a downtown area sucks. We are very fortunate to have a great long distance trail in our area (The Ohio & Erie Canal Way) which has become home to all of our runs over 13 miles. Stopping constantly for traffic and attempting to not get ran over gets exhausting.

*Everything from 13-15 seems to feel the same. I’m sure once I surpass maybe 17-18 miles this theory will change.

*My body is capable of so much more than I thought it was. Some days 3 miles feels worse than 10, but it is as if my body knows that when I’m running distance we might as well get comfortable cause we’re gonna be here awhile.

*Having at least one training partner for long runs is a life saver. I am beyond grateful and lucky that I have had my husband to train with for all my years of running. I’m even more lucky now as I have 3 girlfriends who I train with as well. Between all of us talking and laughing and enjoying each other’s company the miles just fly by!

*STRETCH, FOAM ROLL, REPEAT! I have learned that stretching before and after runs is absolutely paramount. I also foam roll for 10-15 minutes 3-5 times a week. Keeping your muscles happy will lead to better healing.

*Recovery drinks/Hydration is a must. Until I started running, I never took in enough water…some days I didn’t drink any. Now I try to make sure I at LEAST drink half of my bodyweight in ounces. Days I run, I try to double this. After every run I make a recovery drink of BCAA powder. I feel like it replenishes my electrolytes and recharges my energy.

I’m sure there are a ton of things I’m forgetting but for now, those are my most important. While marathon training I’ve also been continuing to do my normal 5K and 5 mile races as well so there has been some speed work along with distance training. Be sure to follow our journey on YouTube by checking out Post Run Banana (linked at the top of this blog). Do you have any tips/tricks that have helped you marathon training?? We’re always open to suggestion!

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About packspaddlesandprs

We are a husband and wife who enjoy the outdoors to the fullest! Our adventures are chronicled on our YouTube Channel as well as this blog and on instagram.
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