Training Run, Marathon, or Both?

I ran 26 miles the other day

My fellow runners and I lined up bright & early with our pace groups. All along the 13 mile trail, we sipped water & Gatorade from paper cups. At the finish line, there were balloons, cheering friends, and pancakes. I even got a medal.

Galloway Training Program | Marathon, Training Run, or Both? | Mommy Runs It

But it wasn’t a race. There was no National Anthem. No timing chips or official clock. To be honest, I only have a vague idea of how long the run took us – but with bathroom breaks and photo opps…well, it’s safe to say that none of us would’ve qualified for Boston that day.

Galloway Training Program | Marathon, Training Run, or Both? | Mommy Runs It

On February 23, I’m running the 26.2 with Donna. It will be my second official marathon. And apart from the extra 2 tenths of a mile, I’ll run the same 26 miles that I ran during my training run. Hopefully I’ll run them a bit faster. There won’t be 10 minute bathroom breaks or chocolate covered pretzels to celebrate the halfway point. But 26 miles is 26 miles – right?

Galloway Training Program | Marathon, Training Run, or Both? | Mommy Runs It

So here’s my question. Does it have to be an “official marathon” to be considered a marathon? Or does any 26 mile run count as a marathon? Will I be running my second marathon or my fourth?

I’d love to know your thoughts!

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About sharon

Sharon is a mom, a marathon runner, and a licensed therapist. She owns Mommy Runs It, a fitness & lifestyle blog. She is a passionate advocate of the Galloway training method and knows firsthand that everyday moms can run marathons. Connect with Sharon on Google+.


  1. just running is a marathon, do you remember when you started? How far did 3mile feel? You determine how far you run and what a marathon is in your world:)

    • I like that. I remember when I couldn’t run a mile. This morning I ran a quick, easy six. Our accomplishments belong to us, so I guess we can only judge our own. :)

  2. I would say you’ve run 4 marathons! You’ve run in 2 marathon races, but 4 marathons. You should be really proud of yourself for all of the running you’ve ever done. I’m really proud of you! Xoxo

  3. I agree – 4 marathons, 2 official races. And regardless of what they are officially called, you’re amazing for running them!

  4. I am so proud of you!!!!!

  5. Um, if I could finish 26 miles, I’d consider it a marathon, official or unofficial!!!!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!

    • Thanks! Stick with your Galloway training and you will. So serious. The longest I’d run before I started training for the marathon was 10 miles, but that was a rarity. My typical run was 3 miles or less. Hey, maybe we can find a half marathon to run together during our next blog conference! :)

  6. If someone asked me, I’d tell them I ran a marathon over the weekend! Nice job!

    • Thanks! I know it’s silly, but it’s one of those things that I feel awkward about. I’m kind of an awkward girl in general though, so no surprise. :)

  7. Shar lovey, I have never done this before, writing in a blog, ( i think). I am tremendously proud of you. and love you much. Grandma 2/9/14

  8. I think that I wouldn’t put the run on a “races” page or anything, but I’d definitely say that you ran a marathon! Because…you did :) Nice work!

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