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Marathon Training Week 8: Achieving Flow

by Megan

Week 8 of my Marathon Training Plan for Beginners is now complete, and the long runs are getting to be serious business! From now through week 14, I’m running further than a half-marathon every Saturday!

Marathon Training Week 8

Think about that. Many people train for half-marathons. They run for weeks and then the 13.1 mile race is the big deal. I’m running more than that every Saturday for the next five weeks! Mind blowing.

So, when I wrote last week’s post, on week 7 of training, I actually hadn’t done the long run yet. It was supposed to be 12 miles. I intended on running it the next day, but life got in the way and I didn’t. That’s the only long run I’ve missed so far. Week 8’s long run was supposed to be 14 miles, but instead I did the 12. My training schedule has me running three 16 milers, so I decided to cut out one of those and do a 12, a 14, and two 16s. After that I have two 18s, and then the taper begins.

So only 5 more long runs. That makes me think I can actually do this. The 12 miler was difficult, but doable. When I’m struggling, I tell myself, “Most people don’t do this! It’s supposed to be hard! Most people are sleeping in on Saturday, not getting up and running all around town like a crazy person!”

I usually just try to press through my runs and get food and water afterward, but now my long run sessions are long enough that I really need fuel during the run. I bought some Jelly Belly Sports Beans, so I’m excited to try those out. And I’ll be planning my runs so that I can get water every hour or so, by stopping at home or a place with a water fountain.

All right, let’s see what The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer has to say about this week of training. Here are the tips given for week 8:

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Marathon Training Tips: Week 8

Mental preparation:

Some runners talk about achieving “flow,” that state where you feel like you could run forever, and the miles seem to fly by effortlessly. Experts suggest that you can achieve this state at will by focusing completely on the task at hand (in this case, running). While running, concentrate on your form, your cadence, your breathing, and keep challenging yourself to keep from getting bored.

Flow can be hard to understand (what, actually enjoy running??), but just think of something you do love enough to spend hours on. That’s blogging for me. I can work on my blog for hours and the time just flies by. In fact time flies by too fast! I always want to do more than I have time for.

I can’t say that I’ve experienced “flow” with running yet. Usually I focus on anything BUT running! I try to distract myself from the task at hand to keep from checking my distance every 10 seconds. Sometime I’d like to try to achieve flow- leave my earphones at home and just run. We’ll see!

Physical preparation:

Cross training and resistance training can be included as part of your training plan, but they are not necessary to be able to run the marathon. The best thing to do to become a better runner is to run. But if you get injured or find that the mileage is too much, then you can cross train to continue to work your respiratory system so that you can continue with the program.

Resistance training can help to keep your muscles strong and prevent injury. As long as it is not taking time away from your running training, then there’s no reason to avoid resistance training.

So this Saturday I will be running longer and further than I ever have. I would like to run the actual marathon course. 14 miles will take me all the way out and then just about a mile of the way back. Look for next’s week’s post to see how it went!

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

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