Lessons from Marathon Training {So far}

Saucony 26 Strong running  happyfitmama.com

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to have my cadet for this year’s Saucony 26 Strong, Marina, guest posting for me today. She has been absolutely killing her training plan for Chicago. To go from never doing any formalized running workouts to now Fartlek-ing, hill repeating and tempo-ing like a boss, in just 11 weeks, is pretty impressive. And she just crushed her 18 miler last weekend. The thing that I most love about guiding Marina through training? Watching her confidence in herself grow. I knew she could do it. I think she’s seeing that now.

Without further ado, here’s Marina’s lessons from marathon training {so far}.

Here I am, eleven weeks into my marathon training plan. YIKES! That means I am more than half way through and the numbers of miles that I need to run just keeps growing…and its intimidating…sort of.

When I first looked at the plan, it looked doable because the amount of times a week I would be running was the same that I always run-4x a week. All I really had to add in was yoga two other days a week before work, and it really didn’t seem to overwhelming, The overwhelming part was looking at the long run miles-16, 18, 20 miles in one run! I tried to tell myself just to go week by week and not to get too ahead of myself with worry. Could I really run that far? How would I fit it in? Was I crazy to take this challenge on?

Saucony 26 Strong Marina  happyfitmama.com

Well eleven weeks into training and I have learned a few things! Here are 5 things I’ve learned so far…

1. I can fit it all in. Its not easy and it definitely takes planning, but it is possible. Just like anything else, it has to be a priority. So for me, early mornings before most people wake up is the way that I fit it in. This works best for me as I try to impact my kids and my husband and our family plans as little as possible.

2. Be flexible. I’ve had to switch around runs and cross-training in the last few weeks due to working a little extra. I was also on vacation one week and I didn’t pressure myself to follow my plan exactly. No yoga, no strength training, running only.

First outfit Saucony 26 Strong | happyfitmama.com

3. It’s a lot easier when you have a cheering squad! Support from my coach, family and friends helps so much. I can email or text Angela anytime for expert advice when some sort of running question comes up. My husband is so encouraging and helpful with the kids while I get in my workouts. My family and friends have been so supportive! They are always asking how training is going and are always positive.

4. I love the running community! Everyone is so positive and helpful. I love meeting other runners and hearing their advice or ways they do things.

Saucony 26 Strong chatting  happyfitmama.com

5. This is probably the biggest one…Self-confidence. How could I not feel awesome?! I just ran 18 miles and felt amazing! Eleven weeks ago I remember thinking “how the heck will I do that?” So as I look ahead at my plan for August, the long runs are 16, 18 and 20 miles. But really, 20 miles is only 2 more miles than what I did over the weekend. I CAN do that!

I can only imagine what the next seven weeks will bring!

I’m so excited to see Marina cross the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in October! Btw – All photos (except for the third to last pic) are courtesy of Nils Nilson who was our awesome photographer from the Saucony 26 Strong photo shoot for Competitor Magazine. Be sure to pick up or look for the August Competitor issue in print or online – Marina and Michelle are the featured track stars for a speed work article! How cool is that?!?!

Competitor Magazine Cover | happyfitmama.com

25 comments on “Lessons from Marathon Training {So far}

  1. Inspiring to hear another newbie marathoner enjoying her training. I was supposed to start training a couple weeks ago but do to unforeseen events I’m trying to build my mileage back up for my first marathon this fall.

  2. Running does build such confidence! I remember my first 10 miler, then 18, then 22, 26.2 and I’ll never forget crossing the finish line of an ultra! It is such an incredible journey. I can’t wait to see you guys cross the finish line in Chi town- it will be emotional for sure!
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  3. This is such an amazing experience for marina! She is doing incredible and I can’t wait to hear how amazing it feels to cross the finish line!

  4. This is my daughter!!!! I’m so proud of her! I’ve been a runner all my life (until a few years ago :( ) I could never imagine runner a marathon. I remember my longest race was 10 miles, and I felt like it took forever. Running to me was my sanity………I would talk to myself, solve problems, erase my stress from work, sometimes cry………..the best part I had a running partner, my dog! I felt awesome! I miss it, and wish I could be doing this with Marina………..I know she will do great!!

    1. awwww thanks Mom! Running does all those same things for me too-the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree :) love you and see you tomorrow!

  5. Your first marathon is such a wonderful, unforgettable experience.
    Congratulations Marina and looking forward to following along on the journey! I love the Chicago Marathon and you two are going to have such a great time!!
    Love the Competitor pics!!

  6. Hi Marina,

    This is great to hear how well you are doing. 18-20 mile runs after 11 weeks sound very impressive to me. You are clearly very dedicated and motivated.

    Your point about fitting things in sounds like quite a challenge, I’m not sure how I’d manage. If you are going for an 18-20 mile in the morning how long would that take and what time would you have to get u?
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  7. Marina, this is so exciting! You have a wonderful coach in Angela and I just love reading about how your confidence has been affected by this marathon training. I can tell you that even once you become a marathoner, if you decide to do it again, those loooong runs on the plan still look intimidating! 😉 You will do great on your 20 mile long run and the marathon itself will be amazing.
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