Things You’ll Learn While Training for a Marathon.

With the new year comes folks resolving to eat better, workout more, stress less…and of course make a long list of resolutions…that sometimes they may or may not keep. But…I do have a few friends that have told me they’re interested in training for a marathon! Which to me is an exciting endeavor to embark on. I can surely tell you that running has changed my life for the better. So I’ve complied a list of some things you’ll learn while training for 26.2…and here they are in no particular order.

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-Training is a commitment.
There are so many wonderful training programs out there. I recommend checking out Hal Higdon’s programs as they have plans for every level…novice included. It makes it so much easier when you have something to follow and tell you what to do everyday. But yes…without a doubt it’s a commitment. Which means…yeah you’re going to have to forgo some of those Friday nights out having margaritas and tacos. Because it may not just sit well with your 20 mile run the next day. Not that I have experience with that or anything.

 -Strength training/yoga/massages make all the difference.
I am a big advocate of cross training, strength training, and all of the things that make you a balanced well rounded athlete and runner. Usually your training plan will reserve a day or two for cross training and/or REST. Please utilize these things. And yes…massages are my happy place. I get them once a month and use my flex account/benefits at work. Look into it. It’s a life saver.

-Nutrition/eating right matters.
You’ll quickly learn what does and does not sit well with you as a distance runner. Your body starts craving and wanting more wholesome, fresh foods and less of the processed stuff. Typically I eat light before a run (almond butter or peanut butter on a piece of toast, for example) but post run I enjoy eggs, yogurt and some good protein mixed with complex carbohydrates. Here’s a good list of foods for runners.

-Yes…sometimes your weekends will be all about the long run. I kind of love it.


-It helps having friends to do it with.
When I first started training having a running group of friends really held me accountable. I definitely recommend finding a group in your community of supportive, awesome runners and you will usually build lifelong friendships that way.


-Coffee…yeah it just tastes better. Especially after running out in the cold.

-You will have more running shoes and clothes than real people clothes. Just trust me on this one.

-You will without a doubt…be a happier, more loving person after that run. Yes, this is true.


What are some things you’ve learned while training for a marathon?

36 thoughts on “Things You’ll Learn While Training for a Marathon.

  1. These are wonderful tips! It pretty much encompasses what I would tell someone when they start training for their first marathon. A couple points to add: “Always stretch after your run” and “If you start feeling really fatigued and burnt out, take a break for a few days and come back to it. You’ll love it so much more!”

  2. I AGREE with this post!!!! No matter how tired I am, I try to do something physical because it makes me feel better! And signing up for races motivates me. I guess for me it’s all about finding “the right balance”. Between having to work FT (if you consider working 34 hours F/T) and having two kids under 3 to take care of as well as a marriage and home, it’s definitely finding the TIME to run that makes it hard for me. BUT, I still sign up for the marathon bc I LOVE IT!!! It makes me feel good. And omg, I’m so tired, I’m not even sure if my comment is relative to this post.

    • I love hearing how mamas/really parents in general especially of young children balance their running schedules!! For you I imagine it takes an extra amount of effort to do those things on top of raising a family but it’s so wonderful you take the time out for yourself and I think that’s so important. I’m sure it makes you a better mother overall.

  3. SO true!!! Loved reading this post especially after reflecting back on my marathon training. I’ve learned that not every run is going to be a good one, there will be highs and lows during training, but in the end as long as you keep pushing along you will get there. 🙂

    • Goes back to the whole consistency thing…not all runs are rainbows sparkles and glitter but I always feel so good when it’s over whether it was a sucky run or not. Best of luck again for your race! Sending you good vibes!!

  4. Just see the whole thing through…you can’t judge the entire marathon experience on an isolated bad workout or good workout. It is a process that takes time and yes, COMMITMENT. In the end though, it is worth it because there are few things in life that feel as good as crossing that finish line after 26.2. Can I get am Amen 🙂

  5. Ohhh I love these tips Chelsea and I love what a brain looks like after running!! Hilarious and so true! Coffee does indeed taste better after a nice cold run!! Definitely!! Have a fabulous week!! XOXO

  6. Great tips in here.

    For first time marathoners I suggest you control your pace. Don’t over run your long runs. They are in the program to build endurance, and not to be race simulators. If you PR a training run two weeks before the race, but you tank your race because of fatigue. Its a big disappointment.

  7. You just got me so excited to start training! I can’t wait for my life to revolve around a training schedule, to be honest. I need a goal to work towards — a seemingly insurmountable goal. And a marathon is DEFINITELY one of them haha. But when I start training I’ll definitely be doing yoga a few times a week. My legs don’t like not being stretched haha they’ll quit on me

  8. Cross training has helped me so much this go around. Ive kept up my biking and swimming from tri season so im hoping to see results next weekend in Baton Rouge!

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