Five things I'm doing differently for my second marathon

I’m almost five weeks away from my second marathon and I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m doing differently than while I was training for the Twin Cities Marathon. I’ve talked about what things are different between my fall and spring training cycles when I was five weeks in. But today I wanted to focus on the things I’m specifically doing different in my training.

Early morning runs

If you know anything about Minnesota’s weather, you probably aren’t surprised that I’m not doing early mornings run at all. It just doesn’t make sense to go running at 5 a.m. when it’s pitch black and freezing cold. Even on the weekends, I’m not heading out for my runs until 8 or 8:30 a.m.

This makes days seem a little bit more packed, especially during the week when it might be 7 p.m. by the time I’m eating dinner after getting my run and foam rolling/mobility in. But it also makes me feel not as rushed in the morning when I’m trying to get those same things in before work.

Enjoying the process

I’ve been enjoying marathon training so much more this second time around (even though I’ve been complaining about the weather). I’ve been through these miles once before and i know what to expect now and how to improve. So now I’m seeing my speed go up and my runs feeling better at that speed.

Plus, I’ve been adding in some fun things during this training cycle to break it up. I’ve run two races (the Valentine’s Day TC 5K and Hot Dash 10 Mile) and I’ve been playing around with my cross-training. Now that i know i can survive a marathon, I’m finding it easier to enjoy the training!

Having the right time goal

If I had known better, I would have been more focused on finishing over a time goal for the Twin Cities Marathon. When I got right around mile 22 or 23 and realized I wasn’t going to finish under 5 hours, I was pretty disappointed. The whole entire time I was training, I was focused on that sub-5 hour time even though I’d never run that far before.

Now, I’m feeling so much more confident in my goal of 4:45 but I’m not going to be disappointed if I don’t reach it. I know my training is much more tuned in this time and I’ve got more speed going in. That sub 5 hour is easily achievable and getting 4:45 would be the cherry on top.

Quality over quantity

I’ve run two races this training cycle and I made the decision to cut my mileage down on those weekends or re-arrange runs. After I PR’d my 5K, I decided not to run another four miles just to get those mileage in. And I cut my Sunday long run down by four miles after the Hot Dash 10 Mile to have a good cutback week.

I’m really paying attention to my mileage during training now and how my body feels. I basically did anything I could to get the mileage in during Twin Cities Marathon training and stuck to that training calendar like glue. But I’m more flexible this time around and not just running to get in the miles.

Psyching myself out

I got up in my head during Twin CIties Marathon training (and during the race itself) which I know had an impact on my performance. Once again, now that I’ve gone through the marathon once, I know that I can make it through. I don’t have the doubt if I’ll make it to 26.2 or not. So I’m not thinking about that anymore and it’s making me feel so much better mentally going into the Eau Claire Marathon. Not that I won’t get pre-race jitters the closer we get but I know they won’t be as bad and I’ll be able to handle them better.

Have you run multiple marathons? Let me know what changes you made in your training in the comments!