Master The Marathon | 7 Strategies for Success
Gearing up for that next 26.2 and feeling a little overwhelmed? That is completely normal! The marathon is a challenging distance no matter if you’re all business in the front of the pack or all party in the back. Training can seem extremely complicated and it is easy to lose confidence because you’re not following the latest fad. In order to step up to the line feeling ready it helps to simplify the process:
Run mostly easy:
It can be tempting to push the pace, but race day success comes primarily from consistency. Running easy is the best way to do that! Building up easy runs over time also allows your body to strengthen the connective tissue in your body from the accumulated time on your feet.
Rotate your shoes:
Running shoes don’t last forever. Fortunately, there can be warning signs before any real damage begins. The most common one is when an easy recovery run leaves you with aches and pains. To counteract this try buying two pairs of shoes at a time and rotating every other day. Don’t wear completely new shoes on race day. Start breaking them in in the last few weeks with a few easy runs and then do a your two longest runs in them to help prevent blisters.
Race before the race:
Adding a few 10ks and half marathons can help in a variety of ways. First, they help practice race day routines and calm race nerves. Second, they help build in some sneaky speed workouts. Third, they are a great way to check in with your goals. There are plenty of estimators out that guess your marathon equivalent from other distances.
If your body doesn’t respond to long runs well that is okay! There are a million ways to get to the finish line, your way might just require doubles. It’s amazing how some people can run even more mileage when their long runs are broken down into two parts. An easy 3-4 miles in the evening is also great way to flush out the lactic acid of an earlier workout.
Train with partners:
Even if your friends aren’t running the same race it can be extremely helpful to have some support out there. Don’t sacrifice your training and paces completely, but know that sport is much more enjoyable when you share the journey with other people!
Plan and adjust:
Make a solid, but flexible plan. This goes for both your training schedule as well as race day! What are the three biggest obstacles you might encounter and how will you adjust? Keep an open mind and you’re less likely to break down physically and mentally. Need an extra cross training day? No problem. Accidentally fall asleep before you were supposed to workout? Your body needed the rest!
Remember why you signed up: Keeping your why in the back (or front) of your mind is incredibly important. I like to boil mine down into a single word that also applies to the other goals I have in life. When your purpose for training aligns with the person you want to be, it is amazing how much easier it can be to work hard.
26.2 miles is definitely a huge challenge, but you’re up for the task!
Hope this gave you some food for thought,
You might also be interested in: