Training for a marathon, and eventually more! | Uphill Athlete

Training for a marathon, and eventually more!

  • Creator
  • #73102

    Hello uphill athletes!

    Firstly, I just wanted to share how excited I was to read The Uphill Athlete book, and then to come across the podcast, and then to learn about this whole new world of female endurance athlete training. I am 44 years old and have been running long distances for almost 35 years. I am an engineer by training, and did a marathon in India when I was 20. I also did a bunch of mountaineering in the himalayas, doing a 19,000 foot peak. I then came to the US, finished my education, started a nonprofit, and had two daughters… I kept trying to get back to a marathon distance, but kept getting injured. And after reading The Uphill Athlete, I finally know why! I am so excited that I may still be able to do a marathon again – and maybe even more!
    So I signed up for the Big Sur Marathon on April 30, and am following the beginner maratthon plan. Here is my “not so secret” goal! I run the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship competition for girls (called “Technovation”). Through Technovation girls find problems in their communities and work with mentors to develop mobile/AI apps and businesses to tackle these problems. We have been running for 17 years, reaching 400,000 participants across 120+ countries. Our goal is to reach 25 million girls over the next 15 years and I want to run a big run to raise money to reach these goals. Especially since there are so many overlaps between the barriers female athletes face and break, and those that female entrepreneurs and leaders face and break. I get so much mental strength from what I am able to do physically.
    I have always wanted to run an ultra, but never thought I could do it without getting injured, until I came across the Uphill Athlete.

    I am still very early in my training journey, but know that this is finally the right approach. I am very curious what your thoughts are on a reasonable goal and time. I am not in a hurry. Maybe this can be a 3 year goal to work towards.
    I want to run for girls and women all around the world – encouraging them to believe in themselves, and that they are not limited by anything or anyone.


  • Keymaster
    Jane Mackay on #73402

    Tara, this is so awesome. I’m so glad Uphill Athlete can contribute in even this tangential way to the amazing work you’re doing to give girls worldwide incredible opportunities.

    I’m going to ask coach Pedro Carvalho to give his advice re reasonable goal and time.

    I will say that age will play a part in how long it takes to reach your goal. I’m 52 and can say from personal experience that the effects of menopause have resulted in my needing to progress more slowly and prioritise strength and mobility in a big way. If you haven’t come across it, the book Next Level, by Stacy Sims & Selene Yeager, released this year, is written specifically for active women in the menopause stage of life (a good third of our life!) by a physiologist who has spent 20 years specficially studying the physiology of female athletes. I highly recommend it, if you’re over 40.

    So glad you’re here!

    tarachk on #73444

    Thank you so much Jane for that encouragement! And yes, I have been reading Stacy Sims’ Roar book (as I haven’t hit menopause yet!) and that book was incredible in changing the way I think about nutrition. Your own story is so inspiring! I would love some guidance on what is a feasible goal to work towards over the coming years. All of this sounds so exciting and cool 😀
    Thank you for responding.


    pedro on #73454

    Hi Tara ,

    Really happy after reading your story, it is people like you that makes us work everyday with a smile in our face and a proof that we are on the right path.
    About you question on

    ” I signed up for the Big Sur Marathon on April 30, and am following the beginner maratthon plan ; thoughts are on a reasonable goal and ?time ”

    My best answer would be, the time would be irrelevant , because by what I read you are already a winner and have nothing to prove, training would be essencial so that you don’t get injured.
    For predicting time of the marathon there are some formulas but that in my opinion create a bit of expectations on the athlete and those somehow create a pressure to perform on that predicted time.
    Predicting depends on a lot of factors, aerobic test results( better aerobic test, faster pace, less time on the marathon), number of hours of training per week , how long is the preparation period in you case 24 weeks , depends in how good is training base ( experience in running/ marathons events)etc.
    Best way to have ideas prediction of you time, is to see the total times and pace on the longer trainings after the first 12 weeks.Normally on race day, the time will be inferior to the average pace of the longer training since you will have no intervals, no rest periods ,and you will push a bit more.

    I hope I could help .



    tarachk on #73458

    Thanks so much Pedro for that encouragement and advice! I 100% agree! Actually I was not very clear before, but I was asking for advice on eventually doing an ultramarathon. My dream would be to do a 100 miler – without getting too badly injured in the process. I was curious what your thoughts were on how long it would take me to train for that, considering I am only now starting to train for a marathon. I would want to work my way upto a 50, 75 and maybe a 100? And was curious what your advice would be on how long it would take me and whether its even feasible.

    pedro on #73492

    Hi Tara,

    if you are consistent in training , and you apply the 10% rule when raising volume in a period of 3 years, I think is more then possible . But like you said , try to go to races with short distances and build up to long distances.

    if you need more help tell me .

    kind regards


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