After our New Orleans half marathon, Melissa and I decided that we were ready to run our first full marathon! Even tho we were feeling a little crazy at the start of this, I think we’ve finally gotten comfortable with our training schedule. Today we are at the start of week 6 of our 18 week plan from Hal Higdon, the last week before we get to distances we’ve never attempted (the picture above is from the end of our half rained on 12 miler yesterday #intraining). It’s really exciting, I find myself consumed by all things running/training related lately and I’ve had a lot of questions about first time marathon training. Luckily I’ve got friends that have been through it that have offered great advice and tips, and I’ve been doing lots of research and trying out different things to find out what works for me.
I got to thinking maybe I could help some other newbies out there or even motivate a few people to sign up for a race by sharing our experiences! So, from here to May 31, I’m going to be posting every week about our progress, tips we find helpful, products we like, dislike or could not live without, the toll it takes on our bodies and our schedules, and any other little things we deem shareable.
I wanna start this off by telling y’all a little bit about Melissa and me because I want y’all to know that anyone can do this, you just have to decide to start, and then commit. We are both 30 years old, Melissa’s had two kids (so her body already knows what pain is) and I have not. We both grew up playing lots of sports but neither one of us has been particularly active since high school aside from sporadic periods of trying to be regular runners (2-3 three mile runs a week) which never lasted too long. That is, until fall of 2013, when Melissa decided she wanted to run her first half. I don’t remember exactly but we gave ourselves 6-8 weeks to train. Having had a bad experience with my first half a few years earlier I decided that if we were gonna do this we were gonna do it right. I made schedules and told Melissa what she needed to do and we would try to meet up on Sundays if we could to do our long runs together. I was pretty hardcore and I did not stray from the plan, but it was a little harder for Melissa since she had a family to take care of. She had to skip a lot of her short runs, which we learned quickly, affects how you’re gonna do on your long runs. That first race was in San Antonio and it was absolutely miserable because of the weather, but we made it through and decided we wanted to do more. Last year we started up again when the weather cooled down and we signed up for 3 halves in 2 months thinking that if we continuously had something to work towards we would stay in better shape and the running would get easier. It did a little, but we only trained seriously for the first race and we slacked quite a bit for the last two. After these 3 races is when we started our marathon training, we were feeling pretty comfortable by this point with 8-10 milers and we knew we could do 13 (even tho it sucked every time)…this was our starting point.
What you will need to get started:
- Invest in your running shoes and socks…I’ll be talking a lot about Luke’s Locker and all their great services, but getting fitted for the right shoes is def at the top of that list!
- Most important after you feet, an amazing sports bra…chafing is not fun.
- Buy a water belt! Even if you don’t think you need it or don’t want to wear it for race day…you will need it for training, I promise!!!
- Experiment with different energy sources during your runs until you find what works for you…gu’s, chews, Gatorade (also, salt tabs are amazing)
- Chocolate Milk for recovery!!! I buy this one from Rockin’ Refuel at HEB to down after any run that takes more than an hour. It’s the most delicious thing ever, which makes it a really great “reward” for completing my runs
Next week I’ll share more about where we are now in the training process and how we’ve adjusted over these six weeks.
I hope y’all liked reading about this stuff! I’d love to hear any feedback y’all might have if you find it interesting or motivating, or if you have any questions or suggestions. I hope y’all had a great weekend!