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How I Went From Boring Runner to Hopeful Marathoner

The first thing you are probably wondering is ‘who is this guy, and why should I read what he has to say about running a marathon’?

Well, I am a friend of Trevor’s (hopefully that counts for something!) as well as a blogger. Recently, he and I were talking about running.

I mentioned to him that I am planning to run my first marathon in November of this year, and we thought it might be cool to track my progress using the MTA Official Guide and provide regular updates of my progress while using their system.

About Me
Aside from being a blogger at www.StartRunningforBeginners.com, and a runner, I have a lovely wife and four great kids. I also am a self-employed engineer and entrepreneur. I have a good life, but it is obviously also a busy life. So, fitting in time to run and train is important, but it can be a challenge. Hopefully sharing about my running experiences will help you to be a better runner, and ultimately help you train for a marathon, too.

Where Is My Marathon Training Starting From?
We are at different places in our journeys of preparing for a marathon. Personally, I have never run a marathon, I am not an expert on running, and I am no elite runner. I would like to consider myself in decent shape; though, but I am not what you call a long distance runner. Until this year, I think the most I have ever run at one time was around 5 miles.

For years, I would run the same 3 mile course 3 times a week. This was my way to stay in shape, and keep the ‘spare tire’ from getting too inflated around my waist. I know that my routine sounds boring– because it is a boring routine! That is one reason why I did change my exercise routine last fall. I actually went a totally different route than running, though, as I took 12 weeks to do the P90X home fitness kit. This was actually a nice change of pace for me, but I knew I would get back to running once this program was over. Indeed, after the p90x thing was over earlier this year, I did decide to start back with running, except this time I would be running with some different goals than before.

What Made Me Decide to Run a Marathon?
At about that same time this spring, I was approached by a friend who asked me if I wanted to do a marathon with him in November of this year. I did not give him an answer at that time. I thought about it over the next few days and weeks. At first, I was nervous about running a marathon. After all, that is a long way to run, and a lot of training would be required! Then I had all sorts of questions come into my mind. Did I have what it takes to run a marathon? Did I have the time to train? Would this be bad for my knees and back? These and other doubts were keeping me from trying to run a marathon. And, frankly, I still do have questions, fears, and doubts about running a marathon.

I am not sure what happened, but at some point in March of this year, something snapped in my mind. I knew that I have wanted to run a marathon for a long time, but these doubts were holding me back. I decided to stop letting these questions hold me back, and to go ahead with it. I made a commitment to myself to prepare for and run my first marathon with my friend.

Now What?
Since I decided to run a Marathon, I have been working on building my running base and weekly mileage. I am running three to four times a week, and also cross training a couple times a week as well. My long runs are up to 9 miles, and I am feeling things that I never have before. I know that I need some clear direction and guidance so that I do not make a mistake that will prevent me from finishing this race.

That is one reason why I am excited about sharing my experience of training for my first marathon using the Marathon Training Academy Official Guide. I know that the tips and information in that guide will not only provide motivation, but this guide will also give me training tips and schedules, nutrition and health tips, as well as loads of other information on how to prepare for a marathon. And hopefully my story will give you the confidence that you can train for your first marathon as well.

Over the next months, as I train for my first marathon using the MTA guide, I will share many of my experiences and thoughts about training. I think that it will be a great way for you to stay motivated and learn about marathon training, so please check back!

What Do You Think?
Do you have any fears or doubts about running your first marathon? What finally made you decide to make the commitment to run a marathon?

Andy Richardson

7 Responses to How I Went From Boring Runner to Hopeful Marathoner

  1. Trevor May 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Thanks for the post Andy. Now we’re all looking forward to reading about your moments of truth.

    Maybe you can discover some good mantras for yourself. With that beard your sporting I suggest . . .

    “I AM SPARTACUS!!!!”

    • Andy May 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      HaHa, I like that Mantra! I will have to work on that!

  2. Polly May 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Good luck Andy! I look forward to keeping up with your progress from the UK.

    Like you, I have taken the plunge and am going to run my first marathon. I have registered for the London Marathon in April 2012 but it would be a miracle if I got a place since only 1 in 4 actually gain a place in the ballot (and I won’t know until October); so my back up plan is to run the Brighton Marathon instead. No getting out of it…

    Yes, I’m nervous about it; I have run quite a few 10K races and this year have done two half marathons but a full marathon is another story! But I’m excited to find out if my 58 year old body and mind can actually do it. I love listening to Trevor and Angie and have bought the MTA Official Guide to help me through the pain and joy ahead.

    Keep blogging!

    • Andy May 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Polly, I hope the best for you, whichever race you end up participating in! I have run in a few shorter races as well, but nothing quite compares to this, right?

  3. Michael May 9, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Good Luck Andy

    I just finished my first marathon and it was an awesome experience. I have always been into high performance cars and motorcycles. I decided to run a Marathon because i wanted my body to be high performance. What I realized is that my body and mind became high performance. I am 46 and my one piece of advice is not to over train. I feel that most training programs are for folks in their 20’s and 30’s. I had to have a day of rest between my workouts. It was absolutely necessary for these days of rest between workouts or I would never have actually reached my ultimate goal of completing a Marathon.

    • Andy May 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      Thanks Michael. I like that comparison of your body being a high performance car. It seems like sometimes we treat our cars better than our bodies. Maybe we all should start thinking of our bodies like cars, and we will think twice about what fuels we put into it…

      Thanks for the advice about overtraining. I will definitely try to give my body ample rest. I will be 35 when I run my first one, so hopefully I can handle it. I will never know till I try, though!

  4. Autum May 12, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    That’s awesome that you are rising to the marathon challenge!
    It will be interesting to hear about any life-transformation that results from the marathon training and experience. For me running has changed other areas of my life and I love to hear how it effects others.
    The best to you, you can do it!

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