Miller byJenAMiller. Often, you run a first marathon just to finish. After that, you start thinking about the clock. According to Running USA, the median marathon finishing times in the United States are for men and for women, and many aim for a sub-four or sub-five hour marathon. The good news is that the same training strategies can be used to hit any marathon time goal. Do you want to set a personal record or just finish? If your goal is to beat your previous time, qualify for the Boston Marathon, or hit some set time goal, picking the right plan is crucial, and the sections below are for you.
What was your last marathon pace? Before committing to a time goal, calculate your average mile pace during your last marathon. Also consider your pace at the various stages of the marathon. Were you cruising until the mile marker until you smashed into the Wall? Did a mid-race port-a-potty break add too many minutes to your time? Pick a reasonable pace that is better than your previous race and do the math to generate a new time goal.
What is your 5K and 10K race pace? Previous race results can give you an idea for a goal, however, especially if you use the McMillan Running prediction calculator. If you ran a 28 minute 5K roughly a 9 minute mile pace you probably can run a 4 hour 33 minutes marathon which is roughly a 10 minute 25 seconds per mile pace.
You are brave and bold, but sign up for a few 5K or 10K races before the main event. Check out our How to Start Running guide to get you going.
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Training for a marathon takes a lot of dedication. There are training plans for those who can run four, five or six days a week. How to choose? A six-day plan is a big commitment, but it can also be very effective. Need an efficient program that will still get you to your goal? This is it. The Hal Higdon training program is a schedule for the time-crunched. Speedwork, hills, and the option for extra miles if you so choose?
This plan has it all. It includes fartleks, tempo runs, intervals and hills during the week, with long runs on Sundays. This training plan is designed to keep you running strong in the last 6. The good news? The bad news? You will run an awful lot each week, including mile tempo runs toward the end of training.
For example, run hard for two minutes, then run easy for three minutes, then run hard for four minutes and so on. You can also improvise fartleks. Run hard to that tree in the distance, jog to the next trash can, then sprint to the next tree, etc. Tempo Runs: Different runners, and different training plans will define a tempo run in different ways.
In general, it is a run done at a slightly uncomfortable pace. Sometimes they are runs done at the pace of a previous 5K or 10K. They can also sometimes be done at your projected marathon pace.
Intervals: Interval training is a proven way to increase endurance by adding intensity at set points in your run. Run a set distance at top speed, then a set distance at a slower pace to recover and repeat. Common intervals for marathon training are meters, meters or 1 mile.
Hills: Improve your speed by running locals hills. Run up and down the same hill over and over again. This can be done on a treadmill using incline settings. Pace Runs: Pace runs are workouts done at the pace you hope to use to complete the marathon. I knew that my 18 weeks of training would come down to the next five hours. My training? Strength training is an essential part of training for a time-based marathon.
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You will run faster and reduce risk of injury with just a few basic exercises. It can be hard to find the time to lift weights when you are already running four or six days a week. However, by targeting the muscles that you use for running, strength training can help you run faster. Also, strengthening the parts of your body that support your running can help keep injuries at bay. This exercise strengthens the gluteus medius muscle around your hips to increase your lateral stability, preventing hip injuries from the constant pounding of the road.
This is a great all-in-one exercise that engages your lower back, hips, shoulders and upper back.
The previous exercises strengthen the muscles that support running, but this one directly works the muscles used when you run. This exercise will give you an extra burst of power with every stride. Strengthening your core with this exercise will stabilize your body and keep your body upright as you run. Hold the dumbbell with both hands and let it hang between your legs. Keep your back straight and your head up. Lunges strengthen the gluteus medius, the muscle along the outside of your hip. When you strengthen this region, you keep your hips strong and, hopefully, uninjured. Step out to the right with your right foot and shift your body weight over the right leg.
Squat down until your knee makes a 90 degree angle. Keep your back straight.
So let’s make running injuries a thing of the past! How?
You need your brain to get you there too. There are three mental exercises you should try during your training. Try them all. Then you can figure out which works best to help you get your mind off your pain and the distance you still have to run. First, brace yourself. Embrace the fact that you will probably feel uncomfortable, perhaps even suffer a bit.
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You want to expect your body to struggle to perform well. Next, think positive. As you run, try to catch or stay in contact with a runner ahead of you or maintain a specific pace. Training for a marathon is indeed a license to eat more, but be sure to be smart about how you fuel yourself. However, feeling hungry all the time signals the need for a dietary change. Some favorites? Your feet should land beneath your hips, says Fishell. Any longer and you're "reaching," which adds destructive force.
Strong glutes butt muscles will pull your legs back under your hips as your feet hit the ground and safely propel you forward.
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Abs Contract your abs so they can help you maintain good form chest up, shoulders over hips. But don't flex consciously, Fishell says. By doing that, you could distract yourself. Instead, activate your core by performing a dynamic warmup jump squats, for example prior to running. Shoulders Keep your shoulders back and shoulder blades pulled down toward your back pockets. Move your arms from your shoulders to save energy.
Swinging your arms improperly can throw off your alignment and increase your risk of injury.
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Hands They should be lightly cupped. I offer workshops and individual instruction in running. These workshops are perfect for runners of all abilities. They take the pounding, pain, and potential damage out of running. We focus on learning how to prevent injuries, how to use our bodies efficiently and increase our enjoyment of running. A coach like me, who has years of experience and a deep understanding of movement and running fundamentals will set you up for success. Other outcomes of learning how to run properly include:.
If so, then join me for a workshop. What to bring to your workshop: Proper running attire, water, sunglasses and sunblock. How long are the workshops: 4-Hour Workshops and please note you must pre-register for these classes. Contact Shelli for her running workshop schedule. Personal attention can make a significant difference in your learning curve. Contact Shelli to find out more and schedule your private lessons! The programs I customize for you address both when to run and how much to run.
Get started now by contacting me for more information about customized training plans!