How I Went From a 4:xx Marathoner to a 3:xx Marathoner

Happy Tuesday! I've got some recovery miles on-tap for today and then our first of three dress rehearsals for the ice show this week. I'm seriously looking forward to April 1st and having WAY less on my schedule and maybe I can actually just focus on running & recovery? That sounds amazing. Today I wanted to share a bit about how I cut-down on my marathon time (and also how I went from absolutely HATING the marathon to LOVING it). 

 4:45 marathon finishing time -->

4:45 marathon finishing time -->

Here are 5 things that I started to doing to help me get to the point I'm at today:

  • Took training more seriously. I didn't skip out on runs. I learned more about how fueling is important. Took rest days and recovery paces became slower.

 

  • Tried out a few different training plans. One for 'just finish' then tried the runners world 'break x:xx' then Jeff Galloway's then tried Hanson's Marathon Method. I found one that I really liked and fit well for ME. 

 

  • Added in speed sessions. On the track/ flat road/ treadmill. Pushed myself outside my comfort zone with some crazy paces I used to only dream about. 

 

  • Got off the treadmill. When I trained for the Disney Marathon (in January), I honestly can only remember a handful of runs where I ran outside. The weather wasn't the best and my running confidence just wasn't there.

 

  • Added in race-pace runs. This one I think really boosted my mental confidence. If I could push myself through some tough paced runs then I knew I was capable of so much more when it came to race day & adrenaline was pumping. 
 --> 3:55 marathon finish time --> hopefully faster next month!

--> 3:55 marathon finish time --> hopefully faster next month!

How do you look at training and improve yourself to chase big goals?

What are some things you love to add into your training plan to get faster and mentally tough?