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Marathon Training Week 12: Only Crazy People Run This Far

by Megan

Well it’s week 12 of my Marathon Training Plan for Beginners, and I have now run the furthest I will run before the marathon itself: 18 miles!

Marathon Training Week 12

Whew, that was hard work! It took me alllll morning to do it, but I finished 18 miles. I mean, once you get past 12, I really think you are just kind of a crazy person, and what’s a few more miles?

On the other hand, when I finished 18, I couldn’t imagine being able to run 8 more. But on race day that’s exactly what I’ll do.

This week I have another 18 mile run, and I might be more anxious about it than the first time. The long runs have been exciting as training has progressed, running further and further and setting new records. This will be the first long run I’ve repeated, as the two I’ve missed were the second and third 16 milers.

But I look at it as just two more really long runs. 18 miles and 26.2 miles. I can do two more long runs.

I’ve mentioned that I’m following the plan set forth in the book The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. Each week I report on how my week of training went, and I share the tips given in the book for that week of training (see the bottom of this post for link to previous weeks). Here are the tips given for week 12:

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Marathon Training Tips: Week 12

Mental preparation:

I keep hearing about this “wall.” Apparently I’m going to “hit it” at some point. I guess I’ve felt it a little bit on my longer runs, when I start to slow down and feel like there’s no way I’ll be able to run a marathon. The authors of the book say that your body will never really be prepared to run 26.2 miles. That’s just a very long distance, and time, for an amateur runner to complete. But all of the mental preparation up to this point (visualization, relaxation, concentration, etc) is what you need to turn to when you feel like you can’t go on, and that should get you past the wall and over the finish line.

For me, there will be sheer determination. There’s no way I’m going to put all of this time and effort into training, show up on marathon day, and NOT finish. I will finish.

Physical preparation:

You can try to prevent hitting the wall with proper nutrition and rest, during the week leading up to the marathon. Eat lots of carbs to ensure that your muscles have energy to pull from, then preserve that energy by not exercising the day before the marathon. Then consume carbs often during the marathon, to keep your energy stores full.

Okay, just a few weeks to go! Week 13 is my last high mileage week. Weeks 14 and 15 are the taper, and week 16 ends with the marathon! I’ll have another great giveaway coming up soon, so be sure to check back. Happy running!

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
Marathon Training: Week Eleven

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