Tons of Ways to Get more out of your Marathon Training
When you begin training for a marathon, there is a lot of focus and attention given to racking up the weekly miles. The final 12 – 16 weeks of your training (yes, training for a marathon starts well before your actual “marathon training plan” does), focus on getting in those critical race and goal specific runs.
Since I am not running a fall marathon this year for the first time if a few years, I thought I’d share some of my previous and favorite articles that focus on a plethora of different components of training for and racing a marathon.
Picking a Marathon Training Plan
It is perfect for beginners and those who want a bit more second level stuff. Maybe first however, you should focus on these important things.
The Mental Side of Running
Training your brain for running long distances is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Pun intended. When you train to run a long, long way, your brain is actually what allows you to finish. You can’t turn it off, so you should probably focus on making it work for you.
Additionally, the mental side of recovery can be as important as the physical.
Marathon Race Day Gear
Especially if you are new to running marathons, you might not know exactly what you need on marathon race day. Here’s what I use. It is something I have figured out over the past six I have done. You can read my list here. I highly encourage you to begin fine tuning your race day kit now, well before the big day.
Also, you can watch this webinar I did with Jessie from The Right Fits for some additional wisdom and tips on marathon gear. It’s 35 minutes of pure genius.
How to Master Your Long Run
The long run is the foundation of marathon training. We all know that. It prepares your body to run 26.2 miles, and gets your mind used to dealing with 3 – 6 hours of pain. During my last few training cycles, I’ve found ways to maximize my long training runs by experimenting with different fueling, throwing in a little something extra, and making sure I was well prepared before heading out on one.
You also may want to stop doing long runs if they are over three hours. I know this isn’t popular, but I stand by it! Mostly because coaches smarter than I am swear by it, and it has worked for me several times now.
Motivation and Inspiration
Where to start? Almost every story I hear about someone who ran a marathon when they thought they couldn’t, inspires me to try a little harder next time. We have collected so many of these stories over the past few years, here are a few.
- It’s Not About the Marathon – Achieving Big, Scary Dreams
- What we can learn from the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Charter Club
- When Running a Marathon Makes You Cry
- The Twin Cities Marathon Finish Line (in slow motion)
- How I Came Back to Running After a Stroke
- 7 Marathon Quotes to Inspire You
- 10 Discoveries of a First Time Marathoner In Training
- How a Marathon Will Inspire You
Relaxing and Tapering before a Marathon
The taper is what you do the final two-ish weeks before your race. You cut down miles, rest, eat, sleep and fully hydrate. It’s not when you make up for missed training, or go out partying because you have extra time. Here are a few of the best tips I’ve found for tapering.
Also, the week before a big race can make you go a little crazy as you focus on the event. Hopefully you psych yourself up (and not out). Here are a few things I do to relax in the final week before a marathon.
How to Evaluate your Marathon (or any race)
After you complete a big race, you need a way to evaluate it. I used to just look at my time. Did I hit my goal time or not? It’s slightly more complicated than that. In this post on evaluating your race performance, there are some great tips to help you look at a variety of factors to evaluate how it really went, and what to do differently next time.
This list could go on and on… What are some of your favorite articles you’ve read to help you best prepare to run a marathon?