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2544 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 25, 2011 10:52 AM by MCM Ron
MCMvirgin Rookie 1 posts since
Aug 22, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 22, 2011 9:10 AM

Help! Any marathon veterans have any advice for marathon virgins?

I had my 14 mile run this weekend, and wow, did it knock me down a few pegs. I was super excited to run since previously my longest run was a half-marathon. Granted, it was humid and foolishly I did not consume as much water ahead of time as I should have, but the last 5 miles were torture. How do I keep from being discouraged? The MCM will be my first, and I'm starting to wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. Does anyone have a mantra, or trick to keeping the doubt from over-powering the excitment of training for a first marathon? No chance I'm going to give up, but I'd love to know that a) I'm not alone in feeling a little bummed, and b) hear what some veterans have to say.

Thanks and healthy running!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,541 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    First, hydration is a full time job, 24x7.  You have to stay hydrated all the time (urine color=pale yellow), not just drink extra the day or two before your long run.  That said, these warm, humid days kick everybody's butt.  Slow down and drink as much as you can manage on your runs.  I did a 12-miler yesterday, started a little too fast, and died the last two miles.  (But I did 18 the week before.)  I think it's Galloway who says every 5 degrees above 60 cost 30 seconds per mile on a long run.  I don't know if I'd go quite that far but it gives you some idea.  And look forward to cooler days.




  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    If you read the posts on this board, you will see that hot humid days we all have issues.  Trust your training plan, every run you do past your longest run will be a mental struggle, just push thought it.  You will be fine.  I like to think about this quote when I am in the doldrums of my plan.  And yes we all have bad runs!

    There will be days that you don't know if you can run a marathon...but there will be a life time of knowing that you have.  Marathons are all different, but each time you cross that finish line, you hunger for the next's a great feeling of accomplishment!

  • skypilot77 Legend 1,077 posts since
    Dec 16, 2009

    Like a pitcher in baseball who has a bad outing -- you gotta put the bad run behind you and move on.


    As has been said, trust the training plan.

  • dutch omi We're Not Worthy 5,642 posts since
    Jan 19, 2008

    I have yet to meet anyone that has run a marathon and has not doubted him/herself at times whether they had bitten off too much.  You'll be fine, you're training, you're going to have some good long runs, you're going to have some lousy long runs.  But crossing the finish line will make it all worth while.  And you'll be a marathoner forever.  Good luck, enjoy, and we'll see you at the MCM.  I will not be running, I'm injured and slowly on the way back.  But I'll be the one with the yellow pompom on the course cheering you on!!!!!!

  • MCM Ron Legend 1,916 posts since
    Jan 19, 2008

    Welcome MCMV!irgin!  Your body is in the lengthy process of adaptation.  Your muscles, joints, lungs are all being changed as you run those long runs, and the result is distances which maybe now cause you to bonk (like this last 14) will NOT cause you to bonk later.  As you progress in your training plan, you'll probably find yourself getting a little further week by week before crashing.  So last week you started hurting around mile 9.  Maybe next week you do 16, and maybe you go 11 or 12 before starting to feel like you did last weekend at 9.  That's progress.  By the time step back down to ONLY 14 (and eventually that is how you'll view it!) you'll likely do the whole run and be amazed that it didn't kill you at all.  Once you've gotten one or two 20s under your belt, you'll have a lot more confidence.


    That said, you've always got to respect the distance.  Hydrate well, especially in warm weather.  For the really long runs, you should plan on taking in some carbs and electrolytes, too.  Neglect any of that, and you're asking for trouble!

    If it's warm, humid, or your run is very hilly, you should account for that. Don't shoot for a time in difficult conditions that would be difficult to do in ideal conditions.


    Let us know how your next run goes!


    @Len,  was it 30 seconds per 5 degrees?  Cool!  I was only giving myself 20!  I usuallly tack on another 20 seconds per mile for hills or humidity, too.

    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.  (from my ice tea lid)

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