“Secrets” of Marathon Success

Since publishing my recap of my Boston-qualifying race on Sunday, I’ve received so many wonderful notes of congratulations, as well as messages with questions about my preparation, race day, gear recommendations, and event information. Seeing as I am still hobbling around the house, I thought I’d write a follow-up post…so here goes:

What Marathon Training Plan did you use?

Hanson’s Marathon Method, Advanced Program. (amazon link)

This was the third time I used Hanson’s (I used Beginner’s twice in the past) and I believe it was a great match for me. I will note that I ran an abbreviated and slightly modified version (I switched the rest day, plus had 13 weeks lead in rather than the written 18), but I still logged 644 miles since July 5. I ran 6 days a week, and for the first few weeks, I was able to supplement training with core strength workouts and some Peloton rides, but as the mileage ramped up (peak week was 61 miles), I was mostly just running and stretching.

What shoes did you wear in training, and on race day?

I had a pretty good rotation of shoes this training cycle!

Easy runs: Hoka Clifton 7 or Hoka Rincon 2 /3 (I have two pair of Rincon)

Track runs: Reebok Floatride RunFast

Tempo/speedwork: Atreyu Base Model v1

Race Day: Saucony Endorphin Pro*

My precious! Endorphin Pro + Sparkle Athletic Race Wings!

*Now, I would not necessarily recommend this to anyone, but I had been planning to race in Atreyu’s race shoe (The Artist) but due to shipping delays (I had ordered in a pre-order period), I realized it would not be arriving in time. About 10 days out from race day, I decided to do some quick searching as to what shoe might be a good alternative, and happened to discover that the Endorphin Pro had just been updated, which meant the older model was heavily discounted, so I took my first risk of this marathon, and ordered. I received the shoe within two days, and was able to test them just once on an easy run, but I just had a feeling they were for me.

How did you choose your race day outfit?

I trained all summer in a similar “uniform” – Oiselle Roga Shorts, Oiselle Runner Trucker hat, and Handful Y-Back sports bras. I run very hot, and have found that I feel the most comfortable when no extra “things” are bothering me (for chafing, adjusting, etc).

For this race, I continued that theme, opting for the “toolbelt” version of the roga shorts to carry all five GU packets and my car key, adding an Oiselle crop top (the mettle crop top! It’s on sale now), my Koala Clip to carry my phone (use Kristina10 for 10% off your Koala Clip purchase!), and my favorite Balega Hidden Running Socks.

Pre-race, I bundled up with an XL track jacket I bought at Walmart, old sweatpants, dollar store gloves, and socks with the toe cut off for makeshift armwarmers (I ditched the armwarmers at the Mile 15 aid station).

How did you feel during the race?

I felt pretty dialed in, despite being a little nervous at the aggressive start! When I pulled away from the pacer, I knew I was taking a risk, but I accepted it. I had this bopping around my head from the Struts:

“I wanna taste love and pain
Wanna feel pride and shame
I don’t wanna take my time
Don’t wanna waste one line
I wanna live better days
Never look back and say
Could have been me

Truth be told, I knew that I could crash and burn when I made my move, but I committed to getting gutsy. I questioned this confidence with about 5K left, but by that point, it was time to go all or nothing!

This was also the very first marathon I ever felt completely gassed out at the end – truly left it all out on the course.

When will you try to PR the marathon again?

It’ll be a while! I really love the marathon distance, but I also greatly respect it. I have at least three more big races on my mind that I hope to just soak in, and removing a time goal sounds very appealing for me. While shorter distances truly terrify me, I am thinking that will be my interim challenge – maybe 5K?

So, there you have it! If you have any other questions, please let me know! I am still basking in wonderment over the whole thing!

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