The Stages Of Marathon Training + I Went To School In My Pajamas

Marathon training is such a strange thing. We love running so much that we willingly hit the road or trails every day, sweat profusely, add to our laundry load, increase our grocery list, and go through tons of shoes to get ready to run twenty six point two miles. It sounds crazy when you read it in print, am I right?

A typical marathon training schedule can be pretty long - typically from 12-18 weeks and that's a long time to be running toward a goal. I think in order to survive the chaos, you have to break it up in stages:


Stage one usually goes like this: you've decided to run a marathon. Wow, this is such big deal - yay, you're such a crazy person STUD! It takes a lot of careful thought and consideration into choosing the right race. Will it be close to home, or are you going to travel?  Traveling is always fun and my son Josh has come up with a cool way for you to choose your next race...

Even if you don't go to a state capitol this is a fun way to see the US laid out and spark some travel ideas!

Will you coach yourself, select an online plan or hire a coach? Let me veer onto the coach subject for a moment: I highly recommend investing in a running coach for three reasons:

1. You don't have to overthink your training. When you hire a coach, they take on the job of carefully planning and crafting your training and races along the way to the goal race.
Make sure to do plenty of research on a short list of qualified and experienced coaches and set up time for a conversation (come with questions). You want to make the right choice as your coach becomes a part of your tribe.

2. It keeps you accountable. A coach will have you record your prescribed workouts in a daily log of some sort. It's really inspiring to look back over training after many months and see how far you've progressed. Plus, coaches aren't free - so you are commiting and investing into yourself and your training.

3. Someone with whom you can discuss your short + long term goals and plan accordingly. Bonus - you know they'll never get tired of talking to you about running!

Stage Two:

This second stage of training is all about consistency and patience. Log the miles, perform the hard workouts, get the long run done, do all the little things to stay healthy. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
At this stage, the race seems like forever away, and real life has to happen as well. Laundry to be done, food shopping and meal planning, going to work, and all the life stuff. Remind yourself every once in while that there is an end result coming. Oh, and don't forget to have a lot of fun along the way - you're doing this for fun, remember?

Running Is My Recess

Stage Three:

The taper is here, and it's almost time to race - but not so fast. Keep getting that critcial sleep and taper doesn't equal lazy. Keep on top of the workouts and cheer about the slightly reduced mileage and intensity.

Stage Four:

It's showtime! Time to celebrate all the hard work and have fun -you've earned it.

I'm solidly in stage two these days. Run, repeat, run, repeat - I love the predictibility of this. I have to confess... I hit snooze this morning, somehow the alarm didn't ring again and the next thing I knew, it was late. Not morning ruined late, but definitely - we've got to hustle our butts this morning without missing a beat. Yep, I threw a sweater over my pajamas and walked my daughter into preschool this morning. Someday, the kids and I are going to have a belly laugh over their crazy, marathon loving Mom.

Crazy mother runner trying to take a self timed running photo.

At least some of my zen rubs off on her. #yogagirl

Do awesome things.


No comments:

Post a Comment