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Previous Articles

Training - The Critical Weeks

This is the key part of your training program


Should You Eat Before A Run?


Marathon Training & Life Balance


Knee Pain Prevention


What's The Best Marathon Training Program?


Finding Time To Do Your Marathon Training


Vary Your Training

 & run a better marathon


Marathon Recovery


Setting Your Marathon Time Goal


Getting Started

Thoughts on Deciding to Run a Marathon


Conquer Those Hills!

How to overcome the hill challenges


Marathon Countdown

Tips on getting ready for the big event!


Marathon Success Secrets


How To Improve Your Training


Keep on Track With The Right Schedule


Diet Pointers


Runners' Diet & Nutrition


Training Tips For Beginners


Hot Weather Running


Be A Marathon Mentalist

-Sports Psychology


Marathon Training - Recovery Days


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'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website: 

 

Marathon Success Secrets


Are you running a marathon this year? Download our free "Marathon Race Strategies" report and improve your performance!
 

 
 

Why do some people seem to complete the marathon distance comfortably while others struggle through the last 10 miles? There is no simple answer to this question but there are several things you can do to make sure you run the race as well as possible...

I: Pre-Race Training

Donít Over-train
This is especially true in the case of the less experienced marathon runner. Many people feel they have to do several long runs of over 20 miles. Some people even run the full marathon distance during a training run. The downside of all this is the closer you get to the actual marathon, the less your body is able to recover properly.
Another over-training error many people commit is to run too fast, especially on their long runs. This can easily happen if you are training with friends or the running club. As a general rule you should be doing your long run at about a minute slower than your intended marathon pace.


Donít Under-train!
This might sound strange after the previous paragraph, but many people (often the more experienced marathon runners) fall into this group of marathon runners. The reasons are usually straightforward.

  • They didnít start their marathon training early enough and ended up with a training schedule less than 12 weeks, which I consider the very minimum.

  • They suffered an injury during their training and had to take time off, but stayed with the same training schedule and marathon date.

 

 

A good marathon program will have a total of between 600 and 800 training miles, depending on the experience and ability of the individual.
 

II: Race Day

Adjust Your Marathon Time Goal?
This is an absolute must if you fall into either of the categories above or if the weather is bad. Running a marathon is hard enough under ideal conditions, so how can you expect to do well otherwise if youíre just recovering from a cold, or itís a hot humid day?
 

The problem is that a lot of people start out with a goal in mind and are reluctant to change it. They start out at their planned pace and try to maintain it throughout the race, instead of varying it as needed.

An experienced marathoner will always try to keep some energy in reserve for the later stages of the race. I have run my best marathons at a varied pace, sometimes with a second half faster than the first.

 

Run relaxed

You must run at your own pace - and that's going to be the pace at which you are comfortable (not necessarily your original intended pace!). Don't try to keep up with others if you have to push yourself early on in the race. The secret is to be relaxed and settle into a rhythm that keeps you going mile after mile, without straining.

 

Be Mentally Prepared
Even if youíve run marathons before, the sheer mental effort needed to get you through certain parts of the run can take you by surprise. During your training itís a good idea to go out in less than ideal conditions just to force yourself to cope mentally. We generally lead quite sheltered lives and donít like to get too wet or too cold etc. You need to compensate for this from time to time.


During the marathon itself whenever I hit a Ďtoughí spot (a hill, headwind, or a tired feeling) I find it helps to remind myself that Iíve been there before in previous marathons or training runs, and I know I can work through it. Before you know it, you usually have recovered and can pick up the pace again.

 

 

 

Be Goal Oriented

Don't dwell on the long distance you have to go! After completing 10K, 20 miles still seems forever. Instead set up intermediate goals, for example:

  1. 10K

  2. 10 miles

  3. 1/2 marathon

  4. 15 miles

  5. 20 miles

  6. 26.2

As you reach each point, pat yourself on the back and focus on the few miles needed to reach the next goal. This helps a lot to get you through the full race distance, - try it in your next marathon.

 

Walk?

This is contrary to many people's concept of running a race, and generally they are right. Except for the marathon. This is a very long distance and anything can happen. Usually people run until through sheer fatigue, they are forced to walk.

This is where an experienced runner can do better than a novice - you have to be in tune with your body. If you sense the onset of leg pain, weariness or any other discomfort, then stop and walk for a few minutes, - before you have to!

I've done this before, and was surprised that I was able to regain my running rhythm, and ended up passing many other runners during the last three miles of the race.

 

There are many other factors that affects a runner's ability to master the marathon distance, but if you follow the above tips that should definitely help!

 

Have a great race!

 

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