The primary elements of marathon training

The primary elements of marathon training
  1. Base mileage. Build your weekly mileage over time, running 3-to-5 times per week.
  2. The long run. Do a long run every 7–10 days so your body can adjust gradually to long distances.
  3. Speed work. Practice intervals and tempo runs to increase your cardio capacity.
  4. Rest and recovery. Adequate rest helps prevent injuries and mental burnout.
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For many runners, the desire to do a marathon is about personal challenge. You might want to test your limits or prove that you can go the distance. Maybe you'd like to lose weight, get healthier or raise awareness for a charity.

Whatever your reason, hold on to it and remind yourself of it often during the months that lie ahead. 

  • Be aware of your limits. Consult with your physician before embarking on any training program.
  • Start early: as an aspiring marathoners, run a consistent base mileage for at least a year before embarking on a marathon training program.
  • Start small: Running a few shorter races—5Ks, 10Ks, or even a half marathon—is an excellent way to prepare physically and mentally for a first marathon

... is building weekly mileage too soon, too fast.

So don't underestimate the importance of consistently running at least 20–30 miles a week regularly before committing to training for a marathon.

Nearly all marathons include water and aid stations along the way. But if you plan to carry some of your own water on race day:

  • Buy a hydration pack or belt, or carry your own water using with handheld bottles.
  • Do long runs on a short loop course, so you can stash water in one spot along the way.
  • Plot your long run route to pass water fountains.
  • Stash water bottles along your route the night or morning before your run.
Fueling

For any run over 2 hours, aim to take in about 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour.

As glycogen (primary source of energy during the marathon gets depleted over the course of your marathon, your muscles will begin to tire and feel heavy. While no amount of fuel consumption during the race can entirely replace your depleted glycogen, consuming small amounts of carbohydrates can help prevent you from hitting the dreaded wall.

No new shoes, new shorts, new shirt, new hydration pack/belt or new foods.

Don't drink 3 cups of coffee if you usually have one. Your long training runs are when you should be fine-tuning your clothing, gear and fueling strategies.

Before the Race
  • Hydrate well for several days leading up to your marathon. 
  • Eat a simple, high-carbohydrate breakfast several hours before the start of the race.
  • Lather up with a little Vaseline or BodyGlide in any areas vulnerable to chafing.
  • The temperature is apt to rise over the course of the race, so don't overdress.
  • If you plan to run with music, check ahead of time whether headphones are allowed on the course; not all marathons permit them.
During the Race
  • Start slowly - starting too fast is a big rookie mistake. 
  • Don't blaze by every aid station or try to drink from a cup while running full blast.
  • Bathroom lines are longest at the first few aid stations. If you can wait another couple miles without discomfort, it may save you time.
  • Enjoy the energy of the spectators.
Race day: 
  • Drink several cups of water or sports drink. Walk a little, if you can, to let those muscles cool down. Do gentle stretching. Eat some simple carbohydrates, whether you feel like it or not.

After race day

  • Take at least a week off before resuming any kind of regular running schedule.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Eat well-balanced meals. Take care of any injuries or ailments you may have developed during the race. 

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Benefits

It is never too late to start running. Many take up this sport in their 50s and beyond. To start, you only need a good pair of running shoes and a desire.

Running is a very effective way to build cardiovascular endurance and increase mental toughness. It is an excellent stress reliever and will improve your health overall.

12

IDEAS

A raise
... is a recognition that you’re now contributing at a higher level than when your salary was last set. 

A raise isn’t a favor or a gift; it’s a way for employers to pay fair market value for your work and to keep you around because otherwise you’re eventually going to want to find a different job that does pay you competitively.

Working out at home is a tricky concept and can be harder to execute when the couch is right there in your view.

You can gain a lot from giving physical activity a real place of privilege in your schedule and devoting a good amount of time and attention to it. Apart from getting your blood pumping, the real benefits are creating time for your own interests and allowing yourself to check out mentally while focusing on simple tasks.

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