How to Train for a Marathon in 2 months

How To Train for A Marathon in 2 Months- CKay Studios

So here’s the deal. 

I’m a dreamer. Big time. I like big huge goals that seem insurmountable to many. 

But,

I also get in my own way. A lot. 

Just Keepin it real. 

Anyways, I had signed up for a certain marathon that will remain nameless….. and never got the training runs in. It’s like I had this block and could not get myself to run more than 8 miles. 

Anyways, so I deferred a year, determined to make it happen….next time. 

yup, I’m sure you can see the issue with that logic. 

So I know I can complete a marathon because I have done it before, so I decided that this one, I would do in under 4 hours….. which would be cutting 45 minutes off my time. 

Like I said, I’m a dreamer remember?

But the problem was….. that new goal was getting in the way of the marathon happening at all. 

I started out fine, even past the 8 mile hurdle and got a few 10 milers in. Then…. I got sick. Like really sick in the er sick. And that threw my training off. And then I decided that it probably wasn’t worth it too fly there anyway for the race, and I realized that I wouldn’t make my goal….. and I had decided pretty much not to do this race…. again. 

But around Christmas time, I had a change of heart. and come Jan 1, I decided, well maybe I can make this happen after all. Not an under 4 hr, but a finish at least. 

So here was the pickle I was in….. only 2 months to train. 

Not exactly ideal. 

So I decided to do what all crazy dreamers do. google it. And sadly, I found I wasn’t the craziest out there. People try to go from never running to marathon in a month. Wow.

But I did see a definite hole in a 2 month training plan. 

Now I’m not exactly endorsing this kind of training, BUT if you find yourself in a pickle….. and your race is two months away…..

Here’s how I did it.

1. You gotta get the long runs in. This is of up most importance. 

2. You need to do other things BESIDES running that will help increase your endurance. This is key because you have to build the endurance, but you don’t want to wear out your legs, you ain’t got time for that. 

3. You have to take the rest days, and you HAVE to listen to your body. If you ain’t feelin’ it, try again tomorrow. Because it’s such a short amount of time, you have to be able to recover without getting injured, and then beat yourself all up again. Which leads us to….

4. Be flexible. It’s ok if your long runs end up being a few days apart or longer than a week, the key is just to keep getting out there. 

5. Be prepared to sacrifice. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time, and when  you compress the training, it can sort of start to feel like that’s all you do. 

Ok so enough with the platitudes…. down to business. Here’s how I did it:

My main method of exercising was running and p90x. Yes, I know loads of haters, but I had gotten it from a friend and I needed indoor options because it is winter. in New York. And gyms are super expensive. 

And to be honest? I think it helped a heap ton. The workouts are long, at least an hour, so it definitely helps with the endurance. Also, it focuses mainly on weight training, so you are increasing your muscles which make you faster and stronger. 

Again, let me stress flexibility in planning here. I roughly stuck to the p90x plan, but occasionally had to move the workouts around to fit in long runs. 

P90X does have two cardio days (plyo and kenpo) so those were hit or miss. At first I would do them and then head out for a short run after. But as the runs got longer (and lets be honest, the neighbors downstairs got tired of hearing us jump around) those got axed and became long run days. Also, sometimes I would miss a strength training day due to muscle fatigue or frankly, just losing my mind over hearing tony horton one.more.time. 

The strengths though are innumerable, and the yoga days are key to stretching out those sore muscles. 

So, along with the traditional P90X schedule (You can find it online here) , I did the following running:

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 
Week 1 3 2.5   3.5 4 2 Rest
Week 2 2 8 3       Rest
Week 3 14   3.5   16   Rest
Week 4     21   4   Rest
Week 5 3.5   1.5 8.5 2 22 Rest
Week 6   11  1     Rest
Week 7  8    3  1     Rest
Week 8  4  1  1  1 Marathon Day! Rest

Ideal? 

No, but a lot of flexibility was required due to weather, and quite frankly, being tired. I usually worked out 5-6 days a week either running, P90X, or Yoga. 

The Result:

I finished. Slowly. I had a hip pain issue about half way through, blisters from old shoes, etc. I also had to basically take the next month off from running due to pain in my hip and pain in the opposite quad. But, neither were serious injuries. I could have avoided some of it with better shoes. Let it be a lesson, the mileage recommendations truly are wise. 

So, do I suggest it? Not really. Would I do it again. Probably. Sometimes we just don’t learn :).