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MAKE TH IS RACE YOU R MOST I N NOVATIVE EVE R, WITH H E LP

FROM RECORD-BREAKING MARATHONER RYAN HALL

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR EVENT

ICONS REMEMBER
MARATHON
THEIR FIRST

RUNNING

GREAT U.S. RACES

1 6

FIRST LAST
26.2 ISNT YOUR

MAKE SURE YOUR

FIRST-TIMERS

-WEEK

TRAINING PLAN

WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE I REMEMBER WATCHING PROFESSIONAL RUNNERS TRAINING AND RACING MARATHONS AND I THOUGHT THEY WERE CRAZY.

I never thought I would run a marathon during my professional career, but that all changed when I graduated from college and joined a group of professional runners that included Olympic silver medalist and bronze medalist from the 2004 Olympics, Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor. After watching them train for and race marathons I saw for myself what an amazing journey it is to run a marathon.

WELCOME TO THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE


From my very first marathon back in 2007, the London Marathon, until today, I have learned to approach a marathon in the same way that surfers approach the ocean: You dont just jump in and hope for the best, or else youre going to get slammed! First, you watch and learn from others who are experienced, then you start small, and work your way up. In the same way that if a surfer gives the ocean the respect it deserves they will have the ride of their life, if you give the marathon the respect it deserves it will similarly give you the ride of your life. You will find yourself at the finish line with your hands in the air with the elation of having conquered your first marathon. At 20 miles into my first marathon in London, I had managed to catch the lead group and was running next to my heroes. But at around 22 miles a break was made and I wasnt able to cover it. I never caught back up to the lead group in my first marathon. But I ended up finishing in 2:08:24, which was a new record for an American debut marathon.I was tired at the finish; I remember collapsing on my wife at the finish line in exhaustion, but I also remember the amazing feeling of having covered my first marathon well. I wish for you the same feeling after you complete your first marathongood luck!

RYAN HALL, RECORD-BREAKING MARATHONER

RYANS MARATHON TIP #1:

STICK WITH A FRIEND


In my first marathon my coach had given me strict orders to stay with the second group, which included Olympic champion Stefano Baldini and my teammate Meb (Keflezighi) because the first group was talking of going after the world record. The first lesson in running your first marathon is not to be overly ambitious in the first half of the race. The second lesson is to run with someone you know or have trained with. It was hugely calming for me to run next to Meb. We didnt communicate a lot but we would occasionally ask each other how we were doing and help each other get fluids from water stations. The main benefit of racing with ateammate is the calming effect of feeling like you are just out on the roads with a friend, just like you have been in practice for the last six months.
RYANS MARATHON TIP #2:

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR RACE


STAY CLOSE Travel is fun, but it adds stress: Did I pack my socks? How do I set this alarm? Running close to home lets you train on the course, stay in your own time zone, and sleep in your own bed. . . . OR GO FAR You can always do your local race, but your first warrants going all-out. Find a race that doubles as a great weekend getaway and make it an extended experience. TIME IT RIGHT Nearly 100 marathons are held in the United States in October and November for a very good reason: Cool weather is ideal for racing. But you also need to factor in when youll be training. If you struggle in the heat, 18-milers in August might not work. Consider your schedule: If youre a teacher with time to train in the summer, an early September race could be perfect. CHECK THE PROFILE Does a flat course make you feel more confident about finishing? Or would you rather tackle a few climbs if it means stunning scenery? Know your preference, check out the courses elevation chart, and train for the terrain youll face. CHOOSE YOUR CROWD Big events have lots of spectator support, and their cheers can help push you. But only if you thrive off the mania. Smaller races offer a mellower atmosphere.

PRACTICE YOUR THINKING, TOO


During my months of training for a marathon I am obviously training my body, but I am also training my mind to think as positively as I can. I like to practice what thoughts I want to be thinking at different stages in the race; that way, when things get tough I know exactly what things to think to motivate myself in those trying moments. I never ask my body or mind to do anything in a race that I havent done previously in practice.The best time to visualize or train your mind is when you are running in practice; dont just get through the many miles you will run in training. Instead, see these sometimes long and dare I say?boring miles as an opportunity for you to become a brilliant thinker.

FIRST-TIMERS MARATHON TRAINING PLAN


WEEK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 MON REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST TUE WED THU FRI REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST REST SAT SUN WEEKLY TOTAL

Conquer your first 26.2 with this plan that uses a gradual buildup, speed work, and goal-paced runs to get you fitand safely across the finish line.

4 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 7 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 7 miles EZ 7 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 6 miles EZ

4 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 6 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 7 miles EZ 8 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 7 miles EZ w/5miles @ MP 7 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 6 miles EZ 7 miles EZ
REST

4 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 4 miles EZ w/2 miles @ MP 4 miles EZ w/2 miles @ MP Yasso 800s 5 miles w/4 x 800 5 miles EZ w/3 miles @ MP 3 miles EZ 7 miles EZ w/5 miles @ MP Yasso 800s 7 miles w/6 x 800 5 miles EZ 6 miles EZ w/4 miles @ MP 7 miles EZ Yasso 800s 8 miles w/8 x 800 5 miles EZ 5 miles EZ

10 miles LSD 12 miles LSD 14 miles LSD 10 miles LSD 16 miles LSD 18 miles LSD 20 miles LSD 13 miles LSD or half-marathon 16 miles LSD 18 miles LSD 20 miles LSD 18 miles LSD 20 miles LSD 13 miles LSD 10 miles LSD 13 miles EZ

3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 5 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 4 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 3 miles EZ 5 miles EZ
RACE DAY

25 miles 28 miles 30 miles 24 miles 32 miles 35 miles 40 miles 32 miles 39 miles 38 miles 40 miles 42 miles 40 miles 35 miles 32 miles 52.2 miles

KEY

EZ RUN at a conversational pace (40 to 60 seconds slower than goal marathon pace) or cross-train. If on a bike or rowing or elliptical machine, maintain a sustained aerobic effort. LSD (LONG, SLOW DISTANCE) RUN that builds endurance. Run at a conversational pace (40 to 60 seconds slower than goal marathon pace). LSDs are rehearsals for race day use them to determine your gear choices and fueling strategies before and during the run. MP (MARATHON GOAL PACE) After warming up for at least one mile, practice the speed you hope to hit at the race. Cool down with easy running. YASSO 800s Warm up with one to two miles easy running, then run 800 meters in the time thats equal to your marathon goal time. So for example, if youre targeting a 4:30 marathon, run each 800 in four minutes and 30 seconds. Jog 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with one mile of easy running. REST Ideally, do no exercise. Nonimpact cross-training like stretching, yoga, or swimming is fine.

GREAT U.S. RACES

Running a marathon is hard, and when youre trying to nail a time goal, the challenge is that much more daunting. But you can stack the deck in your favor by picking a reliably fast course with a good chance of cool conditions. Here are some of those magical races. So pick your race and get ready to run your best marathon ever.
HOUSTON MARATHON

Houston; chevronhoustonmarathon.com Houstons flat terrain and likelihood of good-performance weather make it a top pick for all time-hungry runners. The figure-eight loop through downtown and surrounding neighborhoods has a nearly undetectable elevation variance (25 feet), contributing to its status as one of the few U.S. races with a negative race-time bias, meaning that its considered faster than the average race with elite participation. Ten percent of the field usually qualifies for Boston. Humidity is low for Texas (but can still be 85 percent), and the majority of the pace-team leaders have run the course upward of 10 times. The race includes a half-marathon with a separate start, but the 13.1-milers merge with the marathoners at mile two before going their own way again near mile nine.
RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

Be prepared for the mini-hills of the two underpasses on Allen Parkway in the last three miles and the wind downtown around the skyscrapers in the final mile, the biggest impediments to a negative-split race. Brant Kotch

CHICAGO MARATHON

Chicago; chicagomarathon.com The fastest womens marathon on U.S. soil. Four world records. Two American records. While elite times do not always translate to PRs for recreational runners, they often do here, thanks to a flat course, superb organization, and a well-executed seeding system. Chicago is one of only three U.S. marathons with a negative race-time bias, meaning the ARRS ranks it fast. More than 45,000 participants, 40 entertainment groups, and 1.7 million spectators create an electric atmosphere. RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

Newport, Oregon; newportmarathon.org PR-seekers from all 50 states, Canada, and Europe flock to this coastal town for its small, no-frills race because it delivers a peak-performance mix of cool weather, a flat course, and no congestion. Temps hover in the 50s, its never rained on marathon day (Knock on wood, says race director Tom Swinford), and despite being on the water, wind is not an issue. After a five-mile loop through town, the rest of the 21 miles is an out-and-back along the winding inlet of Yaquina Bay. The only hill is a 40-foot bump at mile four (also at 26). Since the race is capped at 900 runners and there are no half-marathoners, you wont fight for road space. As much as 28 percent of the field has clocked a BQ on the course, but based on runner surveys, Swinford estimates that nearly 50 percent of the field set personal bests.
At the starting line, introduce yourself to your neighbor and find out what pace theyre running. Since we dont have pace groups, this is a way to form your own ad-hoc pace team. Tom Swinford

NEWPORT MARATHON

RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

The course has multiple turns, so run the tangents to save valuable time. Carey Pinkowski

RYANS MARATHON TIP #3:

LOOK BACK IN TIME


During the first half of my first marathon, in London, I looked around at the crowd and took in the sights while running on the streets of London. I had watched videos of previous years of the London Marathon, so it felt surreal to finally be out on the same course, experiencing it for myself. I strongly encourage you to find YouTube clips or race videos from previous years of the race youre training to run.I like to put on these videos when I am doing strengthening exercises or stretching.

BAYSTATE MARATHON

Lowell, Massachusetts; baystatemarathon.com In 2010, Baystate had the fastest median time of all U.S. marathons (3:47:42) and ranked second (behind Boston) in percentage of Boston qualifying times. Indeed, the majority of runners descend on Baystate with one goal: to BQ or PR, and their focused attitude can help propel your own speed quest. The conditions and community set the stage. The course is flat, mostly along the Merrimack River, with just enough rolling terrain (10 to 15 feet up and down) to lessen muscle fatigue, and race-day temperatures rarely climb out of the 50s. A local universitys cross-country team leads the four pace groups, and high-school track teams staff aid stations. Their mission to win the races annual spirit award transforms them into de facto cheerleaders. Race staff like to brag about 2009 when a mini Noreaster blew through; 100 percent of the volunteers still turned out, and the usual 33 percent of the field still BQd. RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

TUCSON MARATHON

Tucson; tucsonmarathon.com When the original Tucson Marathon closed in 1993, ultrarunner Pam Reed went in search of a long, downhill road on which to stage a new, superfast race. She found it on State Highway 77 in the Catalina Mountains. The routes 2,200 feet of elevation drop borders on masochistic, but the quadthrashing descents also deliver a potential 11-minute handicap compared with flat courses. Its ski-run profile is broken three times between miles two and five, 10 and 13, and at 24, with flats and small climbs, attributes thatll ease fatigue and keep your pace in check. The race starts at 4,500 feet of elevation, but the downhill cancels out any thin-air effectall part of Reeds plan to shave time from PRs. RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

You must train for the extended downhill or your legs will be toast. Pam Reed

The course includes a 10-mile loop marathoners race twice. Use the double loop as a tool to break up the race mentally. Glenn Stewart

JACKSONVILLE BANK MARATHON

Jacksonville, Florida; 1stplacesports.com/jm.html Doug Alred was itching to better his 2:29 in the marathon, so in 1984 he launched the Jacksonville Bank Marathon and designed the course to minimize the citys biggest potential hazard: the sun. Eighty-five percent of the course is run under the shade of oak and magnolia trees, which also block the bay wind. And the out-and-back route is flat, even for Florida; there isnt a single bridge or underpass to climb or descend. At least 20 percent usually get to Boston.
Mentally prepare for the last four miles, which are exposed to the sun and any wind thats blowing that day. Doug Alred

RYANS MARATHON TIP #4:

RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

ENJOY THE BEGINNING

As much as you can, take in the experience during the first half of the race. Hopefully this isnt scary for you to hear, but its hard to enjoy the sights as the marathon progresses. After I finished my first marathon I had no idea I had just run in front of Buckingham Palace, because I had tunnel vision. But during the first half of the race I was able to look around and really take it all in.

CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

RYANS MARATHON TIP #5:

Sacramento; www.runcim.org The California International Marathon has been sending runners to Boston and serving up fast times for 28 years. Race officials describe the gradual downhill route as biomechanically friendly, meaning that for every gentle uphill, theres an equally gentle, and longer, downhill. More often than not, race day is a near-perfect 40 degrees at the start and mid50s at the finish, with partial to full cloud coverage and no rain. CIM boasts the most-negative race-time bias of all U.S. marathons (-26, meaning that you can expect to run 26 seconds faster here than on the average marathon course with elite runners).
With the bulk of the elevation loss in the first half, watch your pace in the early miles to avoid going out too fast. Glenn Stewart

BREAK THE RACE INTO BITE-SIZED PIECES


The first time I ran a marathon my first goal was to get to the halfway point as relaxed and comfortable as possible.My next goal was to become slightly more engaged and increase my effort level until I got to 20 miles. When I got to 20 miles, I told myself that this is when the real race begins. I told myself, now Im racing a 10K. Racing a marathon is the opposite of how you train for one: In training for a marathon I train for the first fiveand-a-half months with my heart meaning I train with everything I havethen in the last 2 weeks I train with my head, which means I consciously hold back in training. In racing a marathon, though, I run the first 20 miles with my head, purposefully holding back, and then the last 10K is all heart.

RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

MOHAWK-HUDSON RIVER MARATHON

Albany, New York; poconomarathon.org An impressive 30 percent of Mohawk-Hudsons field typically qualifies for Boston. Runners moon over its consistent weather, 370-foot net elevation loss (which could save you 1:53, according to ARRS), and unique trail cred. Much of the course follows a paved path that parallels the Mohawk and Hudson rivers gradual descent, meaning no tangents to navigate, no banked roads to curse. RACE-DIRECTOR TIP

RYANS MARATHON TIP #6:

DONT WORRY ABOUT THE WALL


Typically, everyone dreads getting to the 20-mile mark in a marathon because thats where the wall is. Here is the truth: The wall is relative in size to the amount of preparation you have done. If you have prepared properly I am confident that you wont ever hit the wall.So rather than dreading the 20-mile mark, I look forward to it. When I get to 20 miles is when I like to attack; I tell myself that I have run 6 miles in practice hundreds of times so I know I can run 6 miles more.

Miles 17 to 20 are a ho-hum stretch on city streets, so have your friends and family stationed there. Cathy Sliwinski

HOW TO TRULY ENJOY

YOUR FIRST

EXPERT ADVICE TO ENSURE YOUR FIRST MARATHON ISNT YOUR LAST.

26.2

THE DONTS:
DONT go at it alone: Making the decision to run a marathon
is a huge deal and you do not want to be solo in your quest. Most beginner training programs are 16-18 weeks long and you will want to be sure that you have plenty of support along the way. Tell people you are training for a marathon. Talk about it at work. Log your miles on a social media site like DailyMile.com. By engaging friends and family youll be sure to have people cheering you along during the tough road to marathon day.

Training for and running a marathon is an amazing feat, one that every year many people make their goal to achieve. Around the world, runners sign up for a race, download a training schedule, and try to attack the marathon; in fact, more Americans are running the marathon than ever. But its safe to say that a fair number maybe even most will run their first marathon and never run a second. It may be that they just wanted to check it off their bucket list. Fair enough. But what about those runners maybe youre one, or afraid of being one whose first marathon was, well, a nightmare? Put another way, how do you go out there and have a fantastic time and make sure you enjoy the whole experience so this is just the first of several, and maybe many, marathons to come? Here are some dos and donts of marathon training and running from runners and coaches.

DONT set a time goal: The best way to make sure you enjoy

your first marathon day is to not set a goal time. Your first time out should be for the experience of running the distance and the sense of accomplishment in finishing. There is no need to put more pressure on yourself with a time goal.

HOW TO TRULY ENJOY

YOUR FIRST
THE DONTS:

26.2

DONT change your routine: Training is just a way to make sure your body and

mind are ready on race day. The routine you set during the 16 to 18 weeks is a way to become comfortable with the things youll encounter during all 26.2 miles. Have a breakfast that has worked well during your training? Dont change that on race day. Does a pair of shoes fit perfectly and feel good? Resist the temptation to buy a new pair at the expo. Race day is not a time to try something new; think of it as a day to continue what you have practiced during the last weeks of training. Trust in your routine.

MY FIRST

TIME
BART YASSO
Runners Worlds Chief Running Officer

THE DOS:
DO go to a running specialty store: The first thing you should do after signing
up for your first marathon is to head to your local running store and get fitted for a pair of running shoes if you havent already. Too many people buy shoes based on how they look or what theyve seen in ads. Going to a running store will ensure that you get into the best pair of shoes for your body.

In 1983, I ran the Prevention Marathon in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A man on a bike rode by at mile 23 and said, These last miles will be the longest of your life. He was wrong. They were among the happiest because I knew Id finish.

DO read a running book: Catch the bug during training and download a
running book! By reading inspiring words by other runners you will be thrust straight into the marathon-day feeling. Training is a long time and it is set that way so you are prepared. To keep up the motivation and positive feelings read a book that captures the spirit and emotion of the marathon; it will help ease your mind and spark your inner competitive juices. The Long Run, Born to Run, and Running with the Buffaloes are some that will help keep you inspired.

During Boston in 1967, I grew up. I started as a nervous girl, then two miles into the race, the director grabbed me. I was a female running his male-only race. I thought it was a bad dream. I finished feeling like Id left my childhood on the streets and had become a woman full of resolve. KATHRINE SWITZER
The first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon

DO take days of rest: One of the most common issues with first-time

marathoners is that they feel their training schedule isnt preparing them adequately; new marathoners have a tendency to not trust in the system of training and overrun. Trust the schedule and do take the days of rest indicated by your training program. By resting youre allowing your body to prepare for your next training run and giving yourself a chance to repair muscles that are being taxed. Rest days are a runners best friend, so stay in tune with your body and, if you need to, say out loud sometimes less is more.

Word among running circles was that the 2001 New York City Marathon might not take place because of September 11. While 40,000 runners awaited the start, the national anthem played. That was one of the most proud and patriotic moments of my career. The race was as fulfilling as any Ive ever known.
DEENA KASTOR
2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist

I couldnt believe how painful the last 10-K was. I was looking for a place to drop out. The crowds were deep, so there was nowhere to step off. Thank goodness! It was my greatest physical accomplishment.
KARA GOUCHER
2008 Olympian, placed third at her first marathonNew York City in 2008 and Nissan Innovation for Endurance athlete

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