Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Goofy Challenge: What it Takes

With registration for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opening today at noon for Disney Vacation Club Members and Annual Pass holders I thought I'd talk a little bit about my experience with the Goofy Challenge from this year. Note: Registration for the general public opens April 28 at noon.

Training for my first marathon as part of the Goofy Challenge was draining both physically and emotionally. I started too feel burn out a few weeks before the race. In the end the Goofy Challenge was an incredible experience and I wouldn't have wanted to run my first marathon any other way.

Mile 25
Training Plan
I started training on June 30. That is over 6 months of training! I modified Jeff Galloway's training plan that's on the runDisney website. My plan included 6 weekends where you run Saturday and Sunday with the longest being 10 miles and 20 miles. If I had to do it again I would not train for that length of time because I think I could get into marathon shape in a shorter period of time which would have then helped with some of the burnout I felt towards the end.

It's Going to Hurt
There's a certain pain that comes with training for a marathon. It's a different kind of pain than the pain that comes with injury. There's a burn in your muscles and bones as you push your body to run distances that you never thought was possible. Prepare yourself to be mentally tough to push past this feeling.

Dedication is Extremely Important
Logging the miles is the most important part of marathon training. The key to Goofy Challenge training is the back-to-back runs on the weekends. Those runs prepare your mind and body for race weekend. I never worried about pace for the long runs, just completing them.

Vision is Helpful
During my last few long runs I have envisioned running at Disney World and crossing that marathon finish line. It gave me just a little extra boost throughout my runs. At one point I told Em while running, "I keep forgetting we get to run at Disney for the races and it's not going to be this boring."

Any other tips for the Goofy or Dopey Challenge?

I'm still on the fence about what races I'm going to sign up for today (I've got 2 1/2 hours to decide)! The Goofy Challenge is definitely a strong contender.

That's all for now?


  1. Hi! New reader here. These are great tips. I ran Dopey as my first full in 2014, and then returned for Goofy this year. Dopey was the BEST experience of my life, but it took months and months of serious training. Those back-to-back long runs, in particular, are the worst! But it was all sooooo worth it! Dopey was probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me (between the cost, the early wake-up calls, the extended trip, etc.), but with Goofy, I'd do it every year if I could! Good luck with registration!

    1. Hi Jen, thanks for stopping by! That's awesome that Dopey was your first full! I decided to just go for it and sign up for Goofy 2016!

  2. Congrats on going Goofy again! I hope it is just as good of an experience for you as it was this year!

    1. Thanks, I hope it is just as fun! Will you guys be back Jan 2016?