With a marathon on the schedule this weekend, it’s all about marathons this week on CRG. In case you missed it, yesterday I talked about running a non-goal race for your marathon and today, I’m linking up for Running Coaches’ Corner with Rachel/Susie/Debbie [see below!] to talk about the 10 things I’ve learned about marathons in the past 10 years.
1. Water is your friend
I don’t think I ever drank as much water as I did once I started marathon training. I felt like I started to crave it… mostly because my body needed it so much more. I seriously get a little stressed if I don’t have my water bottle with me throughout the day because I know that I’m slacking on taking in water, and know that I will feel the effects from that during my next workout.
2. There will be days where you will hate it
Marathon training isn’t always fun. It’s hard. It sucks. There will be blood, sweat and tears. And somedays, you just want to have a “normal” life where you can sleep in and indulge and not care about it. But it’s the days that you hate, that make you like it even more.
3. Your shoes matter
The times I’ve been injured have been because of my shoes. Finding the right shoes makes a HUGE difference, especially when you are pounding out all the miles during marathon training. Once you find a good pair of shoes? Stick with them! Lastly, make sure that you are running in fresh shoes because if they are worn down, they can cause injuries just as much as a worn out pair of shoes.
4. You’ll never feel fully prepared
Every week leading up to a marathon, I am freaking out about something. The weather, how my legs feel, preparing for the race… whatever it might be, I don’t think you will ever feel 100% ready for marathon day. I think it’s one of the reasons why taper drives us so crazy — we just have more time to focus on all of these emotions since we aren’t pounding out the miles.
5. Those missed training days add up
Missing a training day every once in awhile isn’t a big deal… I mean, life happens, and you have to roll with the punches (especially if you want to make it through marathon training, let’s be honest!). That being said, missing too much training adds up and can make marathon day a little less enjoyable (ahem, how I’ll be feeling this weekend. ;)). So even if you have to modify your training schedule, try as much as you can to get the miles in — your body will thank you come marathon day.
6. Your perception of miles will change
I remember when I first started marathon training way back when, I thought that six miles was a long run. Now I think that anything over 20 miles is a long run. And I’m such a culprit of saying “just” before any distance.
“Did you run this morning?”
“Yeah, just 13 miles.”
People will think you’re crazy, but in your head, this feels like the norm. P.S. It’s definitely not a bragging thing —> it’s a perception thing.
7. Just because you run a lot, doesn’t mean you can eat a lot
This took me a REALLY long time to learn this and I’m still learning it. Meb’s latest book was the thing that gave me a good wake up call to realize that just because I am running 40 miles a week, it doesn’t mean that I can live on candy and eat whenever I’m hungry.
I’ve also learned that what you eat is just as important as how much you eat… quality over quantity. It makes such a big difference and it’s amazing how much better you feel when it comes to a run with the right nutrition.
8. Weekends = running + sleep
After I started marathon training, my weekends evolved from nights out with friends to cherishing sleep and figuring out my long run for a Saturday morning. I didn’t become a recluse and stop seeing my friends, but how we hung out changed quite a bit. It’s okay, I know I hit old lady status a long time ago and it’s time to embrace it.
9. You will learn so much about yourself
This is perhaps one of my most favorite things about running marathons. It has helped to define me as a person, and it has taught me so much about who I am. It’s shown me that I have strength — both physically and mentally — when otherwise, I’m not sure I’d believe it. It teaches you that yes, you can get up at the crack of dawn for a run. You aren’t as addicted to candy as you thought. You can go that extra mile. You can push yourself to the brink. It’s amazing to see who you are as a person and uncover that through hundreds of miles in training.
10. 26.2 miles = your celebration
When it comes to marathon day, remember that it’s your celebration. Marathon training is all about the journey — and the final 26.2 miles is your celebration lap. So whatever happens, whatever the weather looks like and no matter how you feel, remember that. And celebrate all that you’ve accomplished.
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