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Training for a marathon: Costs and Plans

November 1, 2010

Race Fee:  $135

Last week I pulled the trigger and paid $135 to enter the Big Sur Marathon.  A few days later, it sold out!

Training plans:  Free, unless I buy a book

I’m still recovering from my half last weekend, so I’m taking it mostly easy for now.  I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at various training programs and trying to figure out what to follow, and  how to be sure I incorporate hills into my training.   Few training plans specifically prepare you for long hills.

I’m leaning towards Hal Higdon or the Runners World Smart Coach.  I want a plan with long runs on Sundays, 4-5 days a week of running (preferably 2 days of cross) and minimal speedwork in the form of tempo runs or pace runs.  I know I’m not “supposed” to do speed work as a beginner, but I like the variety, and I’ll back off if I get overtired.

There area  lot of different training theories out there, but since I’m not an elite athlete and will get a PR as long as I finish… I probably don’t need to stress about it.

Cross Training: $50/month (optionally can be cut to $10/month)

I went to the pool this weekend to swim some laps for the first time in years.  The local pool is quite affordable, and for a little extra (still affordable) I can come on specific evenings when they have coaches around to help out!  Very cool!  I’m really excited to add some new cross training.

I also went to my first yoga studio class this weekend.  I am  excited to go back, and would love for it to be a long term addition to my program.  I hope to do both of these activities once per a week.  The bulk of this cost comes from yoga classes, which are unnecessary and not explicitly related to the marathon.

Neither swimming or yoga specifically offers huge benefits for running (cycling is a better choice), but those are two areas I find most enjoyable.  I might cycle now and then if T will take me on some beginner rides.

New Shoes:  $150 or so

With over 500 training miles to run, I’ll be due for a new pair of shoes.  I’m going back to the specialty running store to see if they have any suggestions.  If not, I’ll keep the Etonic Kendari’s I’ve worn for my last two pairs

Endurance/Energy Foods:  TBD

I know you can eat regular food while training, but specialty formulated endurance and energy foods are SO convenient.  We regularly buy the following items:  Cliff Bars, Power-aid (powder format in bulk), various electrolyte tablets, Gu, Power Bar Builders (20g of protein), and protein bars.  Some of these aren’t just for me – T cycles and probably eats more of this kind of stuff than I do.  I also eat a lot of peanut butter toast post workout.  It adds up!

Gym Membership:  $25-$30/month November – March

I only plan to be a member during daylight savings when the sun sets too early to get in good workouts.  I think some treadmill training would be good, especially because it is easy to simulate hills.

Misc:  TBD

There is also travel and accommodations, and possibly some extra workout clothes.  I’ll leave those out for now.  But while running itself can be cheap, marathoning sure isn’t!

Anticipated Marathon

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 3:11 pm

    A few of my friends did half marathons this year…I think that might be my goal for next year! Run a half, or maybe a quarter, depending on how I go…

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