Running is hard. Running a marathon is even harder. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time, patience, and dedication. Does it take a year to train for a marathon? No, but it took me a year. With no professional training, and just starting from the bottom, today I share what this year of marathon training did to my body, mind, and spirit.
How long does it take a beginner to train for a marathon?
I wouldn’t call myself an avid runner. Okay, maybe now I would, but before starting I would definitely call myself a beginner. You have to remember, it had been years since I last ran a race. When I signed up for this marathon I wasn’t running at all. It took a while to get a mile in a day (read about it here).
My goal was to get up to three miles a day before I started really training for the marathon. Thankfully, I became so dedicated that I was running 3-5 miles a day just to get my endurance up and prepare for what was ahead of me.
Was marathon training hard?
If getting up at 4:00 am every single morning so that you can get your miles in is hard, then yes. For me, it became a habit. I wanted to make sure that if I was going to do this it wasn’t going to take time away from my family. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time once you really get into the training (get my FREE PRINTABLE training schedule here). I set the goal to run a marathon and so when my alarm went off, no matter how little sleep I got, I was going to get up and run.
Yes, there were times when it was hard. Running 30-miles a week was a lot on my body. I wasn’t in the right shape and with so much excess weight it was hard on my body too. Many mornings I woke up aching and barely able to walk because my body was so sore from it all. But as I kept going and getting in the many miles benefits came.
The Weight Loss Happened Gradually
You know how when you watch “Biggest Loser” and they get on a treadmill and lose 20 lbs. Then you think, how are they dropping so much weight so fast? Well, when you are bigger, just getting up and moving will cause you to lose weight. It’s basic science. You are burning more calories that you are eating, therefore weight loss happens over time.
At first it was so frustrating. I thought, “I am running so much, the weight so be dropping faster!” But I didn’t let it discourage me. For me, this was a lifestyle change I was making and not just a quick fix to what has been an issue for me for years. I wanted to have this help me feel better about myself and wanted to lose the weight in a healthy way.
It started by finding out what was really happening inside. I went to University of Utah Peak Health to see what was happening with my body fat %. I wasn’t happy with the results, but it was my starting point to work with.
Getting A Bod Pod Test
Getting a Bod Pod test pushed me to work harder. I knew that if I was pushing myself a little harder when I ran, I would lose more weight and see more results. The results proved it all (read results here). They had never seen such results. Here I was, not dieting, but my fat % was dropping like crazy, and muscle mass increased eight pounds.
Really, if you want to start somewhere get the test. It’s $30 and totally worth it. Takes 30 minutes, fill out a little paperwork, step into the pod, and you get your results. Call today and schedule your test, then from there it gets better. Seeing the results I was getting from my work every time pushed me to want to work harder.
What are my one year results?
After one year of training, I lost a lot, gained some, and learned from it all. Here are all the numbers for everything: miles, pounds, shoes, etc.
In one year….
I ran 1143.3+ miles.
Wore out five pairs of running shoes.
Had 17 blisters
Lost three toenails.
Lost 18 pounds of fat.
Gained eight pounds of muscle.
Would I Run Another Race?
After two weeks of not running, I realized, I am a runner. Running has become part of my life. It isn’t my entire life, but it’s something I want to be part of my family’s life. The fit family is going to be a thing. From running, my wife wants to run a race with me. Not necessarily a full marathon, but something. We will start small and grow from there.
I am excited to sign my kids up for fun runs because that is what they will be—fun! My goal for all this was to set an example to my kids and family. Teaching them that hard things can be done and when you set a goal you need to achieve it.
What the Next Year Holds
Next year I am planning on running four races—one a quarter. Not only will I continue running, but I will also include meal planning and weight training. After a year of marathon training I know that increasing muscle mass is important. Weight loss is 25% exercise and 75% diet. I know what I need to do, and will accomplish another goal this coming year.
Now, just need to figure out what races I want to do this year. Running races I had never done before was enjoyable. Running with my wife and kids will put some smaller races on the books, but if I can do two half marathons, a Ragnar race (maybe), and possibly another full marathon fills the year right up. Stay tuned for what’s to come and follow along.