Friday, May 31, 2013

Aha! Understanding the Logic of Marathon Training

Hi, friends!  Happy Friday.

Today I want to keep things short and sweet with two things.  The first is an insight I had this week about marathon training.  Technically, my marathon training begins on June 10th; right now I am in pre-marathon training mode.  In other words, I’m just trying to get my running legs back underneath me.  My goal has been to run 120 minutes per week, and (running slacker that I am), I have not met that goal yet.  But I might this week!  And next week!  Fingers crossed.

I was thinking about the difference between this pre-marathon training and my usual half-marathon training style, and this is it: marathon training is designed so that you will often be running on slightly tired legs.  With my half-marathons, I only run three days a week, and two of those runs are typically in the 20-30 minute range.  (I also bike a lot, which I think is a huge boost to my overall fitness.)  Runningwise, I’m almost always running on pretty fresh legs, with at least a day or two between runs.  With full marathon training, I am supposed to run four days a week, and one of those runs will become frighteningly long as the months progress.  This means my legs will often be kinda tired or recovering from the previous run.  In other words, I’ll be building the endurance for 26.2 miles on my fatigued legs.

Maybe this sounds obvious as I write about it, but it was a major breakthrough for me.  Overall I’m feeling pretty good as I ease back into running, but my calves have been noticeably tight this week.  On the plus side, I’m starting to feel a shift in my attitude toward marathon training.  I think a challenge like this might turn out to be perfect for this year.  Running is once again becoming a moving meditation for me, a time to collect my thoughts and give myself a pep talk.  Lacing up my sneakers is becoming less of a chore and more of a pleasure.  I’m grateful for that.

The second thing is this: I created a page for my races this year!  Check it out.  I’m running a 10K in June with JD, and the Detroit Marathon is officially on the schedule.  Fingers crossed that I make it to the starting line for it.



  1. I remember my legs were ALWAYS tired during marathon training. That's why your long run paces are so slow - you couldn't go faster if you wanted to! :)

    1. That is good to know! I'm not exactly looking forward to the feeling, but at least I won't be thinking there is something wrong with my legs :-)