The Marathon Plan

I want to run a marathon.

To be honest, I want to run one marathon. And that’s it. I want to be able to say I did it. I want to know that I can train my body for that type of endurance. I also really, really feel like I need a long-term tangible goal to work towards. My husband thinks I’ve completely lost my mind–but I know that my running buddies out in the virtual world will completely understand.


My marathon plan is a very long-term plan. Right now, I would like to do a marathon as a 35th birthday present to myself. That gives me about 2 years to become 26.2 ready, depending on the marathon I choose. Right now, I’m leaning pretty heavily to the Walt Disney World Marathon in January of 2019. Being a runDisney regular takes a little fear out of the process–I will know what to expect pre-race, and lets be honest: running nearly 30 miles through Disney Parks will fun and entertaining.

Here is the lose timeline I have set up for myself.


Fall 2016-Spring 2017: Focus on the consistency of my workouts and my short term goals (hitting my weight/body fat goal, and focusing on 5Ks).

Summer & Fall 2017: Focus on working up to 10K distance and become comfortable with it.

Winter 2017-Early 2018: Train for and run 13.1

2018: Focus on maintaining and begin training for the full marathon.

January 2019: Run the WDW 26.2

Writing it all out like that makes it seem like a very, very long time away. But I’m okay with that. When I became a runner, I jumped right into half-marathons–I went from not even owning a pair of running shoes to running 13.1 miles in less than 7 months. I don’t recommend it. This time around, I’d like to hit the distances in order and be strong enough, mentally and physically, for the distance of a full marathon. I also want to have enough time to work towards a PR for my proof of time, instead of frantically finding a suitable race the weekend of the deadline and running it hopelessly untrained so as not to end up the last person starting the half marathon (this is an unfortunate true story).

So I’m putting out a call to all of you who have done this before: am I missing something? Is there something I should know before embarking on my 2-year plan? If you were only going to run ONE half marathon, which one would it be?






38 thoughts on “The Marathon Plan

  1. Sounds like a great idea!! I love the idea of a Disney run being your present for your 35th birthday! Like I really like it… maybe I’ll have to do this for my 5th anniversary of my 35th birthday! I’m going to write this down and see what I think after I see how next years running “plan” goes.

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  2. I have kind of been itching to run a full marathon too!! Maybe next year. I’ve stuck with half-marathon for a few years now, and I think I’m ready to move onto the next step! It’s scary though! Good luck with your plan. I’m sure you’ll do great!! 🙂


  3. I haven’t gotten the inkling to consider a full yet. I’m just enjoying half marathons right now. My sights are set on my first 70.3 for 2018. Like you, I have planned out my training schedule. Your 2 year plan gives you the right amount of time to consistently and safely increase your mileage while reducing your risk of injury. Great goal for 2019!

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  4. My dream marathon (one and only) is Maui! My sister and I have talked about doing it together for her 40th birthday (3 years away). Use it as a get away trip and marathon all in 1, so lots of planning for saving $ for a big trip and the race prep!
    As a girl who has half-marathon experience, but not the full marathon yet, I think your plan looks great!

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  5. I’m running my first marathon (NYC marathon) in two weeks. Your post was really relatable because it actually took me 2.5 years to get from running a 5k to running a marathon (in 2 weeks). It was unintentional. I kind of just got hooked on running and wanted to see how far I could take it. My only suggestion would be to not increase your mileage for the marathon training until about 12 or 16 weeks before the race. I did a 16 week plan and it is really taxing on your legs. Good luck with the plan and if you progress ahead of schedule, well all the more power to you!

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  6. I’m working on this decision right now too! I’m thinking it will be one and done for me as well. Dedicating that much time to training is intimidating but if I’m going to do it, I want to do it right and minimize chances for injury, which means slow and steady. Your 2 year plan makes sense to me 🙂

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  7. This is totally doable. And what a great Marathon to do! I’ve never ran it, but from what I’ve heard it serves both as a fun run and a face, qualifying run. It depends what you’re looking to get out of it. Either way, you have plenty of time. There are plenty of great training programs out there for marathons. This is what I used for my first marathon:
    But I learned that it’s all about finding what works best for you. And you have plenty of time what works for you.
    Just remember: don’t over do it, listen to your body, and drink a ton of water (as in, even if you feel you drank enough, drink more. You’re running, you lose more water than you think).

    Good Luck and most importantly,

    Have Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I ran my first (and only so far) back in 2013. I was in the best shape of my life when I ran that marathon but it really took a toll on my body. I thought I wanted to run another marathon but with nagging injuries for a few years, I still haven’t done it. I’m slowly building myself back up and hope to tackle another eventually. BUT, I want to have way better base going in. I think your two year plan is so smart!! I ran MCM and the crowd support was phenomenal. Plus, I’m a military spouse so I loved the connect to the military. Good luck choosing your race!

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  9. I started running 1.5 years ago, before then the farthest I’d run was 6 miles. I made a “marathon just one time goal”. Needless to say, in the last year and a half I’ve run 3 marathons, 3 50k’s, and I’ve got another marathon this Sunday, a 50k in December, a 50k in feb, and a 50 miler in march. All this to say, don’t limit yourself to one…see how far you can go without thinking about it. The journey is amazing!

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  10. 2 years you’ve got this, you seem to have a solid plan! I have one full under my belt and I’m thinking of trying for number 2 for my 40th. It’s a very realistic goal and you will do amazing, good luck and remember above all else have fun

    Liked by 1 person

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