I have quite a few friends who are thinking they are about ready to make the jump from 13.1 to 26.2 and I have received numerous questions from them so I wanted to answer those questions in one place for all of you…
1. Can I do it [complete 26.2miles]?
Yes you can! If you put your mind to it and the miles of training in, you most certainly can get across that finish line.
2. Should I run all 26.2miles before race day?
No, it isn’t necessary. Most people will train to about 20-22miles. I personally like to go to 22.
3. Do you have any training plans you like to use?
I do not have a specific one I like to use but the general format I like to follow is:
- Monday — Cross Train (swim or bike) & Strength Training (generally all bodyweight exercises)
- Tuesday — Mid Distance Run (4-8mile range)
- Wednesday — Long Mid Distance Run (6-10mile range)
- Thursday — Speed Work or Hills (3-5mile range)
- Friday — Short Run (2-4mile range)
- Saturday — Long Run (13-22mile range)
- Sunday — Short (1-2miles) or Off Day
- Have a plan. Know what you are going to do for your warm-up. Know when you are going to take fuel. Have three goals (best case, content with, and worst case).
- Have fun. You are joining part of the 2% of the population just by starting the race. Have fun with it and allow your plan to be flexible.
- Don’t start out too hard. They will normally line you up in a corral, be realistic based on your goals and start with the group you want to finish with. Things can change throughout the race but its a good idea to start with those who are going to go your goal pace. (I pick, the I’m content goal for my starting place).
- Break up the race. I like to think of it as I am running 2miles 13times. There are generally water stations every 2miles so that is a good mental break before you start your next 2mile rep.
- Walk through the water stations. This is about 10-15seconds of pure bliss. I have found by doing this my hamstrings and hips last a lot longer before they start to get tight during the race.
- Talk to those around you. People will have great stories and hey, you never know, you may just get hit on (During my 2nd marathon I had a guy that I was going back and forth with passing each other just after we had both “hit the wall”, and at one point he comes up to me and says “you’re beautiful”…trust me I got a little pep in my step at that point. Maybe it’ll happen to you or you can be that inspiration to someone else).