I ran my first half marathon earlier this year in April. I trained well for it and did very well, finishing in under an 1 hour and 52 minutes! The run itself felt so good, I could feel my body and how well I was performing. My stamina was amazing, and I glided through that first half marathon with relative ease. And it’s the TRAINING that made all the difference. Now I’ll be running my first marathon (26.2 miles) this December. As of this first entry in this continuing post (I will continue to add content from here on out until and through and immediately after my marathon run) it is October 20, 2016. My run is December 11, 2016. As of this post I am no where near the training I was during my half marathon!
Why I’m Less Prepared For Running My First Marathon
Different goals. Plain and simple. Over the summer I started to create a physique that was looking AMAZING. I was looking ripped, and muscles were popping out everywhere! My gym time had increased and my time on the track dropped to one 5 or 6 mile run on the weekend and that was it. That will do the trick, in terms of improving the aesthetics of my physique. However when time came around to start training for my first full marathon, I didn’t train like I did for my half marathon. I wasn’t running 4 days a week, and I didn’t cut any time out of the gym. I’m now 6 weeks away and I’m struggling to hit 13.1 miles in training alone!
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Where Do I Go From Here
You have to listen to your body. For me personally I had to retrace what my goal(s) is. That is to run a full marathon ONCE in my lifetime. And so that means I have to sacrifice my body, the looks and more in order to achieve that. Come race day I WILL NOT allow anything to stop me from crossing that finish line. I won’t be running a marathon again, but I want to finish this race, and do decent at it at that. That means reminding myself what I have achieved for my body, I can and WILL achieve again. I’ll just have to wait until after this marathon to do so.
Where Am I Now In Training For My First Marathon
The very basic and nondescript explanation of how to train for a marathon or half marathon is to go up a mile a week until you reach a certain limit in order to prepare your body for what it will go through when running the actual race. For a half marathon you’d get to about 11 miles during training, then taper down until actual race day. For a marathon typically you want to get to 20 miles during training before you taper down. I am WAY behind schedule as I’m up to 12 miles and I have 6 weeks left of training! And I struggled to get that 12 miles at that. Everything is different this time around. I’m involved in so much outside of training that is taking time and energy. So again, I have to make a change in order to make this marathon as easy as possible (nothing about this marathon will actually be easy).
The New Game Plan For Running My First Marathon
First off I’m cutting off time from the gym and putting more time into running. Next I have to dramatically get to 20 miles and get there soon, because I still need to taper down and allow my muscles, specifically those in my legs, to recover, strengthen and prepare for the 26.2 miles in December! It’s coming fast, and I have to focus. I promise you though I can’t wait to get this over with. During my half marathon I loved the entire process. Again my goals have just changed. Before running helped me so much to overcome some hard times. Now that I’ve gotten over those times and I’m striving for other things I’m ready to finish my “running career”. I’ll never actually stop running but I’ll only be doing 4 or 5 mile runs on the weekend, and focus the rest of my fitness energy on weight lifting, some boxing and perhaps a little basketball every now and then for fun.
Continuing To Struggle During Training
So I shot for 15 miles yesterday. I nearly died, not literally, but I definitely felt that way. Damn, that was a rough run. I started getting cramps in my stomach at mile 8, and I ran with those cramps until they disappeared at mile 11. By the time I got to mile 13.5 my legs were stiff and every bone and muscle from my toes up to my hip were in excruciating pain. I walked all the way from mile 13.5 until mile 15 (home). This was not a normal walk. More like a duck walk. Again, it was rough.
A couple things I did though that finally allowed me to overcome my 10 mile stump. You see before yesterday I couldn’t get past 10 miles, except one day were I got 12, but that was a huge struggle. This time I made it to 15, albeit I had to walk the last 2 and a half miles. I cut out leg day from the gym. It’s your legs that are most affected when running these long runs. For me it is anyways. My stamina is fine, especially if I run a slow 11 minute pace. But my legs begin to give out. So stopping leg day has helped.
Still, yesterday was a struggle. I arrived home, could barely stand, and I was dehydrated and famished at the same time. I drank a ton of water and ate way too much, way too fast. I went on to throw up and pass out. It was only 8:30 pm. I then woke up at 12:30 am, and never was never able to fall back asleep. I hope I’m better prepared next week.
Finally Seeing Improvement In My Marathon Training
I’m a month and a week out from race day. I just finished running 15 miles today, however it was a much smoother 15 miles. I ran until about 13.5 and walked the rest. Again, much smoother. Two weeks in a row with no leg day has helped tremendously. It was still painful, but I can feel my legs getting stronger (running wise anyways). Next week I will rest them by running 10 miles, and then the week after I should hit 18 miles. The race is coming quick! In all honesty I can’t wait to get it over with and take up boxing next year. I’m losing my physique a bit, especially in the legs, but i will get it back next year. I’ve come to terms with the sacrifice I have to make in order to complete this run in December. Overall, after today’s run I’m a lot more confident in my chances of finishing 26.2 miles this year at the Dallas Marathon!
The Night Before My First Marathon
It has been a while since I logged into this post. A lot has happened since my last entry where in I was finally starting to see improvement in my marathon training. I made it all the way to 20 miles during my training, that was as of mid November. After that I started to taper down, bringing my long Sunday runs down by 3 or 4 miles each week. Last Sunday, I ran 9 miles. This entire week, “marathon week” I ran 3.1 miles, 3 miles, and 2 miles. I’ve been resting my legs very well and I carb loaded 48 hours before the run. As of now I feel ready. I know my body has been trained well (though I could have trained much better). Most importantly it is well rested, the legs are preserved and ready to get the shit beat out of them tomorrow! 26.2 here I come!