March 19, 2013

Marathon Mistakes

The Buffalo Marathon is going to be my third marathon!

My 1st Marathon- Rochester, NY- 2007

Even though it is 67 days from now, I am pretty sure that I am going to be prepared for this one a bajillion times more than the 2 before.

I am FAR from figuring out the perfect way to run a marathon, but I've definitely learned a lot this time through.  It must be because I am getting so old wiser.  I still have 2 months to go, but wanted to share with you some of the things that have helped me to feel more confident this time around, and the mistakes from previous marathons.

1. Fuel

Fueling your body is just as important as running (in my opinion).   Food = fuel = energy.

Before:  Carbs carbs carbs carbs carbs carbs carbs.  I am running so much!  I must need to eat all the carbs all the time!  And!  Since I ran soooo far (it wasn't that far), I deserve to eat this pint of Ben and Jerry's and block of cheese and pizza and probably some more ice cream (which has carbs!).

Now:  So, yes.  Carbs are still an important part of my diet.  ;)  But!  This time, I'm trying to eat a more balanced meal with lots of protein, good fats, and (mostly-ish) good for you carbs, including soooo many sweet potatoes and oatmeal.  Okay, and pizza.  I have a post in the works about my eating habits, so let's move on.

2. Training

Before:  Hmm, I'm kinda/sorta/maybe following this plan.  A little.  It says I should be running 4-5 days a week, but as long as I do my long runs on Saturday I should be okay, right?!  I just don't have time during the week, so I'll run at a slow-ish pace once or twice a week for 30 minutes and I should be good.

Now: I am following this plan.  It is not only preparing me for the marathon, but is improving my 5k and 10k times as well.  Meaning: it's making me a better runner- winning! 

I'm following the plan pretty closely, with a few exceptions. 

1. the long runs have been changed drastically so I can attempt a 30 miler on my birthday. 
2. I have almost never ran the 3 mile run the day before my long run.  If I'm feeling really tight the day after, I will do a sloooooow and easy 3 miles then instead.
3. If I'm feeling exceptionally tired, I will cut out one of the easy mid-week runs, and opt for a walk or ride the bike instead.

3.  Practice makes perfect

Before:  Alright, it's marathon time!  So I've only run a 17 mile long run- I can totally do those last 9 miles.  It'll be cake!  I usually just eat gummy bears on my long runs, but ooooh, look at those gels that everyone's taking.  I should probably be eating them too, right?  Yeah, I'll do that.  Uh oh... I don't feel so good.

Now:   I already have two 20+ milers under my belt and have at least 3 more before the big day.  I'm using these as practice- pre-run breakfast, water intake, gatorade, gels, candy, warm ups, ice baths.... these are all a factor in my preparation.  This way I'll know exactly what I need to do before/after the race to keep myself as happy as possible :)

So, those are a few things I've found to help me through the 26.2 miles of awesome so far.  Hopefully I'll learn lots more, and then I can share the wisdom rambling.


Any marathon runners out there? 

What's something you've learned from running more than one race (any distance!)??


  1. I love this post. I'll start training for my 2nd marathon (the run is in October) and I really need to do things smarter this time. I did train religiously, but I wasn't prepared mentally and I wasn't prepared for the day-of... making my long-run days like race day is a great idea.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    1. Thank you so much Stephanie!! Good luck in October! :)