Marathon training is….easy?! (um..no)

So yeah. Marathon training.
…it ain’t easy.

Buuuut apparently I make it *look* easy.
…and I thought I’d tell you all why I think that is. πŸ˜‰

The way I set up my training plan from the start was with one goal in mind: to keep good balance. Above all, I did NOT want marathon training to rule my life for 18 weeks. I knew it would be a giant commitment and I was – and still am – armed for that. But I also wanted to sustain the balance I’ve worked so hard to achieve in the past year or so.

Which is why, if you look at my weekly workout ‘schedule’ in it’s entirety? It looks almost exactly the same as my workouts-per-week pre-marathon training. With the exception of the long run, that is. (minor detail, haha)

Don’t believe me? Take a look at a typical training week for me:
Sunday – teach at barre n9ne, run 7-8 miles (soon to be more like 8-10 miles)
Monday – teach at barre n9ne; take a class later that evening
Tuesday – long run! (10-16 miles currently…)
Wednesday – take barre n9ne class
Thursday – teach barre n9ne; take a class that evening
Friday – teach barre n9ne / run 7-8 miles (soon to be more like 8-10 miles)
Saturday – rest

So a few things you’ll notice —

I’m ‘only’ running three days per week currently. Prior to marathon training — I was running four times per week. Which means I’m now running less days but spending more time on my feet — longer, more meaningful runs to work on my endurance, a huge goal of mine leading into the marathon, for obvious reason.

I’m taking a lot less classes and teaching more (<3!). Which means my time spent at the barre may appear to be more frequent (I’m teaching 5x/week for the most part) but the intensity is different when you teach a class vs. taking a class. I’m not there to get my own workout in, I’m there to ‘work the room’ so to speak. So sure, teaching is a quasi-workout but it’s not at all the same as when I’m the student vs. instructor.

So the big difference here now that I”m in marathon training mode vs. regular ‘ol ‘me’ training mode? That long run. That’s the one big change to my workout plans week-to-week which is how I’ve kept my training so darn manageable. NOT easy by any means (that long run wipes me out, as I’ve mentioned before, hello sleepy face!), but definitely sustainable and manageable. Which may also explain why I’ve not struggled *too much* with the marathon hungry-horrors as I mentioned in my post last week on my eating habits during training.

And there you have it — my not-so-scientific approach to marathon training. An approach that I happen to be LOVING, and one that has kept me from going off the deep end so far, moving into week 9 (!) of marathon training.

Rock on 26.2!! πŸ™‚

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34 thoughts on “Marathon training is….easy?! (um..no)

    • It’s been KEY to keeping the balance for me – I don’t even care that I’m zonked out by 10am after a long run, I’d rather be zonked mid-week than on the weekend when family/friend/hubby time is so much more important, you know??

      You are the cutest, thank you for being SUCH an awesome cheerleader for me!!

    • I’m running Chicago with my husband – it’s our first and only marathon for sure. It’s been an awesome experience so far!!
      Good luck with your training, I like your style πŸ™‚

  1. You DO make it look easy. But I love that you are trying to balance it all with everything else in your life. I remember that marathon training literally took over our life (or at least felt like it) which was good and bad. Good because we got to share this incredible experience like you and Scott are and got to explore Europe by food but bad because everything revolved around running, eating and resting. Kudos to you! PS While teaching a barre class might be less intense than taking one, I still am amazed that you are able to do it all. If I wasn’t running or working, I just wanted to be resting!

    • To be honest, it shocks me that I’m able to handle it as well as I have been able to so far. I kind of worry that it’ll all come crashing down on me but I’m HOPING that’s just paranoia talking!!

  2. You’re right, you do make it look easy! I love how you’ve organized your plan. You have clear steps to get you to your goal. I know it’s not easy, otherwise I’d be training. So, keep going, keep being strong! You’ve got this!

  3. That one long run — meaning the run that I see on my calendar all week and if I don’t get my butt up early on Saturday I’ll miss most of it, lol.

    You have so much going on, but it’s balanced. I definitely admire how you’re staying focused and not spreading yourself too thin.

  4. You’re doing great – keep up the amazing balance!
    Your schedule sounds like mine when I was training for Pgh in 2010. It was such a rush and I was in the best shape of my life. You go, girl!

  5. You’re right, you do make it look easy, BUT I know it’s not AND I agree (like I pointed out to you, I do believe!) that the major difference really IS the long run. The other two, when spread out across what would have been 3 runs is probably the same mileaage as before, but in 2 runs, not 3 (on top of the long run). I am proud of you, and I am glad that you keep tempering things and NOT going hogwild with classes you take or teach, even if means a little tough love on my part sometimes πŸ˜‰ XO

    • You’re right…the tough love from you has gotten me to snap out of it when I start flying off the deep end, getting all over-zealous and shiz πŸ˜‰ So THANK you for that, and for being my silent sherpa during my runs, I channel you all the time sis! xoxo

  6. This looks a lot like my half training schedule. I was only running 3 days a week (Saturday was long run day) for most of it. I did a marathon a long time ago and totally didn’t train correctly for it. And learned my lesson the hard way. Thanks for sharing your plan!

    • I’m finding that three times/week for marathon training is PLENTY. I am doing my best not to wear myself out so badly that I totally poop out come race day, you know? I’m only doing this thing once and I don’t want to screw it up!! haha

  7. I just wanted to say, you are an inspiration to me and I am learning so much from you since I started reading your blog!! As a fellow marathoner, I have learned from you ways to improve my training for the next marathon as well as improve my overall health and wellness!! So, thank you Jess, and looking forward to seeing you soon at some of the fab-classes you teach!!!!!

    • Aw friend! You are the sweetest!! I LOVE (and can’t believe) that I inspire you…hell, you inspired ME to get my butt into marathon training to begin with!! I Was totally in awe of you the first time you did one. Couldn’t even believe it. And now here I am…doing it too. Who knew?!?

      PS. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have you come visit for a class soon!!!!

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