Marathon training run 2 is all finished. I ran 17 miles on Sunday in support of the 30,000 people rocking the Marine Corp Marathon, including some of my Team RWB friends. After a solid marathon training run 1 and a disaster with my last attempt at going over 15 miles, I took a rest day Saturday to be ready for a good performance over my 2+ hour run.
The truth is I got ready for marathon training run 2 without any serious plan. I’d run at least 14 but if I felt good, roll on for more and planned a 15 mile route. Low pressure is right where I need to be at this point in my training cycle. In my pockets were one pack of fruit snacks, one GU, my ID and a house key. The water fountains of the Boardwalk are still on so I knew my hydration plan was safe for another week. My goal pace for race day is to average 8:00 miles and that’s what I set out to practice.
Off I went on a perfectly overcast, not windy, cool day. My legs felt great settling in at 7:55 for the first two miles. I was on the Boardwalk at Mile 3 knowing I’d have lots of opportunities to grab water and waited until I hit 30 minutes to down about four ounces from a fountain. Everything was going well after that water stop when I chose to skip the fountain at Mile 6. I had covered some slight elevation changes over soft little hills between Miles 4 and 7.5 and I hit the turnaround point right on pace at 1:00.26. To start determining my marathon fueling plan, I downed my fruit snacks even though I wasn’t feeling tired or hungry.
I retraced Miles 6-7.5 in the other direction before deciding I felt good enough to go for my longest run yet. No time like the present! To get to 17 miles, I added a shoot off where I’d run the next 5k as an out and back at Mile 9.5. I made my second water stop at that point, had a quick stretch and about four more ounces from a fountain. There were a few more low rolling hills as I ran out to hit Mile 11 then back on the same route for more water at Mile 12.5. I was feeling great on still solid legs logging miles between 7:55 and 8:02. Turning south into Mile 13, I sucked down a GU while making my way back to the Boardwalk.
I had some post-GU water as soon as I could then got back to nailing the last 30ish minutes of my run. The last four miles of marathon training run 2 were some of the best. Back on the Boardwalk with two to go, a dog friendly 5k kept me smiling while I cruised through Miles 14 and 15 at 7:58. Hearing my watch beep for Mile 16 was very motivational and I knew I’d have a strong finish to my longest run yet. Another 1200M on the Boardwalk, I turned inland towards home. Seconds later, I looked down to see 17.02 on my watch. I was excited to be finished but even more excited to feel like I could have kept going.
I owe part of marathon training run 2’s success to having never preemptively eaten something on a run before. Eating something before I feel like I need it is definitely the answer. My energy level stayed steady throughout marathon training run 2 and I owe that to keeping my belly happy. Figuring out my fueling needs will definitely help me have better training runs and eventually, the best One City Marathon I can.
How did you figure out your marathon fueling plan? What’s your longest run?