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Everyone Should Think Big

Most of you know that I had congestive heart failure in 2011. Since then I have run 7 marathons. Because Boston is next Monday, I thought I would remind my readers that a marathon is always 26.2 miles. 

I love the Boston course.

Boston has been a constant inspiration for me. Running has radically changed my life, second to only prayer. There is something magical about Boston - sort of like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. It's just so big!
We should all think big when it comes to fitness goals! 

My blog is usually related to fitness and weight loss. Today it is about things you need to know about a marathon.

Please vote for it anyway. Sympathy votes are like make up sex.

So you want to run a marathon? Here are some things to keep in mind.
- A marathon is nothing like a half marathon. It's the difference between waking up after a glass of wine or two and waking up after five or six shots of tequila.
- Even when you have trained hard, expecting to run a faster pace then you did in any of your training runs is pathetic.
- Small races are much easier logistically, but they can get lonely those last 10 miles.
- Big races are awesome if you need crowd support.
- If you are planning to walk the last six miles after you hit the wall, why not walk the first six miles and finish stronger?
- The halfway point of a marathon is 20 miles.
- You need to practice fueling on all your practice runs.
- The shoes that work for your 5K and 10K - even your half may not work for a full.
- Any training runs longer than 20 miles can cause long term damage and ruin your big day.
- Long slow runs are as effective for building VO2 Max as long fast runs. Use them to stay injury free.
- Run/Walk is not an option for an untrained runner. It is meant to give you a faster finishing time than running the entire time.
- Get your 20-miler in 6 weeks before the race. That way you have time to fix things and try it again. Or go with the confidence you nailed it.
- The last 6.2 miles are subject to change very quickly.
- Negative splits are essential for a good marathon. (slower miles to faster miles)
- Train with the hydration brand provided on the course.
- During big-city marathons be sure to sit as much as possible. Two or three hours on your feet before a race wastes energy you will need.
- Bring throw-away clothes. Space blankets are cheap! Bring two. One for the ground and one for cover up with.
- Pre-load electrolytes starting three days before a race.
- Hydrate well starting two days before a race.
- If you are going to carb-load, do it two nights before the race.
- Always practice you pre-race meal before a long training run.
- Most courses have hydration every 2 miles, some more often. Small sips during training during these intervals.
- During hot races it's a good idea to bring hydration. Water stops can be a zoo.
- My chiropractor said walk for an hour before sitting down after a marathon.
- To help you go out easy, warm up and stretch during the first mile or two.
- Study the course map. Knowing where hills are is helpful. If you are planning on walking, hills are a good place regardless of your intervals.
- Leg cramps are COMMON in the later miles of a marathon. Bring salt packs!

Thanks for the votes and comments.

A Pathetic Runners Guide to the Universe

68 votes + -


aimeetu wrote 62 months ago:
I tried a 5k once and hated every minute of it. I have yet to ever experience a runner's high. But I give mad props to those that do! Congrats and good luck in Boston!!
Anonymous wrote 62 months ago:
Great advice! I have done 2-3 5K's bur you have encouraged me to train for the next.level:10K here I come!
pizzafruit wrote 62 months ago:
I don't now how you do it but I really admire you for it.
spiriteagle99 wrote 62 months ago:
I agree with most of these. One that I would add that I read recently: just because you start struggling badly at mile 21 doesn't mean the next 6 miles will all be downhill (in the bad way) from there. Often you get a second wind after a couple of miles and it gets easier again. Take each mile as it comes without trying to project what the future miles will be.
Laura80111 wrote 62 months ago:
I admire people like you that are marathoners. I know it's not for me. Just found out that my #2 son is engaged to a young woman that does Triathlons and has won a I feel more like a 62 yr old slug. I always think I'm doing good when I can ride my bike for our 11.4 mile rides on the weekend and now that the weather is getting warmer will start working on getting on the bike every evening after work..gotta work on that slug feeling. Enjoy Boston.
Flyer615 wrote 62 months ago:
I gave you a sympathy vote, but I'm afraid I'll have to forgo the make-up sex. Sorry, dude. :-)
marlown wrote 62 months ago:
I get nervous just reading this. I ran a half marathon a few years ago and I gained nothing but the highest respect for half marathoners and you full marathon runners absolutely boggle my mind. I didn't train as long as I should have before my half- and was intending to run only a portion of it. As it turned out, my friend was doing a relay and so I ran with her husband. He was only planning to run/walk also, but he ended up feeling "competitive" so, afraid of not being able to find their car, I decided to stay with him and ran the entire route, hills and all. OMG. I was thrilled to finish but I could barely walk for days. Learned all sorts of things NOT to do before and during a long run. The top runners were flying by us like we were standing still. I was in awe. I would love to do another half someday, but much too scared to try a full marathon. Really good advice you give here. You are my hero, especially with your past heart and cancer issues. Nothing short of incredible. Good luck and Godspeed!
krmsotherhalf68 wrote 62 months ago:
Love reading your blog posts. They're so inspirational and positive. Best wishes on the run.

Boston's about 50 miles from where I live. Hope the weather is like today's: warm, but not too warm, with a light breeze, and low humidity. Peace, my friend.
TAMayorga wrote 62 months ago:
I am highly impressed by marathoners. I would someday like to run one, but my life is too busy right now to fit in the training runs. Maybe I'll be one of those 70+ runners who complete their first marathon after retirement. In the meantime, thanks for letting me live vicariously! And good luck!
ecmjawad wrote 62 months ago:
I'm glad I found your site. I am a heart sufferer with HCM (basically heart failure). I look for inspiration to keep me going. So Thank you.

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