What I Struggle With During Marathon Training

by - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'll be the first to admit that marathon training isn't always sunshine and rainbows. There are plenty of days where I look at my training plan and wonder how the heck I'm going to fit everything in.

Most of the time I try to make a solid effort, but there are times some of my runs just don't happen.


This has been especially true the last few weeks. As we get closer and closer to race day, my midweek runs are getting longer and longer, and I am really, really struggling to make some of them happen.

Take this week for example. I'm supposed to have midweek runs of 9 and 10 miles. Those runs will take all take 90+ minutes and it can be tough to carve out that kind of time in an already full schedule.

Usually I like to run before work, but I don't have routes that long that I feel safe running in the dark so that means my runs are pushed back to the evening, where they compete for time with other commitments on my calendar.

Running trails

I fit the nine miler in on Monday after work, but the 10 miler isn't going to happen today. I'll do something shorter, which is better than nothing, but there's just no way to fit in 10 miles when I also have a full day of work and my friend's birthday dinner tonight.

And yes, I'm definitely picking eating good food with friends over doing a 10 mile run.

I'm also struggling with my easy runs. As the rest of my runs get longer, I'm finding I need more rest days and that I'm subbing rest days instead of doing my short easy runs.

Back when I built my training plan, I knew this was a possibility and I did say easy days could be swapped for rest days or cross training, so this doesn't bother me a ton, it just means that's my total weekly mileage is lower than I thought it would be.

Come race day, I know a few skipped runs won't be a problem, especially since I've been majorly prioritizing all my long runs, and they've been going well.

But as a whole, marathon training isn't always easy, and I didn't want to paint the picture that it was.

What do you struggle with when you train for races?

You May Also Like


  1. Can you split up your midweek runs? I know the longer mid-week runs have been a challenge for me in the past, too - what I've done is split them up or (in the case of a 10 mile AM run) find a 5 mile route that's safe and just repeat it, even if it's boring.

  2. I'm feeling the same crunch and I'm only training for a half! It's too dark and scary here to run alone in the morning before school and then my daughter has sports after school, so I have a very short window before she needs to be picked up. I think dropping some of those shorter runs is totally fine - so long as you get your main 3 runs in each week I think you'll be golden.

  3. I know that splitting the run's mileage doesn't have the same benefit on your endurance, and some may see them then as "junk miles," but splitting the mileage into day's double makes it more manageable to get those runs in.

    In any training cycle, though, fatigue generally sets in near the end. But, you're getting close, so just remember that it's only a few weeks until race day!

    BTW, I have never seen such SHINY shoes! :)

  4. I struggle the most with believing in myself. Today, it's the 10 mile marathon race pace I'm doing later.

  5. I have these exact same problems. I definitely struggle with fitting in the longer runs during the week. I actually like running in the evening, and that's what I usually do, but as it gets dark earlier, I'm (literally) running out of time at the end of the day. And the rest day thing really stresses me out as well. For example this week, I did 9 miles on Monday and my hips are soooo sore. Yesterday's workout included 4 miles at goal pace and I did it, but I definitely felt every step in my hips. I don't want to injure myself, but I absolutely feel the pressure to get the miles in. I'm trying to be extra good about stretching and icing, but I still find myself taking more rest days that I'd like. So, take heart... you're not alone!

  6. Thanks for posting this, I am having the same problem - my midweek training runs are just so much tougher to me because of the fact that they have to be fit in around work and other activities. It can be really tough!

  7. this time around marathon training is a lot different...i'm doing more quality work and so I'm just finding my body is a little more sore and I'm not doing some of the easy runs. But I am listening to my body rather than just pushing, pushing, pushing.

  8. OH YES. I'm also struggling with that long mid-week mileage and find those are the first ones to go or get compromised. I just keep reminding myself that all of these runs will help come race day...

  9. I have a hard time with mid-week runs too. I'm pretty good about keeping up with my long runs, but sometimes I'm just so tired after work, I know 10 miles isn't gonna happen, so I'll do maybe 3 or 4 (or none, haha). It's tough when you can't run in the morning before work.

  10. Jesica @rUnladylike2:14 AM

    You are not alone! Fitting in all the training is a constant struggle, no matter how hard we try. We just have to do the best we can and be confident in the good runs we have and in the work we have done. We also know that life is about more than just running, and getting to enjoy moments with friends and family sometimes should come first. You will do great in your race! I'm running Marine Corps Marathon on 10/28 and am always thinking I could/should do more too :)

  11. [...] What I Struggle With During Marathon Training (via Jess [...]

  12. This was EXACTLY what I needed to read! I'm training for my first marathon and it's a long (20 week) training cycle, and at first I was doing it picture perfect, but as time goes on, it really does get hard, and especially since it's my first one, it's easy to forget that no one can follow a plan perfectly, and sometimes life will always be more important. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  13. [...] I’ve Learned During Marathon Training By Jess on October 2, 2012 Last week, I talked about what I struggle with during marathon training, so I thought this week I’d shed some light on some of the things I’ve learned this [...]