It’s time for the marathon training update. The Flying Pig Marathon is two weeks away, so the peak of the training cycle is now complete. For this training cycle, I hired a running coach to help guide me through the marathon training process. Hiring the coach helped me push through some of those tough times and gave me some excellent accountability. Plus, if I had questions, someone could always give me the answers.
How has marathon training gone for me this time around?
I feel like there has been a struggle this time around. March turned out to be a great month for me. I hit running goals I never thought I could happen. March produced perfect running weather, and I felt like I was making some improvements. April rolled around, and the humidity kicked in and I felt like a took a substantial backslide. How can February and March lend great results and then it all goes away in April?
Coach told me not to worry about this, so I’m taking it all in stride. February and March built my running strength, but April is teaching me mental strength. It has been challenging but I know I can complete the marathon and even yield a great time goal.
Things that have worked well for me:
Having the coach has taken the guesswork out of how many miles I should be running or if it’s ok to miss this run because I’m feeling tired. It’s nice not having to worry about putting together my plan.
I’ve never done any speed workouts. My coach started incorporating some speed workouts for me that I didn’t think I could do. I’ve always just gone out there to run and not thought about doing any workouts. That wasn’t the “running” I needed to do. Do you know how good I felt when I completed those workouts? Learning about heart rate and my correct paces during the training cycle has taken my running to the next level.
I stopped running with music a few years ago. Music and running don’t vibe with me because it’s hard for me to keep a consistent pace. There are a few times that I’ve had to put some music on during some training runs, but I didn’t use it for long due to annoyance. I’ve learned it’s better for me to run with people. Running with people gives me “carrots” to chase and to use as mileposts on how I’m doing throughout my run. I may run a lot of races, but I use those races for training runs because I do run by myself a lot.
What hasn’t worked for me:
My anxiety about running by myself in the dark mornings. I used to get up and run all the miles before anyone ever woke up. Lately, the thought of that has left me crippled and unable to walk out of the door. I’ve pushed my runs into the daylight hours which means it’s been a little warmer with the sun. Running later probably adds to why April hasn’t treated me so kindly.
My body seems to be rebelling against me. I’ve had all kind of aches and pains throughout the training. Adding the speed workouts put more stress on my body, but I know it’s been the one thing that has improved my running. I’ve required a few more rest days than I’ve taken in the past.
Like I mentioned before, I use races as training runs. It’s getting warmer around here, and longer races have started to disappear. I’ve been forced to do some training runs on my own, and those runs haven’t gone so well. Sometimes, it’s been like a death march until the end. I need to run with people which is always possible with a busy boss mom life.
This training cycle has challenged me in the best ways. The moment when I felt like I didn’t perform my best are the moments when I worked on my mental strength. The marathon is more than a physical challenge. All the excellent training can fall apart if you’re not mentally able to push through the hard moments.
I feel ready to tackle those 26.2 miles even though things haven’t gone my way lately. Don’t worry, I will keep you updated on the race and all the things that go into race day.
What do you think the hardest part about running a marathon?