Archive for the ‘101 Tips’ Category

Tip #99

October 30, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip #99
During Training
One method used to increase speed is hill repeats. Choose a challenging hill on a local school field that takes 15 to 60 seconds to run. Do 5 to 10 repetitions depending on how you feel. You may want to try 5 reps the first time then 3-4 weeks later do 8 reps then 3-4 weeks later try 10 reps. Don’t do more than 10 reps and practice this once a week. Start with an easy warm up of 5-10 min on a flat surface and close out the workout with another slow and easy 5-10 min as a cool down.
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Tips 86-98 –3 weeks before, the day of and after the marathon

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip 86

When considering your first marathon look for a flat course. Some examples are Philadelphia, London(if you enjoy traveling overseas), and Chicago.
Tip 87
Run against traffic. The drivers will see you and you can move quickly if you notice a car that is moving into your path.
Tip 88
When running in hot weather wear light and breathable clothing. The new materials that are available seem to allow the air to flow through the shirts and shorts very easily.
Tip 89
Consider 1 or 2 days a week of cross training. Use a bike or elliptical to condition different muscle groups which will help during the last few miles of the marathon.
Tip 90
3 weeks prior to the marathon date begin your taper. Decrease your mileage to help the body recover and become stronger for the big day. Don’t worry about the decrease in exercise time. This plan works!
Tip 91
If the run is over an hour take some water with you and a source of carbs. It can be in the form of gels, bananas, or even gummy bears.
Tip 92
On marathon day run a negative split. Start slow for the first 10-13 miles then pick up the pace slightly. You may still have a challenging time during the last few miles but it won’t be as difficult versus starting too fast.
Tip 93
If you need to walk do so. Just keep moving forward.
Tip 94
After the event have your picture taken with your Finishers Medal. Most marathons have the United States flag and you can stand in front of the flag wearing the medal. It makes for a great shot!
Tip 95
Savior the moment! Buy a shirt or a mug from the marathon to remind yourself every so often of your achievement!
Tip 96
Now it’s time to rest. Take the next week off. When you start to exercise again use the bike or the elliptical. Give your joints a break.
Tip 97
Take the family and/or friends out for a celebratory meal. They have supported you through all of the training. Thank them!
Tip 98
It takes approximately a day to recover for every mile. This means the recovery time will be a month.
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Tips 81-85

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip 81

If you develop an injury visit you doctor. You may need a physical therapist or a chiropractor. That’s okay…they are all part of your training team. Chances are you have plenty of time until the event to rehab the injury. I once strained a hamstring muscle in a softball game (bad choice 2 months before the marathon!) and rehabed it in time to complete the 26.2 miles. However, my goals changed from running a sub 4 hr marathon to completing the marathon. Be flexible.

Tip 82

Be flexible with your goals. Due to injury or weather conditions you may need to modify your plans.

Tip 83
Try functional stretching Vs static stretching to determine what works best for you.
Tip 84
If you have lost the interest in training and there is just 2 months before the marathon mix it up a bit! Try the elliptical machine or develop a different route or just go out and run. Just follow the road and turn around or follow a road you have driven but never had run before. Or go out to the local school and run around the track or on the fields.
Tip 85
Reward, Reward, Reward! You are almost there!
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Tips 64-80

October 4, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip 64
What are you eating? Look at it and assess the contents. Are you eating complex carbs(whole grains, frts, veggies, pasta, baked potato)? Eat to train. Do not train to eat!
Tip 65
Eat Fruits and veggies not only for nutritional content but for the water content as well. This will help with hydration. Your muscles will appreciate it.
Tip 66
At meal time have a lot of color(green, orange, red, yellow) on your plate. Unless it is the night before a long training run than go for the pasta(not a heavy cream sauce), baked potatoes, and rice.
Tip 67
Try gel packs ( Gu, PowerBar Gel, Clif bar gels, etc). They are easy to digest while you run. Just remember to wash it down with some water. This can be done while appraoching a water station (100 ft away) during the marathon. Many events have the gels available at the pre race expo and during the event. Just remember to use what your stomach tolerates.
Tip 68
Resistance train 1 – 2 days per week. It only takes 15-30 minutes for 1 set of 10-15 reps. Practice 4 exercises for the upper body and 4 for the lower body. has excellent exercise videos you can review to learn the proper technique or use a personal trainer for one session.
Tip 69
2 days before the marathon rest. This means off your feet as much as possible. You want fresh legs for your big day.
Tip 70
1 day before the marathon do a slow run of 15-20 minutes. This loosens up the muscles and will remind your body and brain about the pace as well.
Tip 71
The night before eat the carbs(pasta, potatoes, rice, bread) that made you feel the best during your long training runs. No alcohol….just water. Lots and lots of carbs.
Tip 72
Limit your time at the expo prior to the event. It is easy to shop for some good bargins. You want fresh legs. You will have time to reward yourself following the marathon.
Tip 73
The morning of the marathon eat some light carbs such as a bagel, banana, some gel or what works for you. This is very individualized so remember what you did during training and what worked and what gave you GI distress. But you need to “top off the tank”. But keep it small portions not alot like the night before.
Tip 74
Get a good nights sleep. This is more important 2 nights before the marathon. The night before expect to be a bit nervous. That’s normal.
Tip 75
If the morning is cold use gloves and a old sweat shirt you can discard once you warm up.
Tip 76
At the starting line close your eyes and imagine yourself running smoothly on the course and crossing the finish line strong. Ideally, drive the course or review it on the event web site so you are familiar with the hills and turns and their locations. This will help you have an enjoyable marathon. Professional athletes practice this. You should too!
Tip 77
Wear a trash bag at the start if it is cold. Yes, a trash bag. This will help keep you warm at the start and you can easily throw it away at the first water stop. Believe me you will not be the only one. Take it with you if you forgot that old sweatshirt.
Tip 78
When times get tough during the marathon repeat a motivational mantra from someone you admire—Lance Armstrong, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahammad Ali, Micheal Jordan, etc. or make up your own original mantra.
Tip 79
During the marathon relax and mingle with other runners if you feel comfortable. I once ran 20 miles with someone I just met at the start of the race. He helped maintain a good pace as well as good conversation!
Tip 80
If you have to stop and stretch. do it! You have a long way to go. Stopping for 30 seconds and stretching will help you reach the finish line.
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Tips 59-63

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip 59
Read a book on completing your first marathon. Having a different perspective always helps. Pre-read chapters before buying to determine if writing style meets your expectations.
Tip 60
After 1 month of training reward yourself. Go out and buy new running shoes or a nice comfortable shirt that breaths.
Tip 61
After 4 months of training reward yourself. Treat yourself to dinner at a pricy restaurant. You deserve it.
Tip 62
Sacrifice 1-2 hours of television or computer for a week to train.
Tip 63
Don’t over dress when running in temperatures are above 40F-dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer—unless it is below freezing.
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Tips 51-58

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip 51
Run relaxed, especially your shoulders.
Tip 52
Stretch at minimum the calves and lower back.
Tip 53
If you run at night use a flashlight or a headlamp and wear a reflective vest.
Tip 54
If running in cold dress in layers.
Tip 55
Replace your shoes every 6-8 months.
Tip 56
Use an MP3 player or IPOD. It will make the time move faster.
Tip 57
Try carb bars such as Clif Bars, Power Bars, Hammer Bars, etc.
Tip 58
Hire a coach or personal trainer for a session or month. Or try a web site such as
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Tips 46-50

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip #46
Massage your leg muscles (Calves, Quads and Hamstrings) on a regular basis and/or at least once a week for 1-2 months prior to the event. This will help loosen up those tight tendons, ligaments and muscles. You can try this in the shower or use massage lotions or moisturizing skin lotions. You can relieve dry skin and loosen up the muscles!
Tip #47
Develop a relationship with ibuprofen or other antiinflammatories. Every now and then you may need to take 200mg to decrease muscle inflammation/soreness or back tightness from a long run. If you are using it weekly perhaps you have an injury. See your doctor!
Tip #48
Take a water bottle with you during runs in hot weather. Place ice cubes in the bottle before you leave.
Tip #49
On the long runs(over an hour) be careful of too much fiber. It can cause GI upset making for a very uncomfortable run.
Tip #50
Eat healthy fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated—(fish, nuts, avocados, fish, etc)
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Tips 33-45

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment
Tip #33
Massage your leg muscles (Calves, Quads and Hamstrings) on a regular basis and/or at least regularly for 1-2 months prior to the event. This will help loosen up those tight tendons, ligaments and muscles.
Tip #34
To add variety run on grass or trails occasionally.
Tip #35
Pace yourself on sand. It will be a higher intensity workout.
Tip #36
Soak in a hot tub or warm bath the night before a long run. The warm water will help loosen up muscles.
Tip #37
Increase your time and mileage 10% a week. After 3-4 weeks back off for a week then start again.
Tip #38
Try not to over stride. Focus on more foot strikes per minute (cadence) rather than extension of your legs during your run.
Tip #39
Use an anti chaffing product (Body Glide or Vaseline) on those areas that tend to “rub together” and develop blisters when you run and on your toes and heal-if needed
Tip #40
Try running outside for half the time then finish the run on a treadmill. It will help reduce the risk of injury.
Tip #41
In the weeks leading up to the marathon train in conditions that are similar to the course and the weather conditions as much as you can.
Tip #42
3-4 weeks prior to the marathon run 3 1/2 hrs or 18-22 miles. This will be the last training test for your body and mind. After this run you’re ready. When you reach this point during the marathon you will then finish with an easy 10k which you’ve completed many times during training and the adrenalin rush from realizing you will be completing your first marathon will carry you to the finish line. After this run all the hard training is complete.
Tip #43
You can run in the morning and at night to fit in longer miles in a day. An example is 3 miles before work outside and 3 miles in the evening on a treadmill.
Tip #44
If you run in the morning and plan to run the next day consider running in the evening the following day. This will provide extra hours of rest versus running in the morning the next day.
Tip #45
If your goal is to finish consider a run/walk training regimen.
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Tip #32

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment
Drink water during training not just the day of the event. Muscles perform in a liquid medium and the muscles are approximately 80% water. Water is our most important nutrient and we need it for optimum marathon training.
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Tip #31

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment
During your training experiment with pre race meals to determine what carbs energize you the most and do not irritate your stomach. The night before choose a dinner that may contain pasta, baked potatoes, or rice. Then the next morning do a long easy run and monitor your body. What foods seem to enhance your performance on the run? Eat that food the night before the marathon.
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