Everything Not To Do For A Marathon

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I ran a marathon and trained the worst way possible for it. I feel I didn’t update people enough on my training and that’s because there was hardly any. This will be a hilarious and frustrating post for some of you. So sit down, get comfortable, and let me tell you everything I did wrong for this marathon, and still ran it in four hours and twenty-five minutes.

Length of training

I decided to run this marathon about a month in advanced. I was looking for a new challenge in life and had been watching too many motivational videos one morning. I was so hyped up on coffee that I felt I could do anything as long as I set my mind to it (turns out I was correct). So the way I figured I would structure my training would be to run three times a week. Two short runs and one long run with progression each week. Here’s how that was supposed to look:

Week 1:

  • 8 miles
  • 8 miles
  • 12 miles

Week 2:

  • 10 miles
  • 10 miles
  • 15 miles

Week 3:

  • 10 miles
  • 10 miles
  • 18 miles

Week 4:

  • 8 miles
  • 8 miles
  • 8 miles

Now ideally you’re supposed to taper off the last two weeks and just get some short runs in before the marathon. So my plan was ambitiously wrong for sure. That is not how my training went though. This is how it actually went…

Week 1:

  • 8 miles

Week 2:

  • 12 miles

Week 3:

  • 13 miles

Week 4:

  • 2 miles
  • Heavy leg day for some reason
  • Intense game of basketball

 

The first run I went on in week 1 left me sore for the entire week. At this point I realized my routine was completely off and I was going to have to wing it. Week two I knocked out twelve miles without dying and felt pretty good. Week three I tried to go further but couldn’t as my calves were on fire, and I started to get hungry. I was way too sore and fed up with running to continue. Week four I just didn’t give a damn and decided to workout my legs just because. So my training for this marathon was terrible. There are plenty of other things I screwed up though.

Day Before Race

So I had friends in town that weekend, and I hadn’t seen them in a while. Naturally we’re going to go out and reminisce on the good old days at some bar. We ended up staying up until 5 am Friday night dehydrating ourselves and most likely eating terribly. The next day we took too much pre-workout and hit the glory muscles (chest and arms). Doesn’t seem so bad right? The night before the race we went to my gym at like 5 pm and played two hours of basketball and then decided to workout again. We absolutely trashed our bodies.

Then it came time to carb up before the big race. We had to be up by 5 am for the race. So we were planning on being in bed by 9 pm. Ended up getting to Olive Garden (carb heaven) at 8 pm to indulge in some all you can eat pasta. The wait was so long we didn’t get our table until 9 pm. I ended up eating 15 breadsticks easy, and crushing two plates of pasta. I probably consumed about 4,000 calories in one meal and I was so proud of myself. We finally got to bed around 11:30 and I got a solid 6 hours of sleep…decent.

The Actual Marathon

I got up on time, ate three left over breadsticks, drank an electrolyte beverage, ate some candy and went off to the race. I made sure to have a running playlist picked out, some packaged carbs in my pocket, and a good pair of shoes. I knew going to the bathroom killed my time for the half marathon. You’d think I’d learn from that, but I didn’t. I was trying to make up for lost hydration the night before and morning of that I had to pee every five minutes. Eventually my bladder and I got on the same page and the first 13 miles were a breeze. I finished 13 miles with a 9 minute pace and felt great. This was the furthest I’ve ever run before and I wasn’t dead yet. I pressed on from 13 to 18 feeling on top of the world. There were plenty of snacks to grab while on the run that ranged from liquid gooey carbs, to half cooked potatoes. I was properly fueled through this. Once I hit mile 18 the cramps from lack of training started to hit. My hamstrings would lock up and running became nearly impossible. I would run for 5 minutes with an intense pain, walk for 30 seconds and repeat. Every step past mile 18 was some of the worst pain I’ve been in. Somehow someway I managed to finish though and that feeling will not be forgotten.

What’s the point?

the point is I set out to do something I thought was close to impossible. I didn’t thinK I could run that far, not without serious injury.  That was the best part about doing this though, the challenge and risks that came with it. It’s not easy pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, and there are a lot of things we think our impossible to achieve. When you find your limit and surpass it, you begin to realize nothing seems impossible anymore.

-Billy

 

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