10 Weeks To Go Til Marine Corps Marathon

Ten weeks to go til Marine Corps Marathon. Not sure about anyone else but it seems like it might as well be 1,000 days til marathon. I don’t really start getting excited/worried/anxious/antsy until around the 6 week mark. Maybe I should title this: “4 WEEKS UNTIL THE 6 WEEK MARK!!!

Everything is going fairly well. No complaints. I get so caught up in the idea of not running fast enough or not being thin enough (in order to run fast enough) on race day that I forget the most important thing – getting to the start line HEALTHY. And I do feel healthy. So I am happy with where I’m at.

Here is the first 5 weeks at a glance (we’re in the middle of Week 6 now):

  •  Average amount of runs per week:  4.8
  •  Average miles per week:  22.6
  •  Total hill workouts:  3
  •  Total outside runs:  no comment…. ok, 4??

I’m proud of my numbers, mostly. I worked hard to get them. Of course I want to do better than this, but I still see a marked improvement from last year. Last year, for instance, I did ALL my runs outside. But I only ran 2.3x per week on average and had an awful average of 12-15 miles per week (except for long run weeks, but it was barely more than this).

And I know I’m not running outside a lot, but training for a marathon outside is overrated in my opinion! It will not be hot and humid in DC in October, so training in this weather doesn’t benefit me at all for race day conditions. They say humidity is “the new altitude training.” Right. All I can say is, from personal experience, training in extreme heat and humidity last summer last year for Marine Corps did not benefit my performance. In fact, what happened is that I got annihilated by the hills in the beginning. So if I’m going to target anything at all, I’ll target hills – not outdoor running.

Ok, hills… no, I don’t think I’ve been as good about hill training as I should be. But I’ve done 3. Again, that’s 3 more hill days than last year.

Marine Corps Marathon elevation chart

Marine Corps Marathon elevation chart

There’s no good way to quantify diet goals but I can say that, even though I still feel like a massive failure, I am at least running with less weight than I was this time last year. And that’s gotta count for something. I still have a weight goal for race day and I’m hoping to achieve it. It’s hard to work on everything at once – running more often, running faster, getting to race weight… I’ve done 2 out of 3 of those things. And since I have 10 weeks left of training, I think I can hit this last goal. Actually, I want to be at my ideal race weight before my first 20 miler, which is 6 weeks from now! I have to make this a priority.

crack biscuits

if I don’t hit my sub 4:00 goal, it will be because of these



Do not even TALK to me about cinnamon raisin english muffins. When did they start putting crack in the recipe?


I didn’t get up to the weekly mileage my training calendar outlined in this first quarter. I’m bummed about it. I only ran 4 out of the 5 days scheduled and I think that’s where I lost mileage, as well as a couple hard weeks where I missed a run or two. I need to get back on track because this coming week has me mid 30’s and then it goes up the following week to 40’s and stays there the whole time. I know this is a huge part of why I didn’t do well last marathon season. I didn’t do enough total miles per week. It didn’t matter that I was hitting all my long runs. If you don’t do total mileage, you’re not as strong.

I guess you could call this my First Quarter Eval. I see what I’ve done well. I see what I need to work on. And, fortunately, there is still a lot of time to get better. So, going forward, these are my goals for the next 2+ months of training…

Next 10 weeks of training:

  •  Get to race weight by first 20 miler
  •  Do a hill workout once a week
  •  Run 5x per week OR 4x per week with a pool run
  •  Run at least 35 miles per week (most weeks require more but this is bare minimum)
  •  Run outside at least once per week (why do I hate this one so much?)

I hope you all are hitting your training goals so far! Or if you’re not, I hope you can find a plan of attack for achieving them. It’s hard when injuries come up or life comes up and keeps you from having enough time or energy to devote to training. That’s why I always look around me at the start line and think, “Whoa, we all worked really hard to get here.” It’s not luck. We all put in a lot of work and sacrifice. Remember to pat yourself on the back for all the runs you do, even if you’re not where you want to be.


believe you can do better! – that’s my mantra

What is your greatest achievement this training cycle so far? What is the worst part so far? Have you had to do any major training adjustments/goal adjustments in your marathon training?

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