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Length is getting to me (mentally)

So, I started training for a marathon about 2 weeks ago. Tomorrow will be my first attempt at 8 miles.  I'm just wondering, if I follow the program will I be able to a. build up my mileage and b. finish the marathon.  Right now, even the 15 mile training run seems very daunting.  I mean, I'll be proud of myself if I finish 8 miles tomorrow, but then it will be in my head that on race day I will have to run 18.2 miles after I finish 8 miles.

 I guess the mental part of this is really getting to me and I'm beginning to doubt myself.  I just want to know if I follow the training program will I be okay.  I know no one can answer that for me, but I guess I just need a little encouragement.  TIA.

Re: Length is getting to me (mentally)

  • Take one run at a time.  Looking too far ahead will not help you mentally.  Just take it week by week and focus on that week's long run and when you complete it, pat yourself on the back!  Marathon training is TOUGH but it's important to stay focused and not get too far ahead of yourself. 

    I am reading the book First Marathons which I think it very motivating and is an easy read with lots of different perspectives on training and racing.  Also check out Spirit of the Marathon, I watched it on Hulu.com for free and was totally inspired.

    Keep it up and stay positive!

  • I am using Hal Higdon's marathon training.  When I first started I never imagined being able to run 20 miles. But I did this past Saturday.  Not only that, but I had a great run, ran is faster than I anticipated and felt great afterwards.

    You can do it!  You will be fine.  Just keep telling yourself that.  Everyone has a bad run now and then so when you do, don't let it get to you.

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  • When I started running, I signed up for a half-marathon and thought I would never go further than that. I remember how accomplished I felt after running 6 miles! Now a 6 miler is a weekday short run. You get used to the miles! Try not to think too much about how much longer a full marathon is and just focus on how far you already went, if that makes sense. I have done two 20 mile runs now, and while the marathon distance still seems far to me, I have the confidence to know I will be able to finish, especially with the adrenaline and the crowds at the race. You can do this! I also tell myself that no matter what, I'll finish. Even if I have to walk the whole thing!
  • i don't know that i have any encouragement, but i can certainly commiserate.  i've done a half-marathon, but i'm now training for my first marathon.  the thought of running twenty-six miles is very daunting.  and when i look at the course map, i kinda freak out.  basically, i'll be running all.over.the.city. 

    but as pp said, i'm trying not to think too far ahead.  also, i just joined a running group, which i'm very excited about.  should really help me.

    and heck, if i have to walk some of the marathon, so what?  ;)

  • I can understand, but just out it out of your head.  Instead think 'eventually 8 miles will be an easy cut back week', or '5 miles will be a weekly training run'.  The real reward is being able to look back and see real progress.
    nothing
  • I used to think the same thing, don't worry.  I had done half marathons prior to starting my marathon training, but at the time, thinking about doing 16, 18, 20 mile runs was a little scary.  Now I've completed all those distances without a problem, and it seems silly that I was ever so nervous about it.  Your body adapts.  Someday 8 miles will be an average weekday run and you'll whip it out no problem... I promise!  :)  


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  • Thanks for all the help.  I really have to keep thinking one day at a time.  I guess I just want to make sure that as long as I do what I am supposed to do each day that it will work out.  I just have to remind myself that as long as I don't quit, I'm going to be able to do it.
  • I hear ya!  I am currently in my hardest week of training for the NYC Marathon & you know what - I feel like quitting!  I am sooo tired.  42 miles is this week's total w/ a 23 miler on Saturday....I just want training to be over!  But I am really excited about race day - I don't even mind about the 26.2 - there is going to be so much energy & positivity on that day.  I think it will totally be worth all of the hard work - just think about how you will feel when you accomplish your goal! :)

    Also - go easy on yourself - our running coaches (I'm running for a charity team) keep telling us that training for a marathon is more of an art than a science - you are bound to miss some runs here or there - but you will be fine in the end.  Our coaches are really good too - one of them is Gail Kiselvitz - who compiled the book First Marathons mentioned in the first post :) 

     

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