I’m sitting here today writing this post- post long run, stretching out my hip-flexors cause HOLY COW they’re tight. It’s October 8th and I am 3 months into my Marathon training with less than 2 months to go. Mileage is high and will be increasing up until the last 3 weeks before race day.
If you follow me on Instagram you have probably been seeing my marathon training updates; consisting of post-workout sweaty selfies & self-proclaimed TED talk videos after completing my long runs. But I wanted to go into more detail on here to share with you all my training journey so far and also some helpful #MarathonTraining tips that I’ve learned along the way. This year I’ve incorporated more mileage, more cross training, and a hell of lot more stretching than my first go at a marathon 3 years ago. Not to mention my nutrition is ON POINT this year (if I do say so myself) ! With these improvements, I’ve noticed a difference in my performance, my body, but most importantly in my mindset.
Lately my weekly mileage totals up to be around 30-35 miles. My long runs are once a week @ 15+ miles (now). I incorporate 2-3 days of cross training at the gym to maintain my overall muscle strength w/ core focused training, and also utilize the stair master & treadmill for inclined walking. Stretching E V E R Y D A Y !!! No If And Or Buts around that. Oh and of course the most beautiful of them all…rest days! Here’s a quick look at what a typical week of training looks like.
- Monday: Cross-training day at the gym + Stretching
- Tuesday: 9 mile run + Stretching
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: 3 mile run + Cross-training at the gym + Stretching
- Friday: 6 mile run + stretching
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday: Long run + Ice bath + Stretching
Not every week is the exact same…I have to be flexible with my days depending on other commitments. ( cough cough trying to have a social life) But I try to keep my long run days consistent. I find it helps to have my long mileage day on a Sunday so I can stretch/recover/be lazy for the rest of the day. With the training program I’m following, the highest mileage I will reach is 20 miles and that will be 3 weeks before race day. Depending on your goals, you may go above or below that… it’s really a personal preference. Last time I trained for a Full Marathon I peaked my mileage at 17 miles and once race day came, I did not feel prepared. Personally that was too big of a spread to cover; that’s almost a 10 mile difference! This year I thought it would be best for me, physically & mentally, to hit 20 miles in training in order to break that mental barrier of “the big 20” and use the hype of the crowd and other runners on race day to carry me through the last 6.2 miles.
Not all the training is physical… there are other factors that come into play that can really help you if you are training or thinking about training for a marathon in the future. Below are some tips that have worked for me and that I HOPE can help you.
5 Tips For Marathon Training
Before beginning your run take a moment to focus on your breathing, determine what your goal for the workout is, and plant positive thoughts into your mind that will flow freely throughout your run. Your goals don’t always have to be time & speed oriented or have anything to do with performance. Mindset is a huge part of any goal you set out to accomplish. Your thoughts & attitude are powerful , so why not create a foundation of positive and encouraging thoughts to help push you when you start to feel tired & lack motivation.
I’ve never used a running log or schedule before… I normally don’t have the need for one, but I definitely recommend it now when preparing for a race. Writing down your miles not only helps you keep track of your mileage but it can help you remember what workouts were successful, which ones you didn’t meet your goals, and when you need more rest.
Another prep habit I’m doing this year is organizing a “pit stop” for my long-run days. Kinda like how race car drivers have when they need a quick tire change or tune up. My “pit stop” consists of a towel, plenty of water, spare socks, glide stick, and snack for my 13+ miles. I do this so when I need any of those things mid-run I have them easily accessible and am able to keep my rest break quick & jump right back into my run.
Research Shoe Options
This is where I struggled the most. I love Asics and have trained in them most my running career. But sizing of running shoes is tricky! I had no idea I was wearing the wrong size for YEARS. The best thing to do is go to a Fleet Feet or Luke’s Locker and get sized. They will most likely recommend going up a whole shoe size for distance running but I’m picky and only go up a 1/2 size. Figure out what shoe & fit makes you most comfortable.
Rest & Recovery
Ya girl had to learn the hard way how important rest & recovery is. Who has this idea that you have to “constantly be hustling” ?! That was me too. I used to constantly get injured and have days where my body was not feeling up for a workout because I wasn’t taking the time to properly stretch & sleep. If you haven’t heard of Alexi Pappas, a bad ass long distance Olympic athlete, she continuously emphasizes the importance of sleep in training! She once said in an interview that she literally marks out time in her schedule for naps and labels them as “meetings” so people won’t question it. I absolutely LOVE that.
Sleep is the most crucial time when the body repairs your muscles! And putting on those extra miles requires more & more time for sleep. Can’t forget about stretching either! You can avoid sooooo many injuries by taking the time to stretch. I’m a huge believer in multi-tasking so I like to stretch while watching Harry Potter movies or the latest Netflix series. Try stretching for a whole HP movie! Now that’s a challenge.
Fuel for Performance
Eat your greens. Drink your greens. And then some more! haha I’m only half kidding. But seriously the more vegetables and raw foods I consume, the more energized my body feels and the quicker it repairs itself after physical stress. At this level of physical output, your body is burning sooo many calories so don’t stray away from carbs, fats and proteins either. There is a clean way of getting all of those nutrients your body craves. Examples of my favorite foods right now: avocados, bananas, Daves Killer bread, oats, berries, lean turkey/chicken, nuts, bell peppers, spinach, Rx Bars, salmon, asparagus, etc.
With that being said… a pizza night still happens once a week CUZ YA GURL LOVES PIZZA. (& Ranch. Duh.)
The next time I give you guys a formal Marathon Training update may be after the big race day! AHHH!!! So stoked. Thank you for following along, I hope this helps anyone who may be training or wanting to do a Marathon in the future. If you’re thinking about doing it, you should go for it!!! Last night I watched Drew Brees give an awesome speech after breaking the All Time NFL Passing Record; so I’ll leave you with his words…
“You can accomplish anything in life that you’re willing to work for. Nothing’s given, everything’s earned.”
And if that ain’t the truth idk what is!!! That man is awesome, and those are wise words to live by.
Y’all have a beautiful day & kick ass.
💋 XOXO MrsFitz