To Marathon or Not to Marathon? That is the Question.

So I think I’m training for a marathon right now.  I have only run one full marathon in my 10+ years of running and that was the Walt Disney World Marathon last January (2013).  After the 3+ months of gruesome training (30 degrees, 3-4 lonely hours every Saturday, and the same residential roads around my town (and the town next to it, and the town next to that…) I said the Disney Marathon would be my first and last full marathon.

MarathonNever say never I guess.  Once the cool weather came around the fall race season went into full-effect, I started getting the itch.  Plus, there are all those questions rolling around in my head “What if I went just a little bit faster? What if I trained differently and didn’t develop the same injuries this time around?”  I’ll never know the answers to those unless I go for it again.

But the devil’s advocate in me argues the opposing side: It’s so much stress on your body (especially a female body), is it really worth it or should I just continue to work on my half-marathon times?  See the pickle I’m in?

So what I have decided to do for the time-being is act like I’m training for a full and then if worse comes to worse and I decide that it’s just too much, I’ll just participate in the half (I have my eyes set on the flat course of the Charleston Marathon – also where I ran my very first HALF-Marathon 3 years ago).  Fortunately, the Charleston race will allow you to transfer distances (without a refund of course but the difference is not all that much).

Based on my injuries in the past, I’m approaching the training for this marathon a little differently.  Last time, I focused on building mileage, week after week, solely in the long run.  The constant increase I think is one of the reasons I ran into issues.  This time around, I’m testing out a new method of staggering my extra-long runs (for example, I ran a 15.25 mile run two weekends ago but last weekend I only ran 13.15.  My next long run I plan on going 16.5 miles and the week after I’ll bring it back down to 11-13).  Obviously I’m no expert, but all we can do is learn from our mistakes.  Everyone is different and I feel like I know my body best.

Does anyone have any full marathon training advice you can give me?  Proven methods for you?

7 thoughts on “To Marathon or Not to Marathon? That is the Question.

  1. Hi Megan! Glad to have found you and your blog through Virtual Vegan Potluck! It just so happens that I’ve completed my second marathon last week (my first one since going vegan), and I’ve been writing about training for it on my blog, Vegan Runner Eats. I’ve put together a “what I’ve learned”-kind-of-post once it was over, so if you’d like, you can see what worked for me and what didn’t, and learn from my mistakes! Here’s the link: http://wp.me/p3LYmB-aa , I’d love to hear what you think!

    -Alina

  2. Thanks Alina! I just read your blog post and it was very inspiring! Nice work on the times of both your marathons – 4:04 & 4:08? I am hoping for 4:15! But while I would LOVE to go for my second marathon, I’m still unsure…I JUST injured my hamstring and I had to miss my most recent long run but I’m still 7 weeks out so I’m hoping the 4 day rest I have taken will be enough. Reading that you had similar troubles helps though and you’re so right, you can set up the perfect plan but at the end of the day, reality will always be different. I’ll be reading through your blog some more – it appears we have a lot in common 🙂

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