So, I am in the middle of my second week of marathon training. Everything was light the first week with just a series of easy runs. This week, I have a couple of speed runs. I did 8 sets of 30-second surges during my 5-mile run today. Tomorrow, it's another 3 mile easy run, and I have a 5-mile run with 4 sets of strides on Friday. Of course, I have a strength-training session tomorrow as well, so it's back to the gym I go.
If you're a beginner reading this blog, here's a little piece of advice. NEVER skip strength training. You will need this, as I have learned the hard way in my first year of marathon running. I didn't do enough, and paid for it! Also, enjoy the training! Make it enjoyable. Your first two weeks should be somewhat easy compared to the weeks leading up to the tapering period. You'll feel a little out of shape when you begin, but with consistent training, you'll feel like a million bucks, minus a little pain and maybe a few blisters.
If you like, record it on video, or take some photos. Do a scavenger hunt. Find a few people who love to run and run with them. Join a group. You will be training for, say, 5-6 months leading up to the big race. You've either joined a charity or paid your way in, and you have already marked your calendar. Why not enjoy this?
I must warn you; the first week is usually the hardest week. If you are just beginning, it will be the hardest week. Those 4 or 5 miles may seem like forever in that first run, you may feel a bit of aches and pain in your legs (just a little soreness, no big deal), and you just might experience sore nipples. For that last one, there are ways to either reduce or prevent those. Choose fabric that works best for you, make sure you apply some moisture, and/or consider using bandages (men, if you're going to do this, make sure you shave the hair around them first!!).
The first time I have trained for a marathon, I remember experiencing all of the above. Soreness like I never had, and of course, the sore nipples. They were sore for maybe a week! On top of that, just when I thought I was in decent shape, I was in no shape to run those 4 miles on that first day. I really struggled, and I wanted to stop after Mile 2. Sometimes, you will experience this. When this happens, remember why you started, and remove the negative thoughts out of your head. Think of why you began, and think of why you said you wanted to run a marathon. Even the elite runners have tough days of training. You are no different. You are moving a lot faster than someone who is just sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Think of all those people who will be cheering you on, and think about how amazing it will be when you cross the finish line and receive your medal!
Enjoy the first weeks of training. You signed up for this, so have fun!
Until next time,