Marathon Training Essentials

running outfit1

Well friends, it’s official! My friend & I have signed up for our second marathon – St. Jude’s Marathon – December 3rd of this year!!! I have mixed emotions about it, of course. On one hand, I am beyond excited. If you’ve never participated in a major race, whether a half marathon or full marathon, you may not understand how much fun race weekend is: the expo, pasta dinner the night before, 4am wake up (ok, that isn’t fun…), the starting line…and the finish line.

Marathon training is also the motivation I need to force me to workout. I’ve already paid the registration fee, so there’s no backing out now! And to make it even more of an investment, I signed up for a half marathon in September to at least get me to the halfway mark!

But it goes without saying that it is also terrifying to commit to a marathon. The training is brutal. 20 mile long runs? Those literally (I think I’m using it right here :))  take over 3 hours. With a little one, it can be tough to dedicate that amount of time in a day for working out. Luckily we have a great jogging stroller and Aidan can come along for part of the run.

Plus, I’m not as naive this time around. Last time I thought, oh great I can do 20 I can do 26. But let’s remember that 6 miles at a 9-10 minute pace is nearly an HOUR more to go. I honestly felt fine the first 20 miles of our last marathon, but oh man was I not prepared for the last six.  I also didn’t understand how hard it would be on my body. I couldn’t move the day after, and I attribute it to poor training. This time around, I am trying to incorporate yoga, weight training & intervals to make sure my body holds up better!

Marathon Essentials (part 1):

  1. Invest in a running pack. When you’re running for 4-5 hours, you need something to carry the essentials: hotel room key (assuming you’re staying overnight) and car keys, granola bars (I love Kind bars & Cliff bars), iPhone, and water
  2. Find a training program that is easy to follow based on where you’re at today. Haven’t been running for a while? Start with a begginer’s guide. Going into your 4th race in 4 years? You can probably bump to a moderate level. I am currently following this guide and I love how flexible it is considering I’m still getting back into shape after having Aidan. More on my training schedule to come…
  3. Do it with a friend! It’s so much easier to have someone to text and Snap (aliciamurphy625) on those days you’d rather be doing anything else, and you need someone to hold you accountable so race day you are fully prepared.
  4.  Wear the right clothes. 26 miles of sweat can lead to the worst chaffing ever. These shorts from Lululemon help prevent chaffing and are super cute. A good hat or headband keeps the sun & sweat out of your eyes, and it goes without saying how important a great pair of running shoes are! I love Mizunos, but switch between Asics, too.
  5. Incorporate yoga/strength training/stretching as a part of your weekly training schedule – it should be as big of a priority as the long run days!

I’m excited to share my training progress with you all and happy to answer any questions for any newbies out there! Less than 6 months to go!

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  • A good sports bra is worth it’s weight in gold. Having the girls tucked in is so important. Not to mention, shoes, too!! If your fit hurt, you are going to be in big trouble.

  • Oh my gosh, the friends always seem to be key for me! Having that person to motivate you on the bad days and celebrate with you on the good ones is the best! Good luck!

  • I’m running Chicago!! And definitely feel ya on the “forces me to workout” part. I think years of team, club sports have conditioned me to NEED a training schedule and end goal to work out! This time around, I’m definitely trying to incorporate stretching and cross-training.

    And question for you, re: clothes: do you run in running capris or shorts? shorts would be cooler (temp-wise 😉 but I can’t seem to find any that are comfortable (no chafing!) and flattering (no booty shorts for me!!). any recs?

    • Good luck with Chicago! If I do a third marathon, it’ll definitely be Chicago (or maybe Marine Corp…). When I did the Disney marathon I ran in capris because of the chaffing…this time around I’d like to try something similar to bike shorts because they’re shorter than capris, but not quite booty shorts :). I’m going to try a pair from Lululemon