Pittsburgh Marathon Training Update: Into The Great Unknown

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Update: Into The Great Unknown

Half marathons have defined my training since I began running in 2014. I ran one 5K, hated running, then ran 4 miles on the treadmill – caught the bug, and registered for my first half marathon.

Yes…I registered for my first half marathon with one 5k and approximately less than 10 miles under my belt (and inevitably, I injured myself – but that’s for a different post).

I spent months training for the six half marathons I’ve completed so far. My weekends were composed of “long runs” that totaled 8-10 miles max.

Last Saturday, I ran 13.1 miles as a training run. My goal distance became my halfway point in marathon training.

From here on, my long runs will be unfamiliar territory. I’ve never run beyond 13.1 miles. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated about running 15 miles at one time (after my break week this week). However, I am also confident in my ability to run easy runs EASY. As a new runners, I ran every training run at race pace simply because I didn’t know any different. Of course I got hurt! My list of injuries is impressive, y’all:

  • Torn hamstring
  • Tibial bone bruise (stress fracture territory)
  • ITBS in both legs
  • Achilles tendonitis

Fun times! Again, this was due to poor and over training. I admit that running five days a week – one of which is at least 15 miles – makes me feel a bit uneasy in the over-training department, but I’ve definitely worked my way up to this.

My plan going forward is to keep a few key points in mind:

  • The goal is to get the mileage in as best I can. Perhaps not at 11:30 or whatever pace I have in mind – could be a lot slower – but the goal is mileage (not speed).
  • Food is fuel. It’s that simple. It isn’t a reward or a punishment – it’s there to help me run the miles and not die.
  • During training, we listen to our bodies – during races, we tell them to shut up! So if I start to feel more than cumulative-fatigue generated pain during training, I will most definitely be slowing down or hacking a mile or two off if I absolutely have to.
  • Understand that I’m a mom and wife first. If I HAVE to split up a long run, I’ll do it.

Who has more tips for me as I work up to that infamous 20 miler before the taper?


The Pittsburgh Marathon is around the corner. Have you registered for the full or half? Come run with me! Visit thepittsburghmarathon.com and register with code POULLASDSGPM19 for savings.

3 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Marathon Training Update: Into The Great Unknown

  1. For me, the 20 milers have never been the problem. If you don’t add more than a mile or so a week to your long run, you should be fine. The problems always come during those 6 miles after mile 20! I wish I had the courage to try it again–I’ve never been happy with a marathon performance–but I don’t. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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