10 Training Tips You Need If Youre A Beginner Marathoner Diary of a Marathon Runner – 103 Days Until Race Day

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Diary of a Marathon Runner – 103 Days Until Race Day

I am training for the Rotterdam Marathon. This race, held in the Netherlands, is scheduled for April 11, or 103 days from today. I will take you on this journey with me, and provide inspiration and practical advice along the way.

I’ve done marathons before. This is my 12th, not including the five marathon distances I’ve run in an Ironman triathlon. Almost anyone can run a marathon (always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program). The more prepared you are, the better you will do.

While my training for the Rotterdam Marathon started two months ago, in November 2009, I have been training regularly as a runner, and before that as a triathlete, for much longer. In the last four years I have run seven marathons, the slowest being 3 hours and 15 minutes and the fastest being 3 hours and 7 minutes.

My goal in every marathon is to run faster than the previous one, in other words I aim to set a personal best (PB) time. While my quest to get faster is a big part of my motivation to maintain consistent training five days a week, for about 50 weeks a year, it’s not the only reason I run. I run because running makes me fit, mentally and physically.

Marathon training is hard but not as tough as you think. You need patience and about 10 hours a week. I also recommend an experienced running coach, who can provide you with a training program: one that reminds you that you are also healthy by targeting the frequency of training and the difficulty of your experience.

The running coach who writes my training program has been doing it since June 2005. I rarely see him. It’s in Australia, where I used to live, and I’m in Canada. We communicate by email. When I told him I wanted to do the Rotterdam Marathon, he created a daily training program for me and sent it to me as a spreadsheet. Every day I open that tablet and do what it tells me.

I don’t have to think about my training, I just have to do what my coach tells me to do. I trust my coach and his knowledge. This is very important and the reason why he has remained my coach for so long. Since he started training me, I have been injury free, which I am very thankful for. Injuries from running too fast can take a long time to heal, and can prevent you from doing any training at all.

My workout today consists of what I call an easy run of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Easy running means that my pace should be smooth: the easiest way to know if I’m running easy is that I should be able to communicate if I’m running with someone else.

Today’s tip: set a running goal.

If you’ve been thinking about taking up running, find a local group and/or coach to do so.

If you already run, find a race you want to run in the spring and start planning your training for it, preferably with a professional coach or popular running group.

If you are already a runner who thinks they might be ready for a marathon or have run a marathon before, choose one that gives you at least six months to prepare. So you need to check the race calendar in June, July or August for the marathon that appeals to you.

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