Marathon training days – part 1

Marathon – that’s the goal. That’s what I plan to do in September. That’s all what my current life is about.

It’s quite an interesting experience to prepare for a marathon run, even after finishing four half-marathons this year and the overall feel to finally get used to long distances, the distance beyond 21km is something completely different. In several test runs I started running 26km and even 32km to find out how it comforts me and it was a tough lessen I had to learn.

Even with 5km over half-marathon distance I struggled to reach my training goal, which was only to make it over the whole distance. I ran the 26km with my girl-friend, accompanying me and providing me with hydration. It was on of the first real warm days of the year and I had some problems with it. In the meantime I finally got used to it and would also say, that I feel comfortable at higher temperatures. But back on this very day kilometers 22 to 26 felt just tough. Not only because of the warmth outside, also because my legs felt heavy.

A couple of weeks later I had a 32km run with a colleague of mine. My training plan was set for 28km, but on this day we ran 32km. That was a huge mental problem for me. I was very happy to reach the 28km mark and I could have stopped instantly but my colleague just said “Why don’t we continue till we reach the bridge?” or “Why don’t we run back to car?”

This may sound easy, but for me, as a runner who just felt a little comfortable with half-marathon distance and covering a mileage over a period of just one year, it was a huge hurdle to master. I struggled but at the end of the run I had the 32km mark popping up on my GPS watch and was just glad.

It’s still a long way to run, to finally reach the form I need to reach and conquer the marathon mark, but it’s possible. From now on I can say, it’s just 10km more. Before these runs I had things like “And now I have to run half-marathon two times?” in my mind. Adding the 10K to my current longest distances made is a much better motivation than a simple ‘now I have to do it again’ thing.