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Top 10 Training and Racing Tips

Top 10 Training and Racing Tips

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Posted Monday, 10 October, 2005

From Jeff Galloway

1. Get a realistic goal time. Run a 5K race, every 4-6 weeks, and use a good prediction table. An example of this is found here This time will allow you to predict your finish time, under ideal conditions, if you do the training necessary. Those who have run a marathon before can add 15 minutes to correct for less than perfect weather conditions, and another 15-20 minutes if your longest run was 20 miles or less. First-time marathoners should run the first 13 miles at a pace that is 2 min/mi slower than the predicted ideal pace—then speed up as desired.

2. Run your long runs at least 2 min/mi slower than the time predicted by the 5K. When the temperature rises above 65 degrees, add an additional 30 seconds/mile, and above 75 degrees, 60 seconds/mi and above 80 degrees, add 2 min/mi .

3. Put walk breaks into your long runs for dramatically faster recovery. Start the one min walks, from the first few minutes. If your goal marathon time is 6 hours, run 1 min/walk 1 min. Other goals: 5:30 (2-1), 5 hours (3 min run/1 min walk), 4:30 (4 min run/1 min walk), 4:00 (5-1), 3:30 (6-1),
3:15 (7-1). If the weather is hot and/or you’re feeling extra tired, walk more often.

4. Drink a few sips of water every mile unless you hear water “sloshing” in your stomach, during training runs and the marathon itself. The various marathon organizations are recommending that the consumption of fluid be between 14 and 27 oz. per hour. If you are running at the rate of 5 miles an hour, for example, you would consume between 3 oz and about 5 oz a mile. A “sip” is about an ounce. A standard glass holds 8 oz—so you will be drinking less than a glass every mile. Taking salt with your water during the second half of a long run or the marathon is particularly helpful for those who sweat profusely and/or experience leg cramps (which are also lessened by more frequent walk breaks).

5. Start long before sunrise on days when the temperature is expected to rise above 65 degrees. It is not uncommon for marathon training groups to start at 3-4 a.m. to avoid major heat stress and the radiant effect of the sun.

6. Build your long run to a maximum distance of at least 26 miles, for best preparation in avoiding “the wall” at the end of the marathon. As noted in #2 above, be sure to pace these long ones at least 2 min/mi slower than a legitimate marathon goal pace. Once the long runs reach 18 miles, they can be run every third week.

7. Don’t try to “push through pain” if you suspect that you have an injury. This will magnify the damage. Normal signs of injury are covered in GALLOWAYS BOOK ON RUNNING 2nd edition, with treatment information that has helped runners recover quickly. If there is swelling, loss of function or pain that continues after a mile, you should stop—even if you only have less than a mile to go.

8. Treatment for a possible injury includes the following: 1) stop running for 3-5 days, 2) Rub a chunk of ice on the area, for 15 minutes every night—keep rubbing, 3) Don’t stretch unless you have an Iliotibial Band injury, 4) Deep tissue massage may help a muscle injury, and 5) See a
podiatrist or orthopedist who wants to help you get back to your marathon training. Ask about anti-inflammatory medication and other treatments to speed recovery.

9. Take more days off from running each week, down to 3 days—when fatigue lingers more than 3 days after a long run. The minimum necessary for maintaining conditioning between long runs is 30 minutes of walk-run, on two days between the weekend runs.

10. Add additional minutes to your predicted time, if the weather is above @58 degrees on race day. See Tip # 1, above, and page 188 in NEW MARATHON, to estimate the effect of increased temperature on your performance. It is always better to start more conservatively.

You may ask Jeff any questions you wish from his website (where you can order NEW MARATHON):



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