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Marathon Training Week 4: Keep the Goal in Mind

by Megan

Sunday night I ran 8 miles! That was the long run for week 4 of my marathon training plan for beginners, and it went great! I listened to the entire cast recording of one of my favorite musicals for the first four miles, and then I mostly listened to podcasts for the remainder of the run.

marathon-training-week-4

Week 4 was a tough one, in that I missed all three of my short/medium runs! We just had a busy week, and specifically there were a few evenings when Daniel was gone, so I couldn’t get out to run. I’ve since made up one of the short runs, and now I’m working on getting in all of the week 5 runs. So right now I’m behind by a 3-mile and a 5-mile run, but I will try to work them in somewhere.

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 this week of training:

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Marathon Training Tips: Week 4

Mental preparation:

  • If you act confident and optimistic, you will feel confident and optimistic, even if you were not feeling that way to begin with. Your behavior can have a huge impact on your attitude. The more positive you can be about your training experience (telling people it is going great, believing you will cross the finish line, etc), the better experience you will have.
  • Achievement can be the biggest motivator. Each long run you complete will motivate you to run longer next week.
  • Positivity will be crucial during the marathon, so it’s important to practice optimistic thinking now.

Physical preparation:

  • It is vital to stretch after your runs.
  • Before a workout, dynamic stretching is best- fluid movements to warm up the body.
  • When you start your run, your body will warm up as you go, so pre-run stretching is not as necessary as post-run stretching.
  • After the run, static stretching is best, where you stretch and hold a muscle for a short amount of time.

My title for this week’s training post is “Keep the Goal in Mind.” One of the marathon participants in the book talks about her disappointment in her training because she expected to lose weight along the way, but wasn’t seeing results. Her professor reminded her that the goal of the program wasn’t to lose weight but to finish a marathon.

I have been struggling with losing weight, in a big way (pun intended). I’m at my heaviest right now, and the running doesn’t seem to be doing anything to help me lose pounds. And because I’m putting in so many miles, I can’t really cut carbs or anything like that, because then I won’t have the energy to run. And speaking of energy, mine has been very low lately. The mornings are especially difficult. I just always feel exhausted.

Anyway, the point is that training for a marathon is not the most efficient way to lose weight. The goal is to run 26.2 miles, and that’s it. If pounds are dropped along the way, that will be a nice bonus.

I know that I should make some changes to my diet. I need carbs to run, but I should be eating healthier carbs. However, although my diet isn’t the greatest, I don’t feel like it lines up with my weight right now. I definitely need to pay more attention to calories in and out, and the quality of the foods I’m consuming. Running a marathon isn’t a weight loss program, but it will help if I let it!

Week 5 has me running 10 miles for the long run. Wish me luck!

Previous Posts:
Training Schedule for Marathon Beginners
Marathon Training: Week One
Marathon Training: Week Two
Marathon Training: Week Three

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