The big 26.2!…a mile to a marathon…part 4



I am at just under 8 weeks to go till my marathon!!!!! Yesterday was an easy run of 8 miles at an 8:30 pace. Today is a much-needed rest day!

Here we are at part 4…the big 26.2! First thing you need to do is find one. I usually look for one somewhat close to me, but you don’t have to. Plenty of people travel for marathons and make a fun trip out of it. Most marathons cost anywhere from $65 and up. Some are bigger, some are smaller….it all depends on what you are looking for. If you don’t know what you are looking for, look for one close to you. This way you don’t have to worry about travel and accommodations.

There are approximately 1,001 different marathon plans out there. It can be slightly overwhelming! I say just pick one or two you like, get it to fit your schedule and go with it. Everyone has different schedules, but anyone can do it!

run7Yup! Totally true! With running and with anything in life, we have time for what we make time for. Everyone has the same 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds in a day.

I personally train 6 days a week, rest 1. I know people though that train 3 days a week and do just fine. My husband probably ran about 3 days on most weeks while training for his first. It will just depend on how many days you want to train, what your goal is, and what your base is. Is your goal to finish or PR?

Here is a very basic 3 day a week, 15 week training plan that will get you to the finish.

Week 1 – 6 easy miles- 5 miles (3 tempo)- 8 mile long

week 2- 5 easy miles- 5 miles (2×1600)- 10 mile long

week 3- 4 easy miles- same as wk 1- 12 mile long

week 4- 4 easy miles- 6 miles(4 tempo)- 14 mile long

week 5- 7 easy miles- 7 miles (3x 1600)- 6 mile long

week 6- 4 easy miles- 6 easy miles- 16 mile long

week 7- 2 easy miles- 6 mile (4 tempo)- 18 mile long

week 8- 4 easy miles- 7 miles (5 tempo)- 10 mile lomg

week 9- 6 easy miles- 7 miles easy- 20 mile long

week 10- 4 easy miles- 8 miles (4 x 1600)- 10 mile long

week 11- 6 easy miles- 7 miles (5 tempo)- 16 mile long

week 12- 7 easy miles- 5 miles (3 tempo)- 12 mile long

week 13- 4 easy miles- 8 miles (4×1600)- 12 mile long

week 14- 3 easy miles- 5 miles (3 tempo)- 8 miles

week 15- 5 easy miles- 4 easy miles- day before race do a shake out mile- RACE DAY!!!!!!

This is pretty basic, yet challenging and it will get you there. For the middle speed column, the tempo run is basically a hard effort, but not all out. The speed days or mile repeats are almost all out. I like to use the McMillan pacing chart to get an idea of what my paces should be depending on my goals.

The Hansons Marathon Method and Hal Higdon’s are two great books for marathon training plans. Right now I am using coach Mark Hadley’s training workouts and pace chart and I really like it. If I could afford it I would ask him to coach me too!!! 🙂

My first marathon was a little unconventional, but I did it. It first of all, was my first race since high school (so like 14 years) . I also had during my training gotten runners knee and had to miss almost 2 weeks of training. Those weeks were crucial weeks and missing them caused me to have 15 miles be the longest run I did for training. I was super nervous but I wanted to do it. I had trained and paid money…I was doing it! It was great….until mile 20. Mile 20 I started to slow down, by mile 22 I was having a hard time putting 1 foot in front of the other 🙂 (the joys of the marathon). I ended up walking a little, crying a little and finishing in 3:51 min. As soon as I finished I said 1 is good, no more. 15 minutes later I was already wondering when I could do another one. (ok, maybe it was 30 minutes later).

102_7471The start of my first marathon!


I am still pretty happy!


How much farther?!

I have since done 2 more and am prepping marathon #4! Do one and see for yourself…you will kinda be hooked :)!

The day before I like to do a mile shake out run. It kinda gets the blood flowing and helps my nerves. Make sure to hydrate!!! Eat and wear what you know. Do not surprise your body with new things. Take the nutrition you have been training with and wear something you have already worn. I try to carbo load the week before the race, not the day before. Stuffing yourself full of pasta the night before may not be the best. For the week before the race I add some carbs (I personally LOVE carbs so it is no problem for me…the more bagels the merrier). The night before I will usually have brown rice and some lean meat, nothing too heavy, but enough.

Foam roll and rest!  The week before the marathon, make sure to rest and try to stay off your feet. The night before the race I never sleep well so the week before I try to make sure I get enough rest.

Hope all these tips help. Next I am going to look at how to pick up the pace and shoot for a PR!

Anyone training for a marathon right now?

Where are you at in your training and how many have you done?

What was your first marathon like?





  1. says

    It’s getting so close, how exciting!! My first marathon was similar to yours- I also had some runner’s knee in training, and only did one 16 and one awful 20 miler, so those last 6 miles were rough… but the sense of accomplishment was amazing!

    • Jen says

      I know!!! That runners knee was mentally pretty rough!!! I wanted to run so bad…it was the first time I ever had to take time off because of an injury, but I got through it and learned from it. You are right, the accomplishment is amazing and somewhat addicting :)!!!! Have a great night!

  2. says

    My 1st marathon was awesome in every way, except that I’d been really sick with asthma for the entire week prior & mostly unable to breathe. I had an asthma attack at mile 2 & ran for 24 miles feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I do not know how I finished. Obviously it cost me a lot of time in terms of what my goal had been, but that was literally the only bad thing that happened the entire race. The rest of it was perfect. (Not that I would recommend running a marathon with an asthma attack to anyone….)

    • Jen says

      That is amazing that you were able to do it!!! I would say at that point you change your goal and savor the success of finishing a marathhon!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *