Training for a Marathon

This year, I intend to run a marathon. After the amazing running year I had in 2012 (15 road races, including two half marathons), it feels like the right next step for me.

I love distance races. I love the endurance required for long races, the feeling of my body warming up, taking charge, and pushing through the finish line. And after the finish? I want more (though we’ll see how I feel after 26.2…).

Feeling great after the Ctown Half Marathon last September… #2 for me!

Running is my soulmate workout. I feel born to do it. (on a similar note, stay tuned for my review of Born to Run!) I’ve looked forward to each run, regardless of the start time or distance required for training (4:30 a.m. is the earliest, and 14 is my max distance so far).

In fact, I crave running. I have an amazing running buddy (s/o to G!!) and not only do we continue to challenge ourselves with pace and distance, we spend our long training runs chatting about everything and anything–ideas, happy thoughts, dreams.

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pink running shoes help.

The moment I registered for half marathon #4 (ZOOMA Annapolis on June 1), I decided that I want to train beyond 13.1 miles this year.

My goal race? Philly Marathon in November. Registration opens on April 1. You can bet I’ll be refreshing the site constantly each moment that day to make sure I get a spot.

What if I don’t get a spot? I’m going to train anyway. Running to me is more than races; races just help keep me motivated to push to the next level. Plus, at that point, I’ll have prepped myself for a spring race, as long as I keep up with the distance.

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from the Annapolis half marathon in December

Working backwards from the November 17 potential marathon race date, I have roughly 33 weeks to get ready to run 26.2 miles.

Currently, I’m averaging 4-6 miles on each training run (running 2-3 times per week). Once my fitness classes tone down in early May, I plan on rampin up my running to 3-4 times per week, increasing mileage by 1 additional mile/week until I’ve gotten to at least 23 (though ideally 25…I want to know what I’m in for).

Once I’ve developed it more, I’ll share my google calendar for training. While I’m seeking advice from the running community, I’m going to try to train by listening to my body. I’ll set realistic goals for each week, as I’ve done with past races.

Proper training will continue to boost my confidence for this goal, but I have to ask: any marathoners or soon-to-be marathoners have any advice for a first-timer? What’s made all the difference in your training?

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