and so begins marathon training

Well. I made a promise.

I said that as soon as my birthday and Mother’s Day and all the associated festivities were over, I would start that thing.

That marathon training thing.

I can’t believe it’s happening. (Warning: I’m probably going to say this a lot over the next few months)

We were off to a somewhat slow start this morning, when Bentley proceeded to beg me to stay with him instead of going out. He was convincing and I almost gave in.

However, pugs are devious creatures who always want extra cuddles and kibble, so while the rest of the house slept, I put him back to bed and laced up.

I felt a little judged by this cat perched on my neighbor’s fence, who was clearly not impressed to have company at such an early hour,

but I set off anyway.

It was a good 3.4 mile run. I felt strong and myย legs didn’t feel as heavy as they have been. I was pleasantly surprised. I haven’t gone for a run since last Wednesday, although we did tons of hard walking over the weekend, so maybe that helped.

I loved the beautiful sunrise,

which partially made up for spotting not one, but two snakes! Ew.

Day One is, officially, in the books.

There are clearly lots of long training sessions ahead of me, but, all in all, I feel like I am off on the right foot. Pun absolutely intended.

After I showered, I plugged my session into my Daily Mile account and opened up a new spreadsheet.

I managed to train pretty successfully for two half marathons, but cobbling together bits and pieces of different plans that worked best with my schedule. This time around, for 26.2 miles, I am being a little more conscientious. For one, I absolutely, 100% NEED to build in cross training. A new yoga studio just opened near my house that offers classes early in the morning that I can manage. I have never had much luck with yoga, but the intense stretching can only do good things for me, and since I won’t have to travel far, I’m going to suck it up. I am also going to take advantage of our community pool and squeeze in laps on alternate mornings.

The goal is to get to the finish line without injury along the way, and I want to do everything in my power to make that happen. As you can see, I have a lot to fill in over the next 35 weeks, but it gives me plenty of time to efficiently build my base and work on my buildup.

All the pieces are falling into place. It’s time to put in the work.

How do you organize your training plans for big races?

What are your favorite methods of cross training?

How many weeks do you devote to marathon training?

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26 Responses to and so begins marathon training

  1. YAY! I am so excited to follow your journey. I’ll be at the marathon too and I hope to meet you ๐Ÿ™‚
    It’s exiting stuff and this is a great community to give you support and keep you motivated (but you know that already!).
    I was keeping track of my workouts on a calendar in my purse and on the computer. I am not going to start training until July so I have to think of a more organized way by then.
    I will do 3 days per week for this training. I’ll do two short (er) runs and one long run plus 2-3 days of cross training. I used to think running was just about running but now I understand how important the crosstraining is. I stick to yoga and my personal trainer. That’s my happy place ๐Ÿ™‚

    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen Loves to Run (@karenlovestorun) recently posted…Coffee DateMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Oh, we are going to meet! We have been following each other’s blogs long enough that it requires a face-to-face!

      Honestly, without the community, there is no way I could do this. Everyone has been so wonderful and so encouraging. The bad part about it is that I am so terrified that I will totally screw this up and let everyone down.

  2. Larissa says:

    You look so cute! I haven’t trained for a marathon, but I’ve always thought I would need a write a long training plan. Have fun at the new yoga studio, too! I hope you find you love it. I couldn’t live without it now (even more than running).
    Larissa recently posted…No race for meMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you <3

      I know "they say" you should train up to 18 miles, but I feel more confident when I am right there. I trained up to 12.5 for my first half, and I think I will truing up to 24 for the full. Adrenaline and insanity will only get me so far, you know?

      I am all set for yoga. I picked up a mat, new yoga pants and a towel. I am pretty sure I am going to make a total fool of myself, but at least it will make for good stories.

  3. You’re on your way! Good for you!
    I have never run a full marathon, and truthfully, it’s not on my bucket list. I have run 5 half marathons so far though! My training the first time I was pretty diligent, but since then I’ve been the worst, laziest runner EVER. I keep signing up much too late, only allowing myself about 5 weeks to prepare. It’s no surprise I haven’t PR’d in quite awhile. That said, for me, most of my cross training is riding my show horses, and all of the barn work that goes along with it. I do try and add in some foam rolling and stretching though. Sometimes. When I’m mildly less lazy.
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…The End Of Little Black Bag: Part 1 Accessories **UPDATED** (I left out some items… oops)My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I had a moment of temporary insanity. I always said it wasn’t on my bucket list, and then, I don’t know what happened, but I was all like “I am so doing a full!” And once I said it out loud, I had to do it. And here we are.

      I would so much rather ride horses than do yoga for cross training. Even the associated barn work (which I know is code for stall-mucking) sounds preferable. But I’m going to do it!

  4. Darlene says:

    Good for you! I don’t know if I will ever attempt. The training seems so daunting. Good luck. You will do fine!
    Darlene recently posted…Gonna Get Me Some Vitamin DMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It is daunting. The whole thing is daunting. In fact, they should just call it “The Great Daunter.”

      I will do fine because I am setting no goals other than finish. I just can’t imagine holding myself to an actual time or pace. Although that may change as I get farther into the training, but as of Day 1? No, ma’am.

  5. Yay for marathon training! I am doing a maintenance plan over the summer and I have all my workouts written down in my planner. ALL of them – crosstraining included, so that I don’t skip em. Right now I am going to a bootcamp class two mornings each week and running 3, taking two days off. Been doing that for a month now injury free!
    Kristen @ The Smith Summary recently posted…Them Bones, Them BonesMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Yes, I have mine written down. And then this morning I woke up in the dark, with some lower back pain, and a pushy little pug snuggled in next to me and I was all “who really needs to go out for speed training?” and then little man came in and he started snuggling, and it was all over. Unfortunately, I spent the whole day regretting the decision, which is why I’m dressed in my running clothes, waiting for little man to come home, so I can go torture myself in 83* and get it done.

  6. Lauren says:

    Way to go! I start my marathon training for #2 in a month!

  7. How exciting! I didn’t get it when I kept reading that a full marathon isn’t just double the distance of a half marathon. It was so much more mentally than it was physically, and you’re off to a great start. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope to do another one day; I followed the Train Like a Mother “Finish It” plan and would love to knock off some serious time if I ever run one again.
    Melissa Running It recently posted…All About the Recovery {#FuelYourBetter}My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I think the marathon is going to be a completely mental game for me. I feel like I can plug along for 26.2 miles, even if I’m stumbling (which I’m sure I will be), but keeping my head on straight will be my challenge.

  8. Congrats! What an exciting and exhausting adventure you’re beginning ๐Ÿ™‚ I used a mix between a Hal Higdon training plan and one in the book Run Less Run Faster. Worked for me! Good luck! Can’t wait to keep reading about this over the coming weeks.
    I like workout DVDs and barre class for cross training.
    Alyssa @ See This Girl Run recently posted…Pictures from Yesterdayโ€ฆand a Color Vibe 5k Double Giveaway!My Profile

  9. Angie says:

    Yay for starting your training! I haven’t started training yet. I will start in July. I am doing core workouts, and leg strengthening to hopefully build my stamina to finish 26.2 miles.
    Angie recently posted…Catching up (picture heavy)My Profile

  10. Anne says:

    Ok I have absolutely NO intention of training for a Marathon, but reading this makes me want to!
    .. Then I think about the long runs and change my kind haha.

    Seriously though, I am so excited for you and motivated myself to think about fitting in yoga from time to time. I think crossing the finish without injury is the perfect goal( at least for me it would be!)

    Good luck!
    Anne recently posted…Confidence or Doubt?My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      LOL! That’s how I got sucked in. I had zero intention of doing it, and then I started reading and listening to people’s marathon experiences and was all “Pshaw. I can do that.” And boom. Here we are. You are wise to resist LOL!

      I did my first yoga session today and I will be blogging about it soon. I definitely think it’s going to be helpful in the long run.

  11. Matilda says:

    35 weeks sounds like forever away. I know however you are so totally going to rock it.

    Just remember there is no need to rush, take your time, and enjoy your training. I’m sure there will be weeks that are going to be hard, others that are going to be easy, but I have faith in you, and I know i’m going to look forward to hearing your journey.
    Matilda recently posted…5 Foods 1 YearMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I know. I wrote that number and was like whoa! That’s more than half a year! Maybe I’m starting a little early, but I want to be sure I can hit the mileage. I know they say that training up to 18 or 20 is enough, but it’s not for me, mentally. I need to get to about 26.199999 in training to know I can finish. I know there will be ups and downs and I’m ok with that. nothing good comes without some bad. Thank you for all your support.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I really like the spread sheet idea. Much better than my calendar method. Yoga is my favorite way to cross train because it’s something I can do at home and my toddler enjoys attempting it with me. I’m using the Hal Higdon 30 wk plan for my next marathon. Can’t wait to hear how your training goes!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: runDisney FailMy Profile

  13. megan says:

    I am so happy i found your blog! a runner with Pugs! I have a pug child named Jack and I started running a year ago, this year I hope to run my first half marathon! looking forward to following your journey, you can follw mine here: – Meg X
    megan recently posted…Setting new goalsMy Profile

  14. Running Bear says:

    Congrats on starting your training! I just finished the training/running/recovering from my first full (Pittsburgh), and all I can say is that the whole process was so amazing, I’m excited for you.

    For planning, I use two trackers. One is a spreadsheet that shows daily/weekly mileage, plus lets me track miles on each pair of shoes, mostly just because it is fun. The other planner is Google Calendar. I put all the workouts, cross training, and rest days in there. That helped me tremendously when I had to fit my workouts around life. Since things like family events or other commitments are in the calendar, I could easily slide things around and make it work.

    This became especially useful as the long runs got really long. What looks like a 3 hour workout really takes up 5-6 hours of your day between mental prep, equipment prep, route planning, nutrition, running, cooling off, hosing the salt from your body in the shower, finally returning to planet earth.
    Running Bear recently posted…2014 Race ScheduleMy Profile

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