Marathon Experiences from an Experienced and Unexperienced Runner


The big 26.2. The interviews below describe two Michigan Triathletes’ experiences running a marathon. Michigan Triathlete Lucian Ramnarase is a junior studying business and ran track and cross country throughout high school. Michigan Triathlete Sarah Wang is a senior studying mechanical engineering and swam competitively. The interviews below illustrate Lucian’s, an experienced runner, and Sarah’s, a swimmer, marathon experience.

When did you decide and sign up for the marathon? Which marathon did you do?

Lucian: I decided to sign up for the marathon when I was in Sydney, NSW, Australia. My friend Shayna, simply asked me why I didn't consider doing Detroit. I honestly just wasn't thinking about it, and wondered why I didn't think about it before. While in Sydney, my friend Maks and I had been running together a lot, so he thought of at least doing the half. When we got home, we both signed up for the full.

Sarah: I had a goal of completing a marathon before turning 20, so when there was a marathon in my town coming up, I was eyeballing the sign up page for a week almost signing up and then not. A new semester of classes started and I sat down next to someone equally distracted in class staring at the same marathon sign up page. By the end of class, we did the deed and signed up together.

What’s your background in running?

Lucian: I had been playing sports for most of my life, and I picked up running as a sport in sophomore year of high school. Then, my freshman year at Michigan, I joined the triathlon club.

Sarah: I grew up swimming competitively since I was five, but went on my first “run” in college after joining the triathlon team.

How did you train for the marathon and what motivated you through your training?

Lucian: I kept my running balanced with my triathlon workouts, but during the summer I tried to have 3 runs per week. 2 of the runs would be longer runs that would be 10 - 20 miles. The 3rd run would be a speed oriented workout. That's would be somewhere between 3 and 5 miles long. I balanced my workouts with swimming and biking to total about 6-7 workouts per week. Then, getting back to school, I followed the club triathlon team's workouts and added in long runs on the weekend.

Sarah: I signed up for my marathon in early January and the race was in mid-March. I started at ground zero. I think my longest run before was about uno mile? I started from scratch and had a goal to up my mileage each week. HOWEVER, as life happens, my mileage fluctuated having busier and less busy weeks. By the the time of the race, my longest run was about 9 miles -- I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Knowing more about running now, I would have done more research on how to train and plan your mileage. But motivation to train is a lot easier to find than you’d think! Once I signed up for a race, I found a purpose for every run and that motivated me throughout my training. My motivation came from my desire to break 3 hours and qualify for Boston. Also I did the long runs with Maks, or my running buddy, Alena.

Any advice for people looking to do their first marathon?

Lucian: Just be prepared for the pain. Running is so much more mental than physical.

Sarah: Make training fun! I had to learn that you’re not supposed to be in immense pain every run. Start out your long runs slower than you think is normal and this will set you up for success. Also, I used to think running with people was unproductive and slow. You may go faster by yourself, but if you want to go further (in the case of a marathon), go with people!

In short, how would you describe the marathon?

Lucian: Fun and hard, but I'm glad I put myself through the pain cause thinking back on it any day, I'm proud of my time. During the last 10k, I thought that I would never want to do another marathon, but I already have NYC 2019 on the calendar.

Sarah: I started the marathon with SO MUCH ADRENALINE. I ran the whole race with my friend at the time and he was an experienced runner. He definitely helped us pace ourselves in the beginning because I wanted to go in gas pedal all the way down. The race started running down the middle of usually car-busy street and the energy of the crowd hyped me up so much. Running the whole race with a buddy made the whole experience a lot less painful. Honestly, everything was pretty painless until mile 20 and then I began to DIE. My left foot arch hurt and it began to rain, but not finishing the race was out of the question. When you’re only left with one choice to finish the race, you make it happen.

University of Michigan Triathlon Team Races at Muncie

University of Michigan Triathlon Team Races at Muncie

On September 15, 2018, the University of Michigan Triathlon team made a trip over to Muncie, Indiana for the Muncie to race in the MECTC Regional Championships Olympic Distance Triathlon. The team raced like a beast with many of our athletes placing!

Our top placing girls are:

1st Place - Zena Lapp with a 4:30 swim (1:07 pace), 1:07.52 bike (22.2 mph pace), and 46:33 run (7:30 pace) for a total time of 2:02:44.8!

2nd Place - Ellie Callison with a 3:51 swim (:58 pace), 1:09.06 bike (21.8 mph pace), and 49:02 run (7:54 pace) for a total time of 2:04:56.1!

3rd Place - Claire Ford with a 4:29 swim (1:07 pace), 1:12.16 bike (20.8 mph pace), and 45:17 run (7:17 pace) for a total time of 2:05.45.4!

Our top placing guys are:

1st Place - Jack Schafer with a 3:47 swim (:57 pace), 59:44 bike (25.2 mph pace), and 34:12 run (5:30 pace) for a total time of 1:40:13.3!

2nd Place - Nick Amato with a 4:07 swim (1:02 pace), 59:03 bike (25.5 mph pace), and 38:18 run (6:10 pace) for a total time of 1:43:51.4!

4th Place - Malcolm Hudson with a 3:30 swim (:53 pace), 59:24 bike (25.4 mph pace), and 41:28 run (6:41 pace) for a total time of 1:47:00.7!

How You Can Help Us by Eating Food!

How You Can Help Us by Eating Food!

Let’s be real. The only reason we all race is for the post-race refuel food. A triathlon should be a quad-thon. Swim, bike, run, and FEAST. You can help us fundraise and participate in the last quad-thon event by RSVP-ing (we need at least 20 people at each event!) and eating at the following restaurants in the delicious restaurant hub of Ann Arbor on the following dates! 20% of proceeds will go to Michigan Triathlon if you mention us and we will use this money to help make races financially accessible to everyone on the team!

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.30.41 PM.png

Silvio's Fundraiser Dinner

Thursday, September 20, anytime between 2:00-10:00pm

Silvio's Organic Ristorante e Pizzeria 715 N. University Avenue

If you want to meet the team in the blood and flesh, our team will have a group going around 7 p.m.!

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.31.07 PM.png

KouZina Fundraiser Dinner

Thursday, October 18, anytime between 4:30pm-9:00pm

KouZina Greek Street Food 332 S. Main Street

RSVP by 10/15:

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.31.33 PM.png

Salad's Up Fundraiser

Tuesday, October 2, anytime between 9:00am-9:00pm

Salad's Up: 611 East Liberty St

RSVP by 9/30:

(20% of proceeds of those who mention Michigan Triathlon will go to our team and we need at least 20 people to rsvp by Sept 30) 

NYPD Fundraiser

Sunday, November 11, anytime between 2:00pm-10:00pm

New York Pizza Depot 605 E. William Street

RSVP by 11/8:

The Beginning of a New Semester

The Beginning of a New Semester

It’s the beginning of a new school year and our triathletes are back on campus! Some never left, but as we finish up a few races before the deadly Michigan winter settles in, we are also reaching out to new members. If you missed our mass meeting, here is an overview of the Michigan Club Triathlon Team and why YOU should join our team!!

Who Are We?

We are a University of Michigan Club Sport that trains and hangs out together outside of the tracks, pools, and bike routes. We compete in outdoor races in the fall, indoor races in the winter, at Collegiate Nationals in the spring, and optional outdoor races in the summer. Distances range from sprint to olympic distance triathlons.


Who’s On The Board?

Check our leadership tag for all of our board members and even some snazzy, fun facts!

Coach, Put Me In!

This year, we welcome our new coach Michael Metzger! Michael Metzger is part of our faculty in the Business School, is a youth triathlon coach, certified Master’s swimming instructor, and multi-sport aficionado. 

No Pain, No Gain

Our practice schedule this semester is very similar to previous semesters and is illustrated below:

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.18.16 PM.png

Upcoming Races

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.19.55 PM.png

Alright, Alright — Take My Money!!

We are THE cheapest University of Michigan Club Sport. Dues are due 9/23!

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.20.11 PM.png

Follow Us on the Gram! (And Subscribe to this Blog)

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.20.26 PM.png

From Three Triathletes that Competed in the 70.3 Ironman


From Three Triathletes that Competed in the 70.3 Ironman

The 70.3 Ironman, also known as the Half Ironman, consists of a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, 56 mile (90 km) bike ride, and 13.1 mile (21.1 km) run. University of Michigan Triathletes Malcolm Hudson (rising senior), Michael Liberato (rising Junior), and Matt De la Fe (rising senior) competed in the 70.3 Ironman in Benton Harbor in Southwest Michigan. Congratulations and thank you to Malcolm, Michael, and Matt for answering these questions about their experiences! (Michigan Triathletes that also raced in the 70.3 Ironman but do not have interview responses below include Claire and Delaney -- congratulations to them too!)


What inspired you to sign up for the half ironman? What were you thinking in the process of signing up?


I had just gotten so accustomed to doing olympic distance races with the team, that I felt ready to take it to the next step! 


A half-iron is just kinda the next step, I've always wanted to do a full since my swim coach did one my junior year of high school, and De la Fe said he was doing Steelhead so why not do it with a bunch of good friends. After that it was all downhill of trying to recruit as many people as possible 


When I joined triathlon in the fall, I said my goal was to do a half Ironman in the summer . I knew it was really far off, but it was a goal I kept throughout the year and my brother wanted to do it with me. I almost did not sign up though. It was a day before the deadline for signing up, my foot still hurt from my previous triathlon (Grand Rapids Olympic), and I knew I was not nearly prepared for it. I signed up because I had told my brother we would do it together and had friends already signed up. I did not want to back out just because I was scared.

How did you train?


My training was no different than for olympic distance races, I started training thoroughly at the beginning of May after taking a short break after collegiate club nationals and finishing classes. I trained around 15 hours per week, focusing on the bike since it's such an important part of this kind of race, and on brick runs (running after riding) .


The weeks leading up to Nats got me training a lot more with everyone on the team, and I kinda used that to jump into summer racing/training. After Nats I took a couple days off, and jumped into a lot of biking/training with Malcolm around work, trying to get in roughly two workouts a day, averaging 2 hr days with a couple longer days each week, and one rest day. For the first couple weeks of may I trained around 12-14 hours, and then I got offered to go to Colorado for an internship. I went there and had no friends so I decided to up the training to 18-20 hr weeks, trying to hit three hours a day-ish. Weekly I'd do three swims, two normal runs, one long run, one speed workout run (track or just fast) and then biking almost every day with speed work thrown in once a week. I kinda just carried that through June/July with some slower weeks, then slightly tapered off before the race.


I did not train enough. I did a lot of swimming in June and the beginning of July. I swam about 25k in the two months before the race. I biked during the week with long rides on the weekend in July and the first week of August (the race was August 12th). I put in a little over 600 miles on the bike in the 2 months before the race. I didn't have a consistent run schedule like I had with biking. I ran about 60 miles in the 2 months before the race and only did one or two bricks (bike then run) which were short. When I do another I will give myself at least another two weeks and try to hit 30k swim, 1000 bike, and 110 running with a more consistent diet. 

How did you do? What were the best parts? What were the most difficult parts? 


The water was just slightly hot to wear wetsuits, water was choppy and there was a decently strong current, but survived the swim! Bike was mostly flat with some small rolling hills, it was what I worked by far the most this summer, and I surprised myself with how well it went. Running the entire run course in the heat and after all that was just not possible for me, and it just mentally defeated me, had to walk some of it. Didn't expect to be so destroyed by the run, it was bad.


Very long, and mentally challenging. I felt like I was simultaneously pushing myself and balling up energy for the last couple miles of the run which was the mental battle to keep going (also catching Malcolm was huge).

I did well, super happy with all three parts and thought I balanced the three pretty well. 

The best part was the first half of the run when my legs still liked me and the swim/bike felt good as well, just a consistent effort to keep moving forward. 

The most difficult parts were the swim, where we were attacked by 3 foot swells and the last two miles of the run. 

I figured that the back half of the run would be where shit hit the fan, so I feel like it went along with my expectations. Given that, I thought my legs would be able to pick up that back half and instead I was barely able to maintain a decent running form/pace. So the effect of a 56 mile bike on the back half of a half marathon is really something you just gotta experience.


The atmosphere was great on race day. I triple checked everything because this is not a race you want to be missing anything. I was not in the lead pack by any means so the range of talent seemed to be out there to have fun and finish. It was more about racing yourself than the others around you. I missed my goal time by 20 minutes and came in a little over 6 hours and 20 minutes. The best part of the race was definitely the bike. The swim was really wavy and I came out of the water tired despite that being my best segment usually. The bike was fast and it was so much fun seeing so many racers all the time. The worst part was the run. It was really hot with no shade. My legs were drained after the bike, and my lack of training really started showing. I expected the swim and run to be faster and the bike to be slower. I also imagined that it would feel longer. I was coming into hour five with a lot of the run still in front of me before I even noticed how long it had been. There is just so much to focus on and think about that time just seemed to flash by. 

What would you tell someone thinking about doing a half ironman? What’s next for you? 


I would recommend everyone who enjoyed the challenge of an olympic distance, and has even the slightest interest of ever doing a half ironman, it's totally possible! I want to do at least one more 70.3 before doing a full, I feel like I need to be more comfortable with a half ironman before doing a full one.


Very interesting question haha I'm not sure i would. I think it's a really good goal, but you gotta want it and be determined to 1. train A LOT and 2. finish. There were a lot of points where I felt like death but finishing, catching malcolm, and putting all my training into a performance drove me to keep going. 

I would say to TRAIN a lot, and try to sign up with other people because having the support/camaraderie is amazing. Have goals, plan it out, and be able to adapt (I lost two waterbottles on the bike an had to just kinda roll with it). Also nutrition is huge (maybe the most important part of the race), make sure to bring enough and test it on longer training rides before you get to race day.

Next is to train hard for two weeks and then attack collegiate season full force when everyone gets back.


Do it to have fun and race against yourself. It is daunting but a super great atmosphere. If you're on the edge about it and have some time, sign up and start to pick up your training a lot. If you train and have some guidance, you will definitely cross the finish line which is an awesome experience, but expect it to me more difficult than you anticipated. I'm going to drop back down to Olympic distance for a while and build up some speed on my run. I would like to do another 70.3 next summer to beat my time.