I recently ran my first ultra marathon, the Chippewa Moraine 50k Trail Run. It is an out and back on single track trail using the Ice Age trail near New Auburn, Wisconsin. I will do a follow-up post on the run itself, but because the running season is ramping up, I thought I would post Dan’s guide to marathon training now. This will give everyone an opportunity to implement my rigorous training plan in preparation of your own successful marathon race.
Step 1: Pick a race and enter it. This is a very important step as it provides good, solid motivation to continue, as you have just plunked down good, hard-earned money on the registration. The more expensive the registration is, the more likely you will follow through.
- Full disclosure: I picked a race simply because the registration was half-price on Black Friday. I only had $30 invested, so the monetary motivation didn’t work very well for me.
Step 2: Publically announce (Facebook, Twitter, Blog) the fact that you have entered the race. This not only will make you feel special and awesome because you have entered the race, it will also allow your family and friends to post motivational responses to confirm that you are special and awesome. Nothing like peer pressure/affirmation to keep you going. To be most effective, you should continually post reminders of your awesomeness at registering for the race.
- Full disclosure: I did post on Facebook that I had entered the race because registration was half-price. I did not post it anywhere else & I did not do any follow-up posts, so the peer pressure motivation was mostly lacking
Step 3: Begin training by Googling marathon training plans. Pick one that sounds awesome and fun, but most importantly is within your capability to follow.
- Full disclosure: I didn’t do this…in fact I didn’t even think about doing it, but it is still good advice.
Step 4: Go to a local sporting goods/specialty running store and buy all the high speed equipment you are coinvinced you need because all the other people running have them, i.e. fancy waist belts to hold lots of sports goo, water, hydration stuff, anti-rub stuff, etc. You will also want to buy special shorts, t-shirts, shoes, etc. It would be best to buy this stuff early on so you can break it in & train with it.
- Full-disclosure: I don’t have any of the fancy running gear/equipment. I did buy a pair of shoes on clearance online (they are great Tecnica maximalist shoes) and I bought an excellent pair of Ecco’s at the outlet mall a few weeks before the run.
Step 5: Follow the training plan, slowly building up miles and endurance for race day. It is important to not increase distance too quickly.
- Full-disclosure: Refer to Step 3, my actual training after I registered in November was:
- Used the elliptical for 45 minutes, five or six times in late January early February.
- Starting a few weeks before the race I did two 3-mile runs, two 4-mile runs, one 6-mile run and three days before the race I did a 9-mile run. So I totally blew this one. I ran more miles on race day then I did in the 8 months leading up to the race…
Step 6: Show up on race day and run.
- Full disclosure: I did that.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.