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Marathon Training Week 9: Choosing To Run

by Megan

Week 9 of the Marathon Training Plan for Beginners is completed, and I ran further than I’ve ever run before! Only 7 more weeks until the big day!

Marathon Training Week 9

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I was doing pretty well keeping up with my training schedule. I missed a 3-miler and a 5-miler (back from when 5 miles was the medium run- now 5 miles is the short run), and I missed one long run (it was the 12-miler, but I adjusted and took out one of the 3 16-milers instead). Then this week came around. I was sick. We were busy. Daniel had stuff to do in the evenings.

And I missed all of my runs.

ALL of them! I was supposed to do two 4-milers and one 7-miler, but I just couldn’t fit any of them in. But when Saturday came around, I knew I still had to do the long run, and I did.

The longest I’d run up until Saturday was my half-marathon, 13.1 miles. Saturday I did 14!

And saw this awesome tree on the way. I think it kind of looks like the tree of life.

I ran my 8 mile loop, coughing a lot, and then checked in at home, ate some of the fried chicken Daniel was having for dinner (OMG so good), drank some water, and changed my clothes.

I changed from leggings into some running shorts, which I’ve never actually run in, but I was waiting for a shorter run to try them out on. I figured the last 6 miles would be good. Well, it was a bad decision. I got chafed so badly between my thighs that the last 3 miles were terrible. It hurt so bad even just to walk, and I was still coughing a lot. I ran as much as I could but I walked a lot of the last two miles. Even that was super painful. It was too bad because I really wanted to finish strong.

But we run and learn, and now I know. I ordered a pair of Under Armour compression shorts that will fit nicely under those shorts (which I really liked running in, despite the chafing issue), and that’s what I’m going to try next!


I’m now more than halfway through the training plan I’ve been following, from the book The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. Here are the tips given for training week 9:

Marathon Training Tips: Week 9

Mental preparation:

This week can be a particularly difficult one. You’ve come so far, but there are still many miles left to run. It’s time to recommit and look for the fun in the training process. The authors suggest you remind yourself that you are choosing to run; you don’t have to do this. That will help relieve some pressure, they say, and help you to relax.

Physical preparation:

One way to determine if you are training at optimal intensity is to use the Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale. If 0 is resting on the couch and 10 is the hardest you can go, you should aim for 3-5, which is moderate to hard effort. This will be different for everyone, but you are the best judge of whether you are in the right zone. It should be challenging, but you also have to be able to make it through the entirety of your run.

Next week we really go into unchartered territory, with 16 miles! I will be away this weekend, so the plan is to run it Monday evening. After that, there’s only one more mileage increase before the taper!

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

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