It’s week 13 of marathon training, and this is the last of the high mileage weeks! In fact, this week is a copy of week 12: 5 miles, 8 miles, 5 miles, and 18 miles!
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I was nervous about this week’s long run because I already did 18, and I wouldn’t have the mental boost of achieving a new longest distance. Also, I had a friend who is an experienced marathoner tell me that I would be just fine to run 14, 12, or even 10 miles. I thought for sure I would quit without doing the full 18.
But, on the other hand, I did miss two long runs, so I felt like I really needed to do the full 18. And I did.
The first mile or two were difficult as usual, but once I got into a rhythm, I decided to go a longer distance before a break, and I ran 12 miles before getting back home. I got some fuel and then headed back out to finish up with the last 6 miles. It was tough and I slowed down, but I finished a little faster than my first 18 mile run. I still can’t imagine running 8 more miles on top of that, but I’m going to do it in less than three weeks!
For my marathon training, I’ve been following the plan set forth in the book The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. Here are the tips given for training week 13:
Marathon Training Tips: Week 13
You may find yourself trying to make goals other than just finishing the marathon, such as finishing in a certain time, or being so far along after an hour, etc. The authors urge first-timers to only set the goal of finishing. This has been difficult for me, because as a slower runner, I really want to finish in a semi-reasonable amount of time, and I’ve been thinking about the pace I want to set. But regardless, I will still consider it a victory to cross the finish line!
Now that the physical stress is lessening, with significantly shorter runs for the remainder of training, it’s time to focus on the nutritional side of things. The authors reiterate the importance of consuming quality carbs during the weeks leading up to the race. Don’t overconsume calories, but make sure a good percentage of your daily calories comes from carbs, and be sure to drink lots of water.
So this is it- the taper is here! My last two long runs are 9 and 8 miles, and the short and medium runs get shorter too. The week of the race I just have 3 milers. This is really happening, and soon! Wish me luck!
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
Marathon Training: Week Twelve