Marathon Training: Plan vs. Reality

It’s been 10 days since the marathon, and I finally feel back to normal. I’ve been on three runs since the big day.


I’ve now had some time to reflect on my marathon training. It’s interesting to me to look back at the differences between my plan, and what actually happened.




I only had scheduled up to a 20 mile long run. I later added in a 22 mile long run, which I am really glad that I did. My weekly mileages were higher in the original plan.






Total Mileage: 440.2 miles

Average Weekly Mileage: 24.5 mpw

Max Weekly Mileage: 35.2 mpw


I had not planned on taking time off for illness, or toe surgery, and I know that set me back a bit. I remember FREAKING out that I would not be able to run the marathon if I took two weeks off training mid-season.


Guess what? I still finished!


Granted, if I had been training for a specific time goal I may have not been able to meet that due to setbacks. Lesson Learned: It’s good to be flexible.



What would I do differently next time?


1. Add Running Variety: I would add more speed work and tempo runs to my training plan. I got really, really, really bored towards the end, slogging out 7.0 miles on a random day. I think it would help me to pass the time, stay motivated, and run a speedier race.


2. Fast Finish Long Runs: This is something I learned from Megan. The last 4-6 miles of your long run are done at goal race pace, which I think would help me in achieving a better marathon time.


3. Core Strengthening: My abs and back were ridiculously sore after the marathon, and I think it’s due to the fact that I rarely do any core work. There’s always room for improvement!



What tips do you have for a well-rounded marathon (or other distance) training plan?


❤ MegaNerd

Week Zero

Thank you all SO MUCH for your words of encouragement, good lucks, and congratulations about my first marathon.  I am really blessed to have such a great group of friends (even some I have never met in person) cheering for me. It means so much to me!


I woke up and made a healthy, hearty breakfast. I think that my body has been pretty much begging for extra calories, and I’m not going to deny it. 




I made a delicious bowl of oatmeal, with brown sugar, banana, and chunky peanut butter.


My tummy is soooo happy.


Ever since Sunday, I have been stuffing my face with junk food

IMG_1423 IMG_1421

(I blame the cheez its on Megan, and the coffee cake on the amazing sales skills of the Starbucks barista girl.)



… and really unsure of how to begin the marathon recovery process.



After doing some digging, and asking around on Twitter, I found a really great marathon recovery resources, Hal Higdon’s Zero Week. I used his suggestions as a base.



My version of “Week Zero”:


Sunday: Marathon!


My knees were barely bending when I got home. I spent some time stretching and bending my legs.


Monday: No running… no exercise.


I could barely walk down the stairs! My knees were so achy still, and my leg muscles were pretty sore. I found it interesting that my abs also really, really hurt. Not sure if that was from my stomach issues, or if that is something I need to work on strengthening.


Tuesday: No running.


I busted out my new foam roller and spent some time using that. It was a good hurt. 😀


Wednesday: No running.


I’m feeling a lot better now! My legs are not sore at all anymore, and my knees are feeling 95% better. Wearing my new running shoes around has been helping my joints.


Thursday: Planned 2 to 3 mile eassssssssy run and Stretching.


Friday: Might go for a walk. Nothing too intense.


Saturday: Planned 2 to 5 mile easy run/walk.



I’ve heard that it takes 26 days (1 day for every mile) to fully recover from the stress of a marathon.


How long do you usually take to recover from a tough race?


❤ MegaNerd