I already talked about a few things I love about running. For this Friday Five honoring National Running Day, I’m going to share five mistakes I made when I trained for my first marathon. There were many more but I’m going to stick to just five today. Speaking of marathons, I finally solidified my training plan for both Wineglass and Marine Corps this year. I’m going to use Wineglass as a long training run (hopefully a fun one) for Marine Corps. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Marine Corps is my goal race. Depending on how Wineglass turns out will decide that. If I get around my goal time at Wineglass, I’ll plan to take it easy at Marine Corps. However, Marine Corps has the advantage of being in my city and I should have a number of awesome friends to support me. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. All that to say, I’ll be sharing the basics of my training plan on the blog soon, so look out for that. On to marathon training mistakes!! Per usual, I’m linking up with my girls Cynthia and Mar for the #Friday Five. You can read our linkup rules here. Please note that if you don’t play nicely, we will delete your link.
- Not being diligent about my training plan. I had a plan and I followed it…loosely. I missed a couple runs, shortened a couple of longer runs and ignored cross training. Even though I did okay on the running end, the lack of cross training killed me. This time around (I’ve now run four marathons – read about each of them here, here, here and here), I will not be ignoring cross training. Pure Barre for the win, y’all!
- Eating whatever I wanted because I “deserved” it. Yeah, that’s how you gain weight marathon training. Look, I know better than to expect to lose weight during marathon training. But I also now know that it’s near impossible to outrun a poor diet. So, this time around I’m striving to eat healthfully and not use food as a reward (except after 20 miles and the races…because c’mon!).
- Not experimenting enough with fuel. I pretty much lived on Shot Bloks during my first marathon training cycle. Which wasn’t a problem…until it was. I discovered around mile 18 that I simply couldn’t stomach the sweet, sugary chews for much more than three hours. A problem because I’m more like a five hour marathoner. I was too overwhelmed to figure out something else so I just kept going with Shot Bloks (which I do like, by the way – especially the margarita flavor – I just can’t eat them exclusively for miles on end). I fixed this by experimenting more. Now I use a variety of things as fuel when running long (apple slices, shot bloks, honey stinger chews, etc.).
- Not previewing the course enough. I didn’t think Richmond was going to be as hilly as it was and I didn’t train enough on hills. I know that Wineglass is a net downhill with some rolling hills in the middle and I’ll be prepared for that. I’ve been running some hills during my long runs and that will help on race day. As for Marine Corps, I’ll have basically run almost the entire course by race day which is a great comfort. Benefit of running your hometown marathon!
- Having a time goal. I think that for a first marathon, the goal should be to have fun. That was my goal but I had a time goal as well and was disappointed when I didn’t meet it. The disappointment didn’t last long but I wish I’d just never put an arbitrary number in my head to start with!
Have you run a marathon? What mistakes did you make in training?