What I’ve Learned During Marathon Training: Weeks 1-8

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It’s crazy to think that I’m a third of the way through my marathon training program for the Chicago Marathon! Yesterday was the end of week 8, and a rest day for me. My longest run so far has been the 14 miles I ran this morning. Training has actually been enjoyable, and I’ve learned a lot of things about myself in the process.

What I’ve Learned During Marathon Training

To listen to my body. My first week of training went great. I ran all the miles I was scheduled to, hit my paces, and enjoyed myself. My second week of training didn’t go as well. Maybe I was being cocky, maybe I just felt good, but I decided to go for a short run after an Orange Theory Fitness class. About a mile into the run, I felt something in my achilles, but kept running. Just a few steps later, I had to stop. Trying to push myself through the pain resulted in not being able to run for 2 weeks and several physical therapy visits.

Flexibility is key. There isn’t any reason to be completely rigid with your training schedule.  Sometimes I’ll do my long run on Saturday, sometimes on Sunday. If there is something I want to do during the week, I shuffle my rest days around. As long as you’re getting the majority of the miles in, I’m happy.

marathon training schedule

Group running rocks. I’ve always preferred to run by myself because I could go whenever and wherever I wanted. I didn’t have to worry about coordinating schedules, people not showing up, etc. Plus, I’m naturally an introvert, and too much social interaction drains me. However, long runs by yourself are mentally draining. Running with others makes the time go by faster, and for me, makes me push my pace. Tomorrow there are 22 of us signed up for a group run, and guess what? It will be fun. I actually look forward to my long runs now.


Morning runs are easier. Not easier to start, but easier to finish. I’m not a morning person, at all, but the past few weeks I’ve made it to group runs at 5am! Getting out of bed is the hard part. The reward to that is not having the heat and humidity of evening runs, not having to slather on sunscreen, and not having to deal with traffic. Another bonus, my workout for the day is over and I have my evenings free to do what I want. Oh, and my husband gets to make the bed, something I absolutely dislike doing.

No matter what your fitness goals are, challenge yourself to go on step further, one minute longer, or even get up one hour earlier! I promise in the process you’ll learn something about yourself that will make achieving those goals that much easier. Keep on running! 🙂

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About Sarah

Mom. Blogger. Runner. Hiker. Insomniac. Not necessarily in that order.

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