Endurance Events Need Training! – Chicago Marathon and Vineman 70.3 Recap

I completed my first marathon this past weekend (Chicago), and also completed my first 70.3 Ironman over the summer (Vineman). Looking back I probably should have trained a bit more.

For the 70.3, I was feeling great out of the swim, and even cruising along on the bike. However, once I reached a long climb near the end of the bike, my legs were shot and my aerobic endurance gone. The half-marathon run at the end was slow and tedious, but I did finish without cramping and without injury.

I had almost 3 months between my 70.3 and the Chicago Marathon, so I thought I had plenty of time to get ready. My mistake was that I did not layout a training regimen. I didn’t have a schedule to stick to or milestones to achieve along the way. Instead I would run 4-6 miles when I “felt” like it. As a result, my non-plan put me in a world of pain this past Sunday.

I was clipping along at just over 10-minute miles until I got to mile 13. Most people hit the wall at mile 18 or 19. I hit it at mile 13 and still had half-marathon to go! As I walked/trotted the remaining miles, I had tremendous respect for the endurance athletes that actually trained for this race. They were sticking to their plan and running the race true. In the end, the pre-race pasta dinner, the enthusiastic crowd, and the inspiring athletes around me motivated me enough to complete the marathon. But now I feel like this:

I am not sure I will do another crazy endurance event again, but if I do I will certainly plan my training better. Until then, I will cheer for all the endurance athletes out there. Stick to your training and you will build the confidence and stamina to finish the race. Good luck!