Running your first marathon is exciting, terrifying, and rewarding at the same time. This post will help you make it less terrifying and more rewarding!
Before I ran my first marathon, I made a lot of mistakes:
- I foolishly predicted negative splitting the final (hilly) miles of the New York City Marathon
- Despite injuries during training, I still attempted to reach weekly mileage records
- Strength training was skipped (mistakenly convincing myself that “I’m too busy for that…”)
The result was a sub-par race. I ran too quickly during the early miles and hit the wall at mile 20 – the very cliche of running your first marathon.
With about a mile to go, a senior citizen passed me. As a 25-year old at the time, this was especially crushing for my ego…
And while that race wasn’t a complete failure, I’ve made it a top priority to help runners avoid many of my beginner marathoner mistakes so they can have more successful and enjoyable races.
Because after all, running your first marathon doesn’t have to be a grueling experience.
But before you ever line up on the finish line, how do you know when you’re even ready to start training for your first marathon?
“I’ve never run longer than about 9 miles…”
Pam is a Team Strength Running member. Every month, I get the team together for a live video coaching call. We talk about workouts, scheduling races, planning around vacations and injuries, and how to strategically plan a season.
I recently asked the team if anybody was planning a BIG goal and wanted to come on the podcast to talk more about how to achieve that crazy goal.
[These opportunities are only available to Team SR members. Learn more about the team here.]
Pam stepped up. She’s not new to running but wants to run a marathon even though she’s never run longer than about 9 miles. Her longest race has been 10k.
This is a unique place to be: an experienced yet low-mileage runner who wants to make the leap to running 26.2 miles.
We’re left with a lot of questions:
- How can this transition be done safely with as little injury risk as possible?
- Can Pam train for a marathon now or should she wait?
- How can Pam build her mileage over the long-term to make running her first marathon easier to achieve?
These are the questions we’re answering on today’s podcast episode about running your first marathon.
This is a behind the scenes coaching call that I occasionally do for team members, highlighting their unique goals and struggles and how they can keep improving.
The format of the call is three parts:
First, what is Pam’s background as a runner?
Second, what are her goals and current training like?
Finally, we strategize on how she can make those goals a reality.
Subscribe to the Strength Running Podcast on Apple Music or on the Stitcher app.
Links & Resources:
- Team Strength Running
- Worksheet: How to Plan a Season
- Not recommended: How to rush marathon training
- Elite marathon training with Nick Arciniaga
- Run Your Fastest Marathon
- How to run a sub-4 marathon
For more detail on this topic, watch our video about planning a season:
This video outlines the top 3 mistakes to avoid, how to schedule tune-up races, and big picture training progressions to use in your running season.
A big thanks is in order to QuickTape who made this episode of the podcast possible.
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