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the key part of your training program
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getting ready for the big event!
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Ways to improve your overall marathon time
**** The '26.2' Marathon Survey Results ****
This is the key part of your training program
& run a better marathon
Tips on getting ready for the big event!
'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website:
The Big Decision!
So you want to run a marathon and join the hundreds of thousands of runners in North America who participate in this classic race event each year? I believe many runners who enjoy the sport look at completing a marathon as the ultimate challenge. Certainly, crossing the marathon finish line is very satisfying, even if your body is complaining all over! Your first thought might be, I’m not doing that again. But by the next day you’ll be thinking, if I’d only had a slightly better second half I would have been well under my marathon goal.
Thinking about it (26.2 miles??)
I remember the very first time I completed a 6 mile run, and I was feeling pretty good about it. Then I wondered how do people do this and then run 20 more miles all in one go during a marathon? This was more miles than I was running in a week….
The answer of course is the same as for any sport – training and commitment, with commitment being the most important. As Yogi Berra was fond of saying “90% of this game is half mental”
The race itself presents some unique challenges.
What do you do if you “hit the wall” during the marathon? (This is when you encounter a sudden drop in your energy level, your legs feel like lead and your will to continue evaporates, often around the 20 mile mark.) Should you walk…? Actually, on a hot day in the Boston marathon, Bill Rodgers once stopped, sat down, drank a Coke and then went on to win the race!!
The first thing to do is select a race. Big or small? There are pros and cons for either
choice. My first marathon was New York, and I reckon the crowd got me through the last eight miles – they were fantastic. Not to mention the other runners, who were always willing to chat and help the miles go by. On the other hand I was up at 5:00 AM getting ready to catch the bus to the marathon starting area.
The wait before the race seemed forever. Then when we finally did start we walked! And I was on a schedule (this was my first marathon, remember)! So when we did pick up the pace I was weaving through the crowd trying to get back the time I’d lost. I probably ran 28 miles that day, the marathon plus the side to side distance as I tried to pass people. So a smaller (local) marathon event can be easier from many points of view.
Get a partner
The next thing to do is tell everyone you know that you’re going to run a marathon. That way it’s harder to back out! Also if you can line up some folks to train with, this is a big plus. Especially if they have run a marathon before. Your local running club is often a good place to start. Running shoe stores often have a marathon training program you can join.
Set your expectations
My first marathon goals were totally unrealistic, given my lack of marathon experience. I crossed the finish line around the 3hrs 35minutes mark, and the person next to me said he’d been aiming for 3 hours. I was off my goal, and he was way off his!
The “Golden” Rule for beginning marathoners.
Now you can think about setting time goals for your next marathon!