Go out and run 26.2 miles.

Sounds like a lot to ask, right? But if you’re training to run a marathon, you had better get used to the idea.

Over the next four months, I’ll be training to run the Chicago Marathon on October 10, 2010. You can follow my journey here on the Eastbay Blog to get the inside story on what it’s really like to train for and run your first marathon.

First, here’s a little bit about me:

Who – Maree, female, 21 years old, Eastbay marketing intern.

About me – I am training for and running the Chicago Marathon (26.2 miles) in October using the Hal Higdon’s Novice Training program. I have never run a marathon before, but I am looking forward to the challenge! I have a dog, Chance, that runs with me.

When I am at school in Chicago, I like to run on the Lake Shore path, explore the city with friends and go to concerts and shows. Besides running, I enjoy riding horses and spending time outside.

Chicago Marathon Mass Start

Where – I am training in northern Wisconsin and running the marathon in Chicago.

When – The Hal Higdon 18-week training program started the week of June 6, 2010. The program consists of a run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday each week, with cross training on Sunday. The long runs take place on Saturday with medium-length runs on Wednesday. The length of the runs increases every week until September, with the longest run 15 miles in week 15. After week 15 the run length tapers off to recover before the race on October 10.

Why – I am running the marathon because, as a college student, I know that this is the one time in my life when I have the time and energy to do something like this. As a runner, the Chicago Marathon is a great goal for me to set. I’m going to be a senior at Loyola University-Chicago in the fall, and I wanted to participate in this huge event in Chicago with my friends as a grand finale for my college career.

How – I plan to finish the marathon mainly by working and training hard. Since three friends who are running the marathon with me are training together in Chicago, I need help staying motivated in training. I run with my dog a few times a week, but he doesn’t really help me keep pace (except for the first few miles when he pulls my arms out of their sockets).

My dog Chance

Besides my faithful Mizuno Wave Creation 11 running shoes, I will be using an adidas MiCoach to help me increase my speed and monitor my heart rate to optimize each workout. I have never used a MiCoach before, so I look forward to trying it out and using all the cool features.

I will also be using CW-X Tights, compression socks, and tops that help support runner’s muscles and speed recovery. I’m also trying out Zensah leg sleeves to help protect my muscles. I have never used technical gear like this before, so I’m really excited to report on how my running improves from using these products.

I am also going to use nutrition products, such as Sports Street GU Energy Gel and energy drinks for the longer runs. I’ve never run farther than 13 miles, so I’m going to need something to keep my energy up around week 15 when I have to do a 20 mile run, not to mention for the actual marathon!

Next time: I started out my training program with a 5K race… find out how it went!

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