marathon training tips
Running a marathon is not for the faint of heart. From the training leading up to and the long distance on race day, it takes a lot of dedication. But even with all the hard work it takes, why do we see thousands of runners sign up for a marathon each year? Well that’s because at the end of the day, it can also be the most rewarding experience you ever sign up for. It’s a unique challenge for each person from beginning to end with many lessons learned and usually funny stories to share too!
We talked to some of our Fit2Run marathon runners and gathered their intel on actually running a marathon. Whether they are first time marathoners or marathon veterans they have some great marathon training tips to share based on their experiences. Check out what they have to say about their first, or latest, marathon race and see if we convince you to sign up for an upcoming marathon.
Tip #1: Save your energy
Tryston is an Orlando-based Fit2Run runner who has just completed his first marathon, the 2023 Disney World Marathon. While running 26.2 miles of the most magical place on earth he recalls always keeping in mind his pre-race advice “keep one foot in front of the other”. Even when it got tough this simple tip kept him going mile after mile. But, as the miles started to add up he realized the speed he started with at the beginning of the race cost him some much needed energy for those last couple marathon miles. For his next marathon he is sure to take note that starting the race at a slower pace, working your way up to faster speed and saving energy for the last miles can make for a more comfortable finish.
Tip #2: train mid-distance
With over 20 marathons under his belt Matt M, Fit2Run Puerto Rico runner, could almost write a full book on marathon training tips. He’s run hundreds of miles and learned just as many running lessons since crossing his first marathon finish line in 2013. But his biggest take away with marathon training is to remember the importance of mid-length runs. “A 5-8 mile run should be somewhat easy when you’re in peak marathon training and it’s not about the pace but that you can comfortably cover that distance”
Tip #3: make a nutrition plan and train with it
Hooked on the feeling of running long distance, Colten, Fit2Run Florida runner, signed up and completed his first marathon in 2022. He enjoyed it so much he immediately signed up for this year’s edition of the marathon! Surprised to see many participants drop out of the race due to cramping, which many times is caused by lack of nutrition, he was thankful to have integrated nutrition training as well in the weeks leading up to the marathon. During his training for the race, Colten tried out different nutrition fuel types, flavors and brands during his runs in order to find the right combination that worked best for him. A good nutrition plan is the marathon training tip he will continue to use and share with future marathoners.
Tip #5: get the right gear and believe in yourself
Signing up for a marathon on a whim, Kelsey, a Bradenton Fit2Run runner, soon learned that there is a wrong kind of gear for running but luckily there is also the right kind of gear to help you run a marathon. Most grateful for discovering runner’s favorite Body Glide which helps protect rubbing skin that can cause chafing like under arms and running socks, to avoid blisters, are now some of her must haves for any run. Completing this first marathon was not easy but she is grateful for the experience and happy that being equipped with the right running gear and some positive motivation, made this possible. Reminding herself “You are stronger than you think” through the training and race day motivates Kelsey to continue her running journey.
Tip #6: don’t underestimate your training plan
Five time Fit2Run Orlando marathon runner Bradley, has a passion for running so much so that it has become part of his everyday life. After running many shorter distance races he decided to take his passion for running to the next level and sign up for his first marathon, which he successfully completed in 5 hours. While happy he finished his first marathon distance race he wasn’t quite satisfied with his time, knowing that he is capable of finishing with a faster time had he truly followed his training. Testing out his theory, he picked another marathon, organized a training plan, and this time stuck to it. On race day he was very happy to see that his dedication paid off as his timing did in fact improve and he overall felt like a much better runner! At times during training for any race we may all not quite understand why something is part of the training or think skipping a short run is not going to make a difference as Bradley proved in multiple marathons after, it is there with the purpose to help you reach your running goal. “Trust the process and have fun especially on race day!”
Tip #7: recovery and long runs are key
Speed runner turned distance runner, Matt L. knows the ins and outs of running. Having participated in many local races throughout Florida, Matt has gained running knowledge from fellow runners and coaches. The one he emphasizes the most in his current training is the importance of a recovery routine after any run. Especially when training for something new, like your first marathon, a recovery routine is a vital part of your training. Even on days you don’t feel overly sore, getting into the habit of a recovery routine will help you in the long run (literally and figuratively). And speaking of long runs, don’t skip those either! Even if they are “slow” getting used to doing any activity for an extended amount of time will greatly help with the challenge that is a marathon.
Every marathon is different for every runner and getting ready for it or the lessons learned can vary from runner to runner. But the one thing all Fit2Run runners can agree on is that the perfect fit shoe is key to having a good race. Particularly for the marathon distance you want to make sure your feet are comfortable through the long miles ahead.