I am training for my first marathon and using a 26 week plan for beginners. I just finished the 16 mile run on schedule but was very tired the last couple of miles. Am I crazy to attempt to make the full 26.2 or is this normal?
Is it realistic, sure. Is it easy, ohellno if youre at the 16 mile point you must be about halfway through the training plan? Those long runs will get easier the more of them you do and alot of that is just building confidence in you ability to run that far. Do something to take your mind off the exhaustion, on one 16 mile run I was beat and lamenting my agony at mile 12, but I started chatting with another runner that came up behind me at mile 13, and before I knew it I was done and finished the last 3 miles fast! A huge part of long distance running is mental. Thats not to say endurance, strength, lactate threshold etc arent also important, but youre taking care of all those elements by following the training plan.
Virtual Racing Antagonist. I run for beer and cupcakes.
Hey TKRA, it's definitely realistic....I can't believe I'm almost 7 weeks away from my first marathon on 10-10-10 in Chicago. In the past my idea of a long run was 6-10 miles and I've already run an 18 miler and my first 20 miler is this Sunday.
I'm not sure if you're hydrating or fueling while you run, but I would definitely recommend it. On any run longer than an hour I usually bring a small water bottle or two with me. Any run nearing 2 hours or longer I'll bring my fuel belt with four 8oz water bottles and gels (GU), to take while I'm running. Last year while running a couple of 13 milers I brought Gatorade with me which helped with hydration, but around 10 miles or so I'd hit the wall and all the energy would drain out of me. Taking a gel every 45 minutes or so definitely helps me, I'm actually looking forward to my 20 miler this weekend (I never thought I'd say that!) Good luck in your training and in your marathon.