How I’m Training for my First Marathon

Let’s take a look at what’s ruling my life these days…marathon training!

Running a marathon is truly something I never thought I would do. Over the last couple of years, I’ve run many races & distances, including a handful of half marathons, with a PR of 2:11. The dedication and time it took to run 13.1 miles, and the few injuries that cropped up during those times, were enough to make me swear off even the idea of running 26.2 miles.

Then this past January, something changed. During a “run-cation” (vacation + running  race) with my two sisters in Florida, they talked me into signing up for the Chicago Marathon so we could all run it together.

Translation: They will finish over an hour ahead of me, and I will be cursing them as I near the 20-mile mark & they’re already celebrating. I missed out on the speedy runner genes, apparently.

I’m still not sure what it is that changed my mind… Maybe it was the fact that we’d run a half marathon in the Florida heat that morning and our wine flights at dinner were going to my head. Maybe it was the fact that a half marathon used to seem like an insurmountable task to me, but then, even when I slacked on my training, I was still able to finish 13.1 miles. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t pretty easy, but a half marathon also wasn’t an impossible feat anymore. So I needed a bigger challenge. Why not take that conquest on with my sisters, my best friends, by my side?

My sisters & me after the Naples Half Marathon.

My sisters & me after the Naples Half Marathon.

I had used the Hal Higdon training plans for half marathons before, and I liked the balance of running with rest/cross training days. I felt like it gave me a great running base without going overboard. A pal from my running club and I decided to train using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 program. I switched around the schedule of my days, but here’s what my plan looks like for the next couple of months…

Chicago Marathon Training Plan, Hal Higdon Novice 2

Click to see the greuling & fun details…

I’m giving myself the flexibility to switch around days and workouts, especially with the summer heat about to descend upon us here in Wisconsin, and all the fun activities that pop up in the sunny summertime months. It seems like here in Wisconsin, we get 3 months of great weather, followed by 9 months of winter, so I have to enjoy the sunshine while I can!

Each Monday, I’ll post the week’s upcoming workouts, and a recap of the past week’s so I can keep an eye on my progress & stay accountable.

This week’s workouts:

  • Monday: 3 mile run (check!)
  • Tuesday: cross train with my bike group, pending storms / alternate: Pilates and core work
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run
  • Thursday: 3 mile trail run with running buds
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 9 mile long run
  • Sunday: rest, i.e. stretch/foamroll & walk

Any words of advice for a marathon newbie? Do you have a specific training program you prefer to follow, or other fitness that you incorporate into your routine to help you?

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2 thoughts on “How I’m Training for my First Marathon

  1. Ah, I’m training to do Tough Mudder right now, which is 12 miles. Eventually, I’d love to run a marathon. I hope you enjoy your training. I’m sure you’ll do great! Good luck!

    • Tough Mudder kind of scares me, there are so many obstacles involved along with all that running. You’d probably be almost in shape to run 26 miles after all that! ha Good luck to you, too! 🙂

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