Happy Friday, y'all! Today's Fit Friday post is such a special one because the beautiful Lauren Sims is our guest blogger! I met Lauren through blogging a couple of years back and have been inspired by her ever since! She is a strong believer, has impeccable taste, and is living a dream life in Colorado with her husband. She radiates beauty from the inside and the out! I asked Lauren to guest post today because she has made the giant leap to train for the full Dallas Marathon versus the half like me. I honestly can't even begin to imagine what it's like to train for a full, but I'm sure you guys are curious (like me) to know the difference between training for a full and half. So, without further ado, I'll hand it over to Lauren...
Hi guys! Lauren Sims here from laurenkaysims.com (@laurenkaysims on instagram!). I am so excited to be guest posting for Anna today. She truly is such a kind and beautiful person, both inside and out, so I was super honored when she asked me to guest post for her Fit Friday series!
I'm currently in week 9 of my marathon training program (out of 18 weeks – yikes!). I've run 4 half marathons before, and was planning on running my 5th this December for the BMW Dallas Marathon. There's always been a very small part of me though that's had a desire to do a full marathon. Whenever I'd hear people talk about doing a full...95% of me thought "that sounds awful and I would never want to run 26.2 miles", but 5% of me thought "I kind of want to do that". Does that sound crazy?!
Anyway, I'm currently living in Boulder, CO where we sit at 5,000+ feet of elevation...aka running is harder here. I figured if I was ever going to do a full marathon, now would be the time. I'm 27, we don't have kids yet, and I'd be training in elevation...meaning race-day would be easier than my training (ideally LOL). So, I pulled the trigger and signed up for the full marathon! So today I want to share with y'all how training for a full is different than training for a half.
Prior to signing up for the full, I was obviously aware that 26.2 miles is very different than 13.1. To be honest, since I've done several half marathons at this point...13.1 miles is no longer a huge challenge for me. Training for the full has already been more of a challenge than I ever could have imagined. I don't say that to scare you away from doing a full...because it's already been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! Here are some things to know though if you're thinking about a full marathon:
- The time commitment is NO joke. I didn't realize this before signing up because I thought "you just do a long run one day a week". The time commitment is intense because it makes traveling extremely difficult. We were in California last week and I was going crazy trying to find somewhere to run 15 miles! But you also have to plan around those long runs – where will we eat the night before? I need to be in bed at an early time. What are our plans the rest of the day after the long run (because it definitely takes a toll on your body).
- Your diet needs to change to accommodate the miles you will be logging. Y'all since training for the full...I feel hungry ALL the time! So I eat 3 full meals a day and 3 big snacks. I eat TONS of protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies...and carb load like no other the night before a long run!
- The mental game is a real battle. This might just be a personal thing, but for me this has been the biggest difference between half training vs full training. When I've trained for half marathons, I rarely got any kind of nervousness or anxiety before my long runs. I noticed pretty early on in my training for the full the anxiety I would start to feel the night before my long run. "Where are we going to eat dinner tonight? Am I going to have stomach problems on my run? What if I can't make it 15? What if I get injured?". As soon as I was able to identify this anxiety, I prayed through it. My long runs are on Saturdays so pretty much all Friday I would just pray God would take that anxiety away and remind me that He has blessed me with a healthy and strong body.
- The mental game during a long run is also a battle. I ran 15 miles on Saturday which takes me over 2 hours. When I run fewer miles or do strength training workouts, I pretty much will listen to any kind of music. On those long runs though, I pretty much only listen to worship or uplifting music the whole time. You HAVE to stay positive, and keep telling yourself that "you can do this". Don't let your mind or fear or insecurity get the best of you! This mental battle is one I never experienced in training for a half!
I don't say all of this to scare you away from doing a full. But, for those of you who are considering making that jump from the half to the full...I just wanted to share my experience so far with you, so you really know what you're getting yourself into!
Despite these challenges though...training for a full has been such a life-giving experience for me. I use those long runs to pray or listen to worship music or just be in my zone. And at the end of those long runs, I seriously feel so accomplished, so empowered, and so strong. It's been a journey where I've learned to appreciate the body God has given me, and it's given me a new measure of gratitude for health that I never had before!
I've shared several running tips or training tips on my blog before, so make sure you check out my site for more tips and info! Thanks for reading y'all!
For more Fit Friday posts, check out How to Listen to Your Body When Training for a Marathon and 10 Things You Need to Know to Start Training for a Half Marathon.