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Marathon Reflection: Training

by Meghann on January 18, 2010

When I signed up for my first marathon almost a year ago I took a very relaxed, ‘let’s just have fun’ approach to training for it. I followed the training schedule provided by Team in Training and improvised where I saw fit. The provided plan was geared towards beginning runners looking to complete a marathon. There was no mention of speed work, time goals, or cross training. Basically the goal of the plan was to cross the finish line – nothing else.

I followed the plan accordingly and was ecstatic to cross the finish line in 4:29:46! I averaged a 10:20ish pace for 26.2 miles and for a first marathon I was very proud of myself. However, I knew with a little focus on speed training I could do better.

When it came time to begin training for my second marathon I started with a plan. I scoured the internet and discovered Runner’s World Intermediate Marathon Training Plan. I took the plan and redesigned it to fit my needs. With a little work on my part I developed a new goal and a way to execute that goal.


The new plan included tempo runs, strides, sprints, and other various elements of speed work. I felt more confident in my plan and knew I could beat my old time without a problem.

Originally my goal was to finish Disney in 4:20 and then that dropped to 4:15 and then 4:10 as my training progressed. Honestly, having only run one marathon previously I was unsure of where to aim with a new structure of training. I think next time I will set an original goal in the beginning and stick to it just to give myself a little structure.

I immediately saw the improvement in my new training regimen. Each race I entered I felt myself getting faster and faster.  I couldn’t be stop and for the first time I had confidence in my running ability.

After 16 weeks of faithfully fallowing my plan, I knew I was ready to conquer the Disney marathon.  The whole race I felt confident and in control of my body. I only felt myself waiver between 20 and 23, but with a little more training I think I can overcome that in the future.

I crossed the finish line in 4:12:26, shaving 17 minutes from my previous marathon! My training was a success!

I also thank my training for allowing me to bounce back quickly. I attribute the poor training in my previous marathon for the minor injury I sustained. This time around I felt great and ready to run  just a couple of days after completing 26.2 miles.

Marathons are addicting and I want to run as many in the future as my body will allow me. I also plan to improve my training and adjust it as I see fit to accomplish my new goals.

Right now I believe with the right training plan I WILL qualify for Boston one day. It might not be this year and it might not be next, but never in my life have my felt for confident in myself and the ability to do so!

Stay tuned! My next installment with talk about my weight while marathon training. You can check out my previous post on this subject here.

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