My Marathon Training

9 Tips to Help You Make it Through Your Marathon

Before you step to the starting line for your next marathon, do a little prior planning to help you make it on race day. I’ve run and finished 16 marathons and each one was different. After running my first 3-4 marathons I started doing a few things prior to stepping to the line on race day. Follow these 9 tips and your marathon experience will be celebrated.

Wear a Pace Chart – Nothing works better than the old phrase “prior planning prevents poor performance”. There are moisture resistant wristbands with pacing charts per mile to keep you on your game.

Wear Proper Sized Shoes – Your running shoes should run ½ to 1 size larger than your regular street shoes. The larger size allows your toes ample room to spread out and breathe. Your feet will definitely swell after many miles, so the more room you have the better.

Body Glide Your Feet – You don’t want to quit the race because of painful blisters. Body Glide is a thinly applied lubricant. Lube your feet up before you put your socks on. You can even carry the small size of Body Glide with you on your run. Put it on top and bottom of your toes as well as the ball of your foot and the arch, finishing with your heel. You never know.

Put Medical Tape on any Hotspots on your Feet – If you’ve experienced any slight blistering in the week or two before your race, put medical tape on them the morning of the race.

Advil or Ibuprofen – I carry some form of anti-inflammatory with me on all my runs. I may not always need it, mostly I don’t at all but… If you feel some pain, take 2-4 caplets with fluid and finish with a flair.

Electrolyte Tablets – Sometimes if I feel a little dehydrated I will take electrolyte tablets, usually 2 per hour. Wash these down with fluid and you will give yourself a chance to avoid cramps in muscles. I usually take ELoad Caps, but there are several good brands. Practice using these tablets before your race so you have no race day surprises.

Heart Rate Monitor – If you feel you cannot pace yourself properly, try using a heart rate monitor with heart rate zones. You can set your monitor to send a sound if you fall under your heart rate or go over your heart rate. You will have to do the work beforehand to set your heart rate zones.

Fueled Up – Most running nutritionists and coaches will tell you that you must intake about 100 calories per hour to keep your energy level up. Gels are the most common and often are handed out at marathons. Other methods of fuel include energy jelly beans and gel blocks. I’ve even seen snack crackers and fruit consumed. You will have to experiment with these for sure. NEVER go to the starting line without having used something successfully from your long runs.

Signage – If your race number doesn’t have your name on it, make a sign that does. Find a moisture proof paper such as Fedex or UPS letter envelops, cut out one side of it and with a permanent magic marker put your name or nickname on it and then pin it to your chest or back or both. As you pass spectators by they will call out your name and it will give you a nice little energy boost. Make it fun.

Well there you go. A lot of training with a little planning will go a long way to helping you be your best on race day.

Matt Ney is married to a beautiful wife and has 3 teenage girls. He has started home-based businesses to provided himself as well as his girls with their own opportunity to generate monthly cash flow. Taking advantage of US tax laws, he has also reduced his income taxes allowing his family to save more for the future. More info;

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Posted by The Running Guy - November 17, 2008 at 10:09 am

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The Longest Run During Marathon Training

Every time that I read an article about marathon training I see something pertaining to the longest run in a marathon plan. Why is there so much controversy?

Every marathon runner or coach has his or her own theory about the longest run during marathon training. Some argue that 20 miles in long enough. Others argue running up to 30 miles. And some even say that 15 miles is long enough. Which theory is correct?

In my own opinion the two greatest coaches are Arthur Lydiard and Jack Daniels. These two coaches never had their runners run longer than 22 miles. My interpretation of their coaching system is that they based this distance on the length of time that a marathoner would run during the actual race. During marathon training a distance of 22 miles ran at slower than marathon pace would equal the time running the actual marathon.

My own theory about marathon training follows a similar pattern. I try to lengthen my long run in minutes to the amount of time that I project to be my finishing time. For example if my projected marathon goal is 3 and ½ hours. My longest run will be 3 and half hours at my long distance heart rate of between 60 and 75% mhr 3 weeks before the marathon.

Two drawbacks to this theory are under estimating your finishing time and running longer than three hours. Figuring out your estimated finishing time can be a challenge. There are many ways to estimate your finishing time. My personal choice is to take my latest half marathon finishing time and double it and add one half hour. For those whose finishing time projects out to be longer than 3 hours I would not run longer than 3 and a half hours.

A suggestion about longs runs during marathon training. When your long run time starts approaching three hours allow 14 to 21 days between these efforts. Three hour runs take a lot out of you both physically and mentally. Extra time is needed for the body and mind to adapt to these difficult efforts.

My theory about long runs during marathon training has helped to me set my own personal best times in the marathon. I believe this will allow you to reach your own marathon goals also.

Author of: Fatigue Nutrition & Endurance Exercise, Run2Fast, Ultimate Training

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Posted by The Running Guy - March 30, 2008 at 10:48 am

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4 Days Until the Half-Marathon

In the home stretch now and in the tail end of the taper phase – the run is this coming Sunday and I feel good. I don’t think this will be my fastest half every (1 hr 48 minutes) but it should fell good. I am ready to push it and see how fast I can do it.

Tonights run was a 10 minute warm up followed bu 6 X 0.25 mile repeats with a 0.25 coll down between each speed workout. I finished up with another 10 minute cool down. Tomorrow and Friday I plan to ride into work and on Thursday I am going to do a pretty light 3 miler just to keep the legs fresh.

My next post won’t be until after the race so until then….

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Posted by The Running Guy - July 3, 2007 at 8:25 pm

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My Marathon Training = Half-Marathon Training

For those of you who have been following my progress as I train for a marathon may have noticed the real scarcity of posts concerning this training. Truth is that my life has been way too hectic and I have not been able to do the required training. The long runs on Sundays were next to impossible to get in – it was not fair to my wife and kids, who I don’t see much during the week due to work anyway – to head out for 2.5+ hour runs. The volume of the weekday runs were equally hard. Don’t get me wrong, my wife is the most supportive wife in the world – it was my guilt that was the issue.

This lead me to making a pretty tough decision – I have decided to pull out of the full marathon and have re-registered in the half-marathon. The funny thing is that it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was constantly stressing about being ready for the marathon and not getting the good quality runs is was have an impact on my well-being. I am a pretty passionate guy and things like this affect me greatly. I now feel revitalized and am enjoying running again as the runs are manageable. As I wrote about awhile ago, I have been incorporating my runs and cross-training into my regular daily activity of commuting to work and it is working. The biking has given me much stronger legs and my running speed is improving. I have also been following the training methodology presented in the book, Run Less, Run Faster, which has me running 3 days a week as well as cross-training another 2. This fits nicely in my schedule. I encourage you to check it out if you are looking for a different way to train.

Days to Half-Marathon: 20

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Posted by The Running Guy - June 17, 2007 at 10:46 am

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My Marathon Training – Going Into Week 11

Almost through week 11 here and I have gotten some pretty good training in with some cross-training as well. I still need to do my long run and that is planned for Saturday morning. I am looking forward to it.

This week I biked to work for the first time in a long while. It felt good. The trip is 1 hour each way with some ups and downs – it is a good workout. I did a tempo run last night where I did 1 mile warm up, and then 3 miles at about a 9:30 pace and then another 1 mile cool down. Going 3 miles at that pace felt great and I could feel my legs working harder. On Tuesday night I did some intervals with 1 mile warm up, 6 1/4 mile runs at about a 9:00 pace (I need to go faster next time), and then a 1 mile cool down. This was something I had not down in a long while and it was a nice alternative to just getting out and running a straight 4 miler.

That brings me to my next point about boredom. In training for a marathon there is so much running that adding some variety is important. A bored runner during training is not getting an effective workout.

Here is my training stats to this point, keeping in mind that I will be doing my long run (12 miles) tomorrow:

Here are my running stats for Week 11:

Date: May 20- May 26, 2007
Days until race: 43
Weekly Running Mileage: 8.4 miles (plus 12 miles to be completed)
Weekly Cross Training: Biked 2 hours 13 minutes for 22 miles

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Posted by The Running Guy - May 25, 2007 at 8:08 am

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