I get a bunch of questions about marathons… running, training, eating… and thought I’d try to answer most of them in one post! Enjoy! 🙂
1. How long is a marathon? This is a question that drives runners nuts. A marathon is 26.2 miles. Any other race distance is NOT a marathon. A 5k = not a marathon. A half marathon = not a marathon. A 100 miler = not a marathon.
2. How much do you have to run to train for a marathon? The number of miles that you log depends on your time and your fitness ability. Elites will log over 100 miles a week (!!!) where “normal” people can get by with logging as few as 40 miles per week. I try to aim between 50-70 miles per week, but sometimes my schedule gets the best of me so it’s a bit lower than that.
3. Doesn’t it get boring to run so much? Not going to lie, there are some days where running sounds like the last thing I want to do. However, it comes down to what your end goal is for what gets you motivated to get out of bed.
But the actual form of running? I don’t feel like it’s boring at any time. It’s my form of meditation. It’s a way for me to break away from the craziness of life and just get my thoughts straight for one minute. Plus, you always see some interesting things along the way that keep you interested. As long as you don’t get bored with yourself, running doesn’t get boring.
4. How do you find time for marathon training? Sometimes I ask myself this question because life is crazy busy… and trying to run 40-50 miles a week can be challenging when you’re juggling a full-time job and everything else in life. It’s a matter of making time for marathon training. I don’t love getting up early, but to squeeze in a workout before work, I get up around 5:30 or 6 a.m. throughout the week (Sunday is the only day I sleep in).
5. How do you pick the races that you run? I pick races based on several different factors. Turning marathons into a vacation can be really fun if you have the support of your family. I also look for races that have interesting courses and something unique to offer.
6. What’s the biggest challenge of marathon training? Figuring out nutrition… I have run 14 marathons (training for my 15th) and still haven’t figured out the whole eating thing. I know that my pre-race meal = Chipotle. I haven’t quite figured out what to eat the morning of race day, and I still am trying to adapt to the growing hunger thing during training (you know, the whole thing of never being full!). One day, I’ll figure this out. Until then, I’ll keep testing and testing to see what foods make my body the happiest. 🙂
7. I’m a new runner… how do I know if I’m ready for a marathon? Knowing if you are ready for a marathon depends on 1) your fitness level and 2) the reason why you want to run a marathon. New runners should have a good base — 3-6 months of continuous running — before starting a marathon training program. In addition, you should know why you want to a run a marathon. If you are doing it because it’s the trendy thing to do or because it doesn’t look so hard = not a smart idea. You won’t have fun with it, which is the most important thing of marathon training.
What questions do you have about marathon training? What advice do you have for someone training for their first marathon?
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