As we noted a few weeks back, it’s already time to start thinking about the fall marathon season. A local favorite, the Marine Corps Marathon, takes place this year on Sunday, October 28. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to snag a spot in the Marine Corps 17.75K or get in with Rush Registration this morning, it’s okay because the official MCM Lottery opens today at noon and is open until March 28. If you don’t get into the lottery, there are many charity partners with bibs available in exchange for raising funds or you can wait and try to get a bib during the transfer period from someone who can no longer run.
Once you have secured a bib for your goal race, whether it’s MCM or another fall marathon, it’s time to start thinking about training. While training plans don’t officially kick off for MCM until late June/early July, it’s important to build the foundation now to set yourself up for a successful training cycle. If you’re newer to the marathon distance or haven’t been maintaining a consistent running routine through the winter, build up to at least 15-20 miles/week before your training plan begins. You should aim to be running 3-4 times/week, with a longer run of 6-7 miles on the weekend, by the time late June rolls around. Remember that your weekly mileage should only increase by about 10% each week, so add in those miles gradually to decrease the risk of injury. If you’re not a stranger to the marathon distance and you’ve been maintaining consistent mileage through the winter months, focus on keeping that base mileage along with adding in a few days of strength training each week. A strong core will help you ward off injury when the miles increase, which is true for both experienced and new runners alike. Here are some exercises to get you started.
If you’re like me and need a race as motivation to get in those miles, check out the Wayfarer’s Half Marathon + 10k on June 2nd. It’s a short drive to Annapolis from DC, and it’s a great way to kick off the summer and get a baseline for your race fitness going into your training. There is a discount for signing up with a group, so grab a few friends and make a weekend of it! A virtual training program is also available to help keep you on track. The next price jump is on April 1, so sign up today and start putting in that work!
Tammy Whyte is the owner and head coach at TW Training and Wellness and is both a certified personal trainer (NASM) and certified running coach (RRCA). She offers group training programs in DC, online run coaching, as well as training plans that integrate strength training. She coaches weekly sessions for runners of all levels, and she will be leading a marathon training group for MCM, so be sure to check her out at www.twtrainingwellness.com.