12 Marathons in 12 Months with MTA Coaching

Here’s a post from our client Heather Grazzini-Sims who had an awesome year. Enjoy!

“MTA Coach Abby was a huge asset to my success of completing 12 marathons in 12 months!

I started working with Coach Abby of MTA in the fall of 2021. I had several marathons under my belt at this time and had worked on and off with other coaches but I needed a change.

I like the process that MTA has for selecting coaches based on the runner’s profile. I also like that Coach Abby lives in a similar region, so our running conditions are often the same. After working together for about a year, I knew she could help me with my next crazy idea.

12 Marathons in 12 Months

In late fall of 2022, I let Coach Abby know my plan for 12 marathons in 12 months in 2023. I asked what her thoughts were on how to safely train for such a thing. We discussed the potential for both physical and mental stress and the risks involved.

She then gave an overview of what the training segments would look like and how the races would build on each other.

Back to Back Races

Two of the marathons (Idaho and Wyoming) were back to back.

In the 4 weeks leading up to that two day event, we scheduled more back to back long runs. This was also an experiment of what my body could handle for mileage.

Fortunately with proper building and cross training in the previous months, we were successful. I was able to continue back to back long runs throughout the rest of the year. I know that had a part in the success for the second half of the year.

In September, I ran two physically demanding marathons where temps soared in to the 90s and the humidity was thick as well. Both my endurance and experience played a part in meticulous hydration, fueling, and running a more conservative pace to ensure I made it safely to the finish line.

I finished my 12th marathon of 2023 in early December. Knowing this was my last race and I had recovery time planned, I pushed the pace and finished with my fastest time for the year 2023 and an age group award too.

I have been running marathons for 15 years and have made many mistakes over the years. Going into 2023 I told myself that I had to be smart, listen to my body, and remind myself there is no award for a fast easy run.

I trusted Coach Abby, I believed in the plan, and therefore I was successful in the plan! I only have 7 of 50 states remaining of my 50 State Goal. I have a big challenge in the first half of 2024 with 4 marathons planned. Right now I am enjoying a much needed break, before I start the build again! -Heather Grazzini-Sims

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