Marathon Training and Discussions


Anyone else training for their first marathon? (Read 579 times)


    I am. I'm planning on running the Napa Valley Trail Marathon March 29th. I ran a trail 25K in November, and decided I might be crazy for thinking a trail marathon would be fun, but there it is. I read all of the stories of marathons, and I find I might be too overly optimistic. I tend to think I won't have any difficulties. Is it necessary to kind of mentally plan to have a hard time from miles 20-26? I'm such a positive thinker that I don't spend much time on that. I've been running for years, I've ran 3 5Ks, 1 half, and the aforementioned 25K. I'm following a training program, which is the first time I've ever committed to that. I also wonder how to set a goal time for a trail run. And again, I tend to be overly optimistic. (this is also my very first post on RA!)


      Welcome to RA, Heather! You'll find a lot of what you need to know to get ready by browsing these forums and asking questions. There's a few people that are pretty good about answering questions.

      Run to Win
      25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

      All business

        Hello and welcome! I just ran my first trail marathon and had a blast! If you enjoyed the 25k, i think you'll have a good time, and be challenged by the marathon. I wouldn't worry about those last six, just have fun.

        "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." J. Handy

        Princess Cancer Pants

          Hi, Heather...glad you found RA! Smile I have no advice, as I have yet to run any marathons, much less a TRAIL marathon...wowsers! But I wish you luck in whatever training you do. What an exciting endeavor! Smile k

          '17 Goals:

          • Chemo

          • Chemo-Radiation

          • Surgery

          • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


          She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

          ~ Unknown

          Go Pre!

            I read all of the stories of marathons, and I find I might be too overly optimistic. I also wonder how to set a goal time for a trail run. And again, I tend to be overly optimistic.
            You are VERY optimistic, but I like that. As long as you train accordingly (March 9 is soon!) and do not aim for too fast of a time. I would also recommend lots of walk breaks so you are capable of getting through miles 20-26. Never having doen a trail marathon I can only imagine how hard trails would be after hitting the wall. Are you able to do your training on trails? Welcome by the way! Dave


              Never having doen a trail marathon I can only imagine how hard trails would be after hitting the wall.
              I've found that avoiding the wall is the preferable situation, either on trails or on roads.

              Run to Win
              25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

                Hey There Heather, welcome to RA. I'm also training for my first marathon. But on pavement. I'll be running the Spirit of St. Louis marathon on April 6, 2008 with TNT. Very excited. I'll definitely be picking everyone's brains about the secrets to their success. Best of luck! Sara
                  Welcome Heather. I'm also training for a first marathon (but not until October). From my perspective, I'm not too worried about setting a time goal as the distance itself is enough of a motivation. Good luck with your training.

                  "Good-looking people have no spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter." - Lester Bangs


                    Thanks for the welcome! I run nearly all of my runs on a hilly course. However, I found out that there's a big difference between hills that are about 1/2 mile long and 3 miles of elevation increases. I have a very long race report in my blog. By the elevation map, I think the marathon could be easier, but I still plan on some good Saturday LSR on some local trails (I have many available), once I get my Garmin. I'm enjoying the training!
                      You pick some good races! I have both the Napa valley trail, and the Stinson beach on my list. I live in Ohio, but have a sister in the bay area of CA, so I get a free place to stay, and awesome trails to run (I am jealous). Anyway, I've run several road marathons, and one trail marathon in your neck of the woods (I am assuming you live around there, or else you have a nice travel deal like I do). Golden Hills in Berkeley. Comparing road to trail, while my trail marathon was my slowest time (note the hills!), I never felt out of energy or exhausted in the same way. The scenery, the other people running, and the constant challenge of the trail, made it so I never hit a mental 'wall' in the way I did in a road marathon or two. There were no mile markers, so I just checked in with the aid stations to find out where I was. I remember getting to one person, and I asked what mile we were at, and she said "17", and I thought to myself, "17, wow, I had no idea I was so far!" So I think mental burnout is much less likely. Physical? Not sure, I don't think I've ever had a physical burnout. If these are the kinds of trails you're running on anyway, especially for your long runs, well then you'll be very well prepared I am sure. Hard to say on the goal time. I did not set a goal time for my first road marathon, or first trail marathon. I just started out easy, at the pace I had done most of my long runs at. I always think you can pick it up, if you get to 20 and feel awesome! Welcome, and good luck! Post a report when you finish!

                        Oh, I just ran part of that marathon on my long run on Saturday! I didn't know about it, and I just well may run that in October, thanks! It looks like a beautiful course (and yes, I live here--just a few minutes from part of that trail!) I think I'm finally getting my mind around the fact that I don't have to have a great time for my first trail marathon--my goal is to finish it and do it as well as I can. It's hard, though, I tend to be very competitive, if even just with myself.
                          Hallo, Just started running last Xmas. This year I've done 2000 km, a few 15km+ races and a HM in 1h43'. Next year I'm becoming 40 so, what better target to fill "not that old" than running a marathon? 20th June should be the date (somewhere in Belgium), wish me good luck ! Big grin

                          Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR

                            I plan to run my first M in April in OKC. I trained last year for it but DNS. Looking forward to getting it done, God willing! Good luck to all of us!!
                            Quit being so damn serious! When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. "Ya just gotta let it go." OM


                              I'm training for my first marathon (target August) as well. I've got my training plan broken up into 2 segments. The first segment is roughly half of the program designed to tackle the half marathon, then the second part picks up from there and continues on to the higher milage. All in all, I will have trained for 10 months, provided I can stay healthy and motivated. I'm taking it slow and steady, building in time for weather, business trips, etc. (when I might miss a work out or two), where I can repeat some weeks and stay on track to the tapering stages. I'm now into the 3rd month, during which I've put in a couple 5K's. I have some other runs/5K's/10K's, etc built in for fun and to measure my progress in a race setting prior to the half. So, I'll certainly be asking for advice (especially from those who travel a lot and magae to keep up with training) and plenty of questions now that I've found this great group. I have no finishing time expectations (although I secretly would like to finish within 5 hours). Looking forward to hearing from other first timers as they complete their marathons and those who already have their first one's under their belt.

                              San Francisco - 7/29/12

                              Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                              Chicago - 10/7/12

                              Oh Mighty Wing

                                I'm technically training for my first half on my way to my first marathon. It still counts right?? Wink POA: 1/2 in March (Caesar Rodney), Full in Nov. (Phila.)