Live Blog: How to Train for Your First Marathon and Survive!

Angela and her husband, Willie, lost a combined 500 pounds.  She fell in love with running and blogs about a new healthy life at!

Have you ever thought about running a marathon? Crossing the finish line of a marathon is possible! Learn some helpful tips for getting through 26.2! Stacie Wells from gives you the details on running your first marathon.

How to train for your first marathon and not die:

The session started with Stacie asking who has attended FitBloggin before and how sessions usually were conducted because this was the first session she’s ever done. Stacie said she did have a mixture of topics to discuss but I want to leave the the session informal so people could ask there own questions.

Group introductions were made.  There is a mix of people who have never run a marathon and some people who have run marathons but have had terrible experiences.

Stacie talks about swearing she would not be a person to run a marathon, but admits to being a Disney fanatic.  A Disney race was the perfect race for her to run her first marathon.  She ran her first marathon in January and surprisingly loved it.  She runs for completion not speed,; just finish and not die.

26.2 miles is a long time.

Tip #1: Find a city that you’ve dreamed about and do the marathon there.  See the sites and you’re constantly engaged.  You’re going to need a distraction around mile 18 or 19.

There is some talking about some of our dream races:  New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Marine Corp Marathon.

Stacie chose Disney to run also because it was flat.  Picking a flat race is a big deal for everyone.  Take the time to pick a race that is right for you and your training.

Tip #2: It’s important to train for a marathon and it’s time consuming.  It’s your training schedule.  Google Hal Higdon training plans but you have to customize it to your acitivies. Stacie like running but she’s not in love with running.  Running 5 times a week wasn’t in her plan and may not be doable for everyone.  Your training should not take over your life, it should become a part of it. Rest days are important.  Cross training is important.

Tip #3:Long runs become longer and longer and it takes more time.  Suggest splitting the long runs up.  She would wake up do 10 miles, eat refuel, stretch and go out later and go back later to finish the other 10 miles.

Stacie warns there could be a problem with splitting up the run.  During her race,  it was hard because she never ran all the miles together.  She highly suggests doing at least 1-2 longer mileage runs that are not split.

A look at her marathon training in a weekly format:

M: Speed work – quick and short.  3 miles of speed work and upper body training.

T: Spinning (cross training)

W: Mid week long run – progresses during the training with your weekend long runs.

Th: Run or form of cross training

F: rest

Sa/Su: Long runs, it’s okay to mix up the schedule

Skipping a long once won’t mess you up in the grand scheme, but don’t skip long runs all the time.  Those are an important part of the marathon training, but it is also important to listen to your body. If you need a break take it. If you need to cut a long run short, do it!

Stacie does speed work and tells the group it does make a difference if you do these types of workouts.  These are once a week workouts.

Treadmill: minute intervals, 1 fast, 1 med, 1 rest

Outside: visual goals aka fartleks, ex.  Running one mailbox to another as fast as you can and resting for an equal amount of time.

Refueling your body: before, during and after your run.

Options before your run: energy bars, peanut butter on bagel, oatmeal with peanut butter.

During the run: gel bites (like shot blocs), energy gels (GUs), honey packets for shorter runs

After the run: You need to restore your proteins and carbs that you’ve just used. Make sure you eat the right foods and not the foods that you want to eat. She also recommends lowfat chocolate milk for a recovery tool.

Also, don’t forget to take sports drink on the course and throughout your training to replenish the electrolytes you lose while running.  Stacie takes sports drink every other aid station, but every situation is different.

Injuries were discussed and how to work through the injuries during marathon training.

Training is a big part in preventing injuries, but people do get injured during training.  It’s every marathon runners big fear.  Train properly, refuel during your run and after to keep your body is good shape. You don’t want to risk injury or other health effects.

Stacie got injured during her training.  She did a mud run while training and didn’t know she was injured until a week later but can pinpoint exactly when she got the injury during the mud run.  She went to “Dr. Google” and jumped to conclusions about having to get her leg amputated but finally went to a real doctor.  She found she had a stress fracture.

Biggest lesson is when you’re injured is to let your body heal.  You will end up hurting yourself more if you don’t let your body heal.  She couldn’t run for 2 and half months so she found out what she could do to replace running. She took on swimming and spinning.

Hitting the wall:  It’s a point at the marathon where you feel like you’re going to break down.  Stacie says she didn’t hit the wall partly due to her marathon training..

Running a marathon is a mental game.

Half of marathon training is mental.  She would picture herself crossing the finish line at Disney.  That motivated her to keep training hard.  When training you only go up to mil 20, miles 21 in uncharted territory in a marathon so that motivation was important.

She also recommended learning the course map so she knew the things to look forward to along the way to keep her motivated and focused on the end.

Eating after: You need to restore your proteins and carbs that you’ve just used. In training, you have to remember that you’re an athlete.  Everything you put in your body is to fuel your body.  It’s easy to get into my mindset that you can what It’s not what you want, it’s what your body needs.  Try to refuel with whole foods and things that will sustain your body.

There was talk about running shoes and getting a proper gait analysis to find the proper shoe for your running.

The final tip of the session is to take an ice baths. Stacie says this is the one thing that will change your life.  Fill your tub half way with the cold water and then get someone to dump the ice in for you.  She wraps herself up in a blanket and sits in the ice bath for 20 minutes. The ice bath helps with the swelling and inflammation.


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