so you are thinking of running a marathon

niece marathon

Last year at this time I said yes to running my first marathon.  I  had been toying with the idea for years but never actually got up the courage to say yes.  For some reason last year was different and without even thinking much about it I committed.  Once I hit the submit button on my registration form I knew there was no turning back.  I had to take this running thing seriously and I had to train.  

If you are thinking about saying yes to your first marathon below are some things you may want to know about training.  There is whole other list for race day, but I 'll save that for another time.  

1 :: Get yourself two pairs of the exact same shoe

You can go with two different colors, but find the shoe that you love and buy two of them.  You are going to be putting in a lot of miles and just like you your shoes are going to need to rest.  There will also be days when it is raining and you will be stomping your way through puddles.  Your shoes are going to need some time to dry out.  So get two pairs.  As you train alternate between each pair.  Don't save up one for when the other is all worn out.  

2 :: There are two types of belts that will become your favorite running gear {I wish I had bought mine sooner}

Number One :: A belt for shorter runs.
For this you just need something to hold your keys and cell phone.  My all time favorite item I ever bought for running was the Flip Belt.  It is amazing!  You don't even realize it is there and all of your stuff stays neatly in place

Number Two :: A hydration belt
On your longer runs the last thing you want to do is carry around bottle of water, but believe me you are going to need water.  For some silly reason I put off this purchase for to long and was trying to carry my water with me.  Half filled water bottles in your hand will drive you nuts for seven miles.  I even tried to use a camelback that I had which ended in a call to Dustin to pick me up because the straps of the bag were rubbing my on my shoulders and I started to bleed.  

A good hydration belt will get you through your long runs.  Look for is a hydration belt with a pocket to hold you other fuel - such as gels or gummy bears.  On your long runs those are going to be your go to!  I love the Nathan Trail Mix Hydration belt because there is a zipper pocket which can hold your phone and also rubber chords along the side to hold your gels.  

3 :: Be prepared to say no, a lot 

Running is going to consume many of your hours.  Friends and family are going to ask you to hang out on Friday night but you have a long run the next morning and will need your rest.  Don't feel bad about saying no even when they tease you {and they will tease you}.  Just know that it is only temporary and you will be so glad the next say when you are out there running with clarity and not exhausted from the previous nights shenanigans.  

4 :: Find some good music to keep you going, but also run without the tunes

With out tunes?!? Did I just say that?  Yes indeed because a time may come when you are seven miles from home and your phone dies.  There you will be in silence and you will have to navigate your way back by the sound of your breathe and the thoughts in your head.  Before you get to that moment take some runs without your music and soak in the silence.  You will be surprised that you can actually run without music.  

However, stack up your playlist with some songs to keep you going.  You are inevitably going to encounter hills and that song may be the only thing that helps you get to the top.  Find what works for you and turn it up.  

5 :: Add hills into your training  

They will feel torturous as you try to climb them but you will be thanking those hills on race day for the strength they have given you.  Me and Airmount {the hill I usually climb} are not friends at all but it is that beast who has made me strong, even when I first running up it at a snails pace.  

6 :: Running is a practice and your only job is to keep showing up

There are no perfect runs or a strict recipe to have the best run ever.  Some days you will feel amazing and other days just two miles will feel like torture.  All you need to do is keep showing up and putting one foot in front of the other.  Do not let the rough times get you down and celebrate the ones that feel great.  

7 :: Find a schedule and stick to it, you will be glad you did

Having a schedule will help you stay on track.  Unless you have ran a marathon before you will most likely be like me and have no idea where to even start.  So seek out a schedule, pin it to your wall, and make sure it fits the days that work for you.  You want to set yourself up for success.  On the weekends you will be doing one long run . . . if Saturday isn't a good day for you to do that then shift the entire schedule so that it lands on Sunday.  It will be so much easier for you to stick to when it works for you.  

8 :: You are so much stronger than you think you are

As you begin to train you will start to rack up miles that you didn't ever think you could run.  When I first started training running three miles was tough.  Then somehow I was running five, seven, ten.  It was incredible.  The training schedule helps you ease into it and you begin to see that you are so much stronger than you ever thought you were.  Be proud of yourself and celebrate the milestones when you hit them.  

9 :: Visualize the cheers, it will help get you through

There are going to be times when you are dragging and you won't even want to take one more step.  Visualize your friends and family cheering for you up ahead and you will be amazed how much motivation it brings you.  

Another thing I do, that I can't actually recommend because it is dangerous ... is close my eyes.  When I am running up a hill and struggling I close my eyes for a moment.  For some reason it helps me make it up.  But please, do this with extreme caution!

10 :: It's going to be challenging, but enjoy it

Training for a marathon is going to test you in ways that you didn't even realize.  There will days when it is freezing or down pouring and you have to get out there and put in those miles.  The hardest part is going to come in lacing up your sneakers and stepping out the door.  Once you are out there you will be so glad that you got off the couch. Remember each mile you put in will make it easier for you come race day.  


niece marathon

When I watched my first marathon in person I was blown away by the courage and dedication that each individual had.  It inspired me to want to run, but I never thought that I could actually do it.  But I did, and you can to.  It takes a lot of work and an incredible amount of dedication.  My biggest struggle was overcoming my mind.  When the little voice in my head kept repeating ... stop ... stop ... stop, I had to keep going.  And each time I kept going my mind became a little bit stronger.  And some how, some way I ran the NYC Marathon.  It was glorious and the memories from that day will live in my heart forever.  

Are you thinking about running a marathon?  Do you have a million questions about it?  Are you feeling a little scared and timid about saying yes?  Drop me a note at and we can chat.  It is life changing for sure!