Twin Cities in Motion

Getting Started

posted on Wed, Feb 22 2012 9:00 am by Ann Freeman

Hi, Ann here, checking in with my marathon training. Hopefully we got introduced last month on the Twin Cities In Motion Blog and in the January Mile Marker newsletter. If not, click here to learn about me.

A few weeks ago, I announced to the world that I was planning to run the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in October. I answered questions about why I wanted to run a marathon, why specifically, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, and what some of my fears were. I put my intentions out for everyone to read, and I'm left asking myself, "What now? Where do I get started?"

I started doing research. And before I picked up a single book, I started talking to marathon finishers - friends, acquaintances, and people I knew through social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogging). I asked everybody for their advice or things they've learned through training for, and finishing, a marathon. The #1 lesson echoed from almost every person I talked to? Pick a plan. Set a training schedule and follow it. And unless you are physically injured, ill, or otherwise unable to run, log the miles. No excuses. Every run is important.

Although I got a lot of useful advice, no one wrote me training plan. No one told me exactly how many miles every day to run between now and October 7, 2012. I was still seeking for the guidance and resources to help develop a training plan. I headed to my local bookstore and started searching for familiar book and magazine names - Jeff Galloway, Hal Higdon, Runner's World. I started doing my research online - I had questions like, "how long does it take to train for a marathon?" and "how many times per week should I be running?"

 I started reading Hal Higdon's Marathon. I started to come up with a time table and a schedule for races in 2012 -


I decided to focus on two half-marathons, the Get In Gear Half-Marathon on April 29th and the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon on July 4th.

For the Get in Gear Half-Marathon, I picked this race because:
- In 2010, I ran the Get In Gear 5k, and in 2011, I ran the Get In Gear 10k; I wanted to finish the series with the Get In Gear Half-Marathon in 2012.
- Based on Hal Higdon's Novice training plan, I could start training for the Get In Gear Half-Marathon on February 6th. Because I'll be running my first marathon in 2012, I wanted the experience of at least two half marathons before October.

For the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon, I picked this race because:
- I ran this last summer (2011) and finished in 3:24. If anything, I want to completely crush my time!
- I really want to use this race as an indicator of how I'll do at the marathon in October.

Besides the Get in Gear Half-Marathon and the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon, I'm planning some additional races in 2012. I already ran the Valentine's DaJay and me at the racey TC 5k on February 11th - click here for my full recap.

In addition, I'll be running the 100% Irish for a Day TC 5k and TC 10 Mile on March 10, the Medtronic TC 1 Mile on May 17 and the Twins Territory TC 4K on August 12. I'm hoping to use these races as indicators of successful training - how my pace improves, how I work them into my training schedules, and to continue and gain experience running races.

Some of the challenges and struggles I'm hoping to overcome during the next 8 months include.....
- Specific training runs & time management
- Running partners & groups
- Pre-race anxiety
- Weight-loss & nutrition for marathon training
- Discovering the right gear
- Staying injury-free
- Improving my pace & endurance
- Cross-training and gaining strength

Thanks for joining me on this journey as I train for my first marathon! I can't wait to see where the next 8 months takes me, through the ups and downs of training, all leading up to finishing 26.2 miles.


* Ann will be blogging on the TCM blog approximately every two weeks with updates on training, weight-loss, and running. She’ll also continue to blog at her regular site, Twelve-In-Twelve. You can follow her on Twitter, too. (@Minnesota_Ann).