Since training and running the full mary I have been getting a lot of questions about it. I apologize if you’re emailed me and I am barely getting to your question, but I did want to answer everyone’s questions via the blog so other curious readers could benefit too
1. Q: How long have you been running?
A: I have been running for about 5 or 6 years now. But for the most part it has been recreational running, nothing I consider “serious”. I have completed one 10K, many half marathons and a full marathon. I run because I enjoy it and the races are fun – and a personal challenge too!
2. Q: How did you get started running?
A: I actually just started walking to lose weight at the end of high school. I would walk outside with a friend and if she wasn’t around I would go to my grandma’s and walk on her treadmill. I eventually bought my own treadmill and kept walking on it until that just became too easy. I started running one random day to keep it interesting and I fell in love with it
3. Q: I just started running and want to run a race, but I am very nervous. Do you have any advice?
A: For my first race I did a 10K with a friend. This was a great experience because I thought I would be surrounded by professional runners and I would feel inadequate and make a fool of myself, but that is not the case at all!
Running is a great sport with a ton of camaraderie and support. Races, of any length, have people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, fitness levels, etc. Mostly everyone is there to accomplish a personal goal and have a good time. No matter where you run in the pack there are people there ready to cheer you on. Your time doesn’t matter, it seems the spectators and your fellow runners just want you to finish
4. Q: What plan did you use to train for your marathon?
A: I actually just complied information from a few well respected training plans and made my own running schedule. I based my training on the Novice level because even though I have run half marathons and feel good about that distance this was my first full marathon and my goal was to cross the finish line. I remember reading on the RR message boards, “Running a full marathon is not like running 2 half marathons – it’s like running 10.” I took that very seriously. I respect the distance and wanted to get myself there in one piece no matter how long it took me. Also, to prevent injury I knew the Novice program was the best for a new marathoner.
Hal Higdon’s Marathon Novice Plan - I really like Hal Higdon’s plan because it is the most similar to my existing running schedule.
Jeff Galloway’s Marathon Novice Plan - This plan is time based. Galloway goes by the run/walk method where you run for a certain number of minutes and alternate walking for a certain number of minutes. I do not do the run/walk method, one of my BFFs ran a marathon using this plan and loves it. I have heard many great things about it and would recommend trying it if you are curious to see if it works for you. The thought behind it is very solid as well: take periodic walk breaks throughout your long runs and you will be consistent and finish stronger and feel better.
Cool Running Begginer Marathon Training - This is another great source I looked at. I didn’t use this program exactly, but I have used their half program once.
I reviewed all of this information and wrote out a weekly long run plan on an excel spreadsheet, from there I added shorter mid-week runs. Due to traveling and the holidays I did not follow my plan exactly. My longest run was 19 miles and I only completed that one time! I didn’t think I was prepared well enough for the full marathon, but I did a lot better than I expected.
From this full marathon experience and from running half marathons where I thought I wasn’t prepared enough I have learned – DON’T OVERDO IT. It is better to be slightly under-prepared and finish the race versus over prepared and injured!
If you are a new runner or you are new to a certain distance make sure you start at a beginner level. After you’ve conquered the distance you can move up as fast as you want. Injuries suck, if you want to help your body avoid them, run smart. You don’t have anything to prove to anybody except yourself.
5. Q: Do you have any tips for someone who wants to run a marathon?
A: Yes, a lot.
I learned A LOT while training for the full marathon, so it’s difficult to give random tips without missing something I think is important. If you have a specific question please ask away, but here are the tips I can think of now:
- Get used to eating something before your runs. I am a morning runner and that was hard for me to get used to.
- Find good sun-block, preferably one that doesn’t get in your eyes.
- Walk through aid stations.
- Don’t get irritated when the 15th person asks you how long a marathon is.
- When you get to the race – go pee, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Expect that at some point during your training you will miss a run. Illnesses, bad weather, un-expected plans – it will happen.
All of these questions will be added to my new FAQ tab shortly. Please feel free to ask my anymore questions via comment or email Good running!