Sunday, September 5, 2010

Getting Prepared for Marathon Training

I am scheduled to run in the Disney World Marathon on January 9, 2011.   Making this commitment was a big step and kind of scary.  "What if I can't do it?" kept running (pardon the pun) through my head as I struggled with making the commitment.  I am still scared of not being able to do it, but now I am more focused about the possibility of What if I can?

This will be quite an accomplishment for me.  I am venturing into unknown territory.  I have been reading all I can about marathon running to learn as much as I can.  The more I read, the more questions I have.

I finished the book Marathoning for Mortals just before I started training.    It is more than a book about running marathons, it is a guide to understanding how your body works when you run and how to care for it so it will perform for you. It includes information on nutrition, cross training, monitoring your heart rate, injury prevention and some questions for you to consider as you determine your personal goals as a runner, as well as sharing personal experiences of other runners. I thought it was fabulous!!
The other thing I did to prepare myself for this adventure was to watch the movie Spirit of the Marathon suggested by Deanna  @ Miles to Run.  It was very motivating and I might watch it again. (I was able to see it for free on 

I am following the training plan from the book which has me running 4 days a week and cross training two days.  The biggest struggle for me has been pacing myself according to their guidelines.  They suggest you determine your pace by your heart rate or by the I-rate (1-10).  I thought heart rate would be more accurate so I attempted to find my maximum heart rate by running a 5K.  The first mile is at a moderate pace, the second mile at a challenging pace and the last 1.1 miles should be a a pace you can't wait to stop.  I did get a higher max than I had calculated using the generic formula, but I don't know how accurate it is.

For example, on 3 of my running days including my long run I am not to exceed 75% of my max.  This number is so low that I find myself really having to slow down to the point that I feel awkward and my form is changing.  I have been going a little over that rate, a kind of compromise between my typical pace and what they suggest.  I hope I am not setting myself up for trouble down the road. I do not want to train too hard and make myself more vulnerable to injury. So far my longest run has been 6 miles.  Maybe all of this will make sense as I start to run more miles each week. Week 3 of training begins tomorrow. 

Do you have any advice about pacing as you train for longer distances?

***Congratulations to Molly @ I'm a Sleeper Baker
winner of the pedometer!***


  1. You can totally do the marathon! I've had success going at a slower pace with my long runs, almost like conserving energy to last longer.

  2. Okay, thanks for the encouragement.

  3. I have absolutely no advice since I'm way too much of a weenie to even think of running a full marathon!

    But I did want to say that I have a couple of books on running, and I love reading them so much. Just reading about the mechanics of the body and things I've never thought of seems to motivate me to run more. And I like that they are in "simple" terms. I feel like I actually CAN be a great runner while I am absorbing all that info!

  4. Tell me what you've read so I have some books to look for.


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