Training for the Chicago Marathon: From One Runner to Another

Right hand on the training manual, left hand in the air.

I solemnly swear to train for the Chicago Marathon, embrace the experience, remain injury-free, properly adjust to my body's needs, refrain from eating like I’m having quintuplets, obsessively rant about running, miss or leave outings early to sleep and for the willpower needed, TRY to not spend all my summer wedding/shower season coins on gear, and last but not least - beat my last PR!

For the second time, I’m signing my life away.

Eighteen weeks of training for life, a personal and mental partnership, a physical warfare... 26.2 miles.

Two years ago, around this time, I started the same journey. I trained for 16 weeks with Nike’s #2sixpoints2 crew and the Nike + Training app. I couldn’t have asked for a better first-time training experience.

marquita runner marathon group
Marquita Anderson

Unlike my first marathon, I’m familiar with the days ahead of me.

Looking at the Nike training manual this time around, I feel comfortable and confident. I’m wearing the ‘I got this’ flower crown and feeling very Olivia Pope-ish. "It’s handled."

nike plan marathon Marathon Training Plan

But, things have changed. I’m a pacer now, so there’s this slight cramp to my side of serious responsibility. And, cheers in my head of the need for speed. I’m training to, actually, beat the time of 4:08:12 - I proudly owned that beautiful autumn day back in 2014.

So, I’m basically training for Rio. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. MOTTO. 

Even if this is your first or tenth marathon, the commitment and strategy to get through this thing takes dedication and an extreme level of self-love. 

I’m taking you on this 18-week ride with me. Every week, I promise to lay out the truths and tips from my training. Reveal my struggles and praise my glories…all the way to the finish line on Oct. 9. 

I'll be following the training guidelines found in the Nike + Run Club marathon sample plan, group runs (more on this in a future post) and using the Nike + Running app. 

You can find the Nike + Run Club Marathon Training Plan here. To checkout a group run visit

We're in this together. Cheers to marathon training season!

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