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Marathon Training Week 11: A Low Point

by Megan

Here we are in week 11 of my Marathon Training Plan For Beginners program. I’ve run over 200 miles in training so far, and I’m getting excited (yes, excited!) for the big race! Nothing like finishing 16 miles and telling yourself, just 10 more to go!

Marathon Training Week 11

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This week was a low point for me. I missed another long run. I know, that’s bad! But with it being the holidays, I’m happy that I got out and ran at all! It’s been really hard to squeeze in these runs because we’ve had extra activities, and the runs are so much longer now.

When I went back to add up how many miles I’ve run so far, I couldn’t believe that the first few weeks were mostly 3 and 4 mile runs. Now I look at 8 miles as “just a quick run.”

Sunrise during my 16 mile run

Because I missed another long run, I’m trying to fit in some extra runs this week and make up some of the shorter runs that I missed, so that I at least come close to the mileage I was supposed to run.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m getting excited for the big race day. Or maybe I’m just excited for the taper. I have two more long runs, and then my last two long runs are 9 and 8 miles, and that last week is mostly 3 milers leading up to the marathon.

I’ve mentioned that I’m following the plan set forth in the book The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. Here are the tips given for training week 11:

Marathon Training Tips: Week 11

Mental preparation:

Associative and Dissociative approaches: Associative running is when you think about running as you are doing it. You focus on your breathing, your cadence, your form, as you run, and you don’t distract your mind with music or other audio. This is supposed to help you achieve flow, which we talked about in week 8.

A dissociative approach is when you distract your mind from your running in the hopes that it will make the run go by faster. The authors discourage this approach, as they feel it takes your mind out of training, and though you should be training both the mind and the body, when you dissociate, you are only training your body.

This is a hard one for me! So far I have only used dissociative training. Well that’s not entirely true. There are stretches of time during my long runs when I turn off my music or audio book and just run. It’s easier for me to distract myself from the miles and hours ahead of me than to think about them. But I haven’t really given the associative method a try. I can’t imagine going out for a 5 hour run with nothing to entertain my mind except for my thoughts and visualizations. But it’s something the experts recommend, and I really should give it a chance.

Physical preparation:

When you are in the high mileage weeks, don’t forget the simple things that are so important, such as drinking enough water, resting the day before and after, stretching, and eating well. Being physically ready is much more in your control than being mentally ready, so make sure you are doing the things that are in your control to ensure a great run.

These next two weeks are crucial. They are the highest mileage weeks of the entire program, and I know that I need that training in order to do well on race day. Tomorrow is the new year, and I’m so ready to rock it!

Previous Posts:
Training Schedule for Marathon Beginners
Marathon Training: Week One
Marathon Training: Week Two
Marathon Training: Week Three
Marathon Training: Week Four
Marathon Training: Week Five
Marathon Training: Week Six
Marathon Training: Week Seven
Marathon Training: Week Eight
Marathon Training: Week Nine
Marathon Training: Week Ten

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