My first marathon training update

Awhile back I told you, my fine readers, that I had registered for my first marathon. This was a big, exciting, and terrifying moment for me and now a few months later, and 6.5 weeks into training, I would say those feelings haven’t changed much.

The thought of running 42.2 KM (26.2 miles) scares me, but it’s also a really exciting time to challenge myself to do something I never thought I would do in my entire life.

How’s training going you ask? Well, I thought it was time to post a little update on my training and some of the ups & downs I’ve been experiencing. As I’m sure you know, marathon training is not all fun times and rainbows… it’s tough. There’s heartbreak. But, there’s also elation and feelings of accomplishment along the way too.

Tough Run

Week 1

40 mins ~ 6.91 KM
50 mins ~ 8.55 KM (15 mins easy, 5x(2min speed, 2min easy), 15 min easy)
80 mins ~ 12.80 KM (long run)

Week 2

44 mins ~ 7.36 KM (10 mins easy, 2x(5min speed, 2 min easy), 20 min easy)
Cross train – 30 mins stationary bike, 10 mins elliptical
45 mins ~ 7.81KM
25 mins ~ 4.08 KM (1 big hill in the middle to challenge me)
Cross train – 40 mins power walk + stretching/yoga
90 mins ~ 14.70 KM long run

Week 3

Cross train stationary bike & yoga
40 mins ~ 6.80 KM fartlek run
55 mins ~ 8.89 KM (with run crew)
100 mins ~ 15.66 KM long run (got lost on route)
Yoga/Stretching

Week 4

45 mins ~ 7.35 KM fartlek run
Yoga
37 mins ~ 5.95 KM hill run (with run crew)
Cross train – 30 mins stationary bike + stretching/yoga
102 mins ~ 16 KM long run (very sluggish, didn’t feel great)

Week 5

Cross train – 35 mins elliptical
Yoga
50 mins ~ 8.45 KM
Cross train – 35 mins stationary bike & stretching
28 mins ~ 5 KM

Week 6

Long run moved into week 6 due to scheduling conflicts — 103 mins ~ 16 KM ( *mental block, very tough run* + 2K at gym later to reach 18 KM for the day)
Yoga
Cross train – 25 mins elliptical & stretching
4KM Shake out run (steady speed, 1 big hill for challenge)
Run for L’Arche Half Marathon (21.1KM) – 2:06:31 training run
Cross train – 35 mins stationary bike & 20 mins treadmill walking & stretching

Run for L'Arche

If you’re thinking this looks strange, well it kind of is. I’m referring to two similar plans for my training and trying to keep things on my level. Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to hire a coach right now, so I’m doing this on my own. I personally believe that I am doing ok, but may need to push myself a little harder because some of my speed work may be lacking. Speed/interval training is not my strong point, so I do suffer in this area. Certainly trying to get better within my ability for this training season, but not without difficulty for sure.

During my week 5 (moved into week 6) 16KM long run I started to think that I hated running. How I don’t like putting my body through this “crap”. I started to question my sanity. But when I really thought about it… It’s not that I hate running. It’s that I wish I was better at it. 

Ending off week 6 with the Half Marathon was very helpful and I’m glad I registered. I needed the help to get over the 16KM hump that I couldn’t seem to pass for some reason. This Half gave me a boost that I needed to keep training. I will be honest here… when I finished that race I immediately thought about how hard it was going to be to run two of those in a row. It’s scary to visualize the full marathon and I admire those who are out running them all the time. The physical toughness is important, but damn the mental fortitude is necessary. Learning lots about myself this training cycle and right away I can see that I need more confidence in my abilities… in both running and in life. I guess I’m a work in progress, as they say. 🙂

How do you keep your mental game strong when training?

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13 thoughts on “My first marathon training update

    • Thank you, I appreciate that!! 🙂

      During that difficult long run I kept thinking to myself that I hated running. But, I realized that wasn’t it. I just wished I was stronger or faster or whatever ever other comparison I can make about myself. Definitely something I need to let go of so I can focus on the positives in my training! Helps to have an awesome online network of cool people who support each other, that’s for sure! ❤

  1. Training for a marathon can be tough mentally and physically too! I ran my first one in 2013 with a friend and then started training for my second in 2014 (ended up injured and then pregnant so I didn’t run it). For my first marathon, it was all about just crossing that finish line. For my second, I started to incorporate speed training as I wanted to take time off of my finishing time. My long run distances are started to creep up (training for the Calgary half), so maybe we can run together 🙂 You’ve got this!

  2. I swear I had hit post comment, but it seems to have disappeared. Sorry if it ends up showing up 🙂 Training for a marathon is very mentally and physically tiring. I ran/trained for my first one with a friend and then alone for my second (I ended up injured and then pregnant so I didn’t run it). My long run distances are starting to creep up in length, so maybe can run together one weekend 🙂

    ps- it was nice to meet you on Saturday 🙂

    • It was great meeting you as well! 🙂

      That’s a good point about focusing on crossing the finish line for the first marathon. I think I need to be a little easier on myself and just enjoy the process. I need to stop getting mad at myself if speed training doesn’t go as I had hoped, etc. I want a challenge, but I also want to keep running fun!

  3. You are doing great!!

    I think your marathon is the same day as mine? If you are already at 21K for the long run distance, that is great! Lots of time left and you really only need to get to 32K.

    Here is the thing about the mental game during training – make your training runs hard. I ran all of mine without music, friends, that sort of thing. I ran my 20 miler on a 5K loop at a provincial park with nothing but trees. Made marathon day (especially NYC marathon) actually fun, even when I had awful GI stuff for the entire race.

    • Oh boy, sounds like you put yourself through some torture! 😉 Great tip though! I may not be able to go without music for the looong runs, but I do run mostly alone and I can definitely attempt some mentally boring loops to challenge myself. Thanks!!

  4. I wouldn’t stress a whole lot about speed work. Do it, but it’s not a priority in your training. My big recommendation is to run tired. That’s what’s going to help you get through the last 3rd of the marathon. Do your long run and then run a decent distance recovery run the next day, go as slow as you want but just get out there. That’s what’s going to benefit you more than anything else. I definitely wish I’d done more of that during training.

      • Yeah I usually went for a swim day after my long runs, but did have the odd next day run. After running it I wished I’d incorporated more of it. Or doing double days or something you know? Any run where you’re just like, wow this is impossible how do I even put 1 leg in front of the other? Is good lol

      • I did 32k on a Friday night them got up and ran 8k on trail in the morning. It was so difficult, only got through it because I had a friend with me and I felt bad that I needed to keep slowing down to walk up hills lol

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