Training for My First Marathon – 9 Weeks in Review

I took a little break from blogging, but The Papillon Runner is back with a facelift!

For the past 2 months, I’ve been training for my very first full marathon, the IMT Des Moines Marathon, and running more miles than ever. My body has truly impressed me with how responsive it has been to what I’ve been doing to prepare and recover from each run. I am so amazed that I ran 17 miles (!) yesterday morning and ended the run feeling strong. As my weekly mileage increases, the weekday runs are starting to feel harder…I’m not gonna lie. I had a hard time getting through a 7-mile run earlier this week (week 9 of training) and ended it right at the 10k mark, but the next few runs went much better. Although I’m at the stage where training is really starting to pick up and I’m running the half-marathon distance or longer every weekend, I’m feeling good about how training is progressing. Here’s a peek into what the past two months have been like:

I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying fuel with me in my Nathan hydration backpack on those long (12+ miles) weekend runs. Two Huma energy gels were sufficient for 17 miles yesterday. These gels go down a bit easier than the Honey Stinger gels and I felt more hydrated, probably because of the chia seeds and coconut water.



This is how I look after every run – lots of sweaty miles when you’re training for races in the heat and humidity of summer, but I honestly prefer this to the miles I logged last winter. I could never get my hands to stay warm. Taking recommendations for next winter…



Epsom salt and lavender milk foot soaks in my Dr. Scholl’s foot bath. This baby was $30 (purchased it while training for my first half-marathon), but you can find a similar model here. It feels amazing. Wearing compression socks for a few hours afterwards = priceless!

epsom salt bath

I’ve also been trying to keep up with my strength-training, but I can definitely fit in more cycling¬†to log more low-impact miles, and I haven’t done a basic swim workout all summer. I loved incorporating easy swim workouts into my half-marathon training. I am not a great swimmer by any means, but the water relaxed my muscles and I got to work on my aerobic base. So much to do, so little time…


How do you recover after long runs? Share in the comments!