Tackle 26.2: Marathon-Training Tips from the Pros

The decision is made. You’ve found a training plan that’s right for you and you’re determined to crush 26.2 miles. That’s no easy feat, but maybe (just maybe) these marathon-training tips will help the whole process go just a little bit smoother.

Marathon Training Tips

1. Run with a Friend or Training Group
Marathon pros Shalane Flanagan (best time: 2:25:38) and Kara Goucher (best time: 2:24:52) may be rivals on race day, but when it comes to training? These two women choose to do it together. “I know that the better Kara is as an athlete, I’m going to be better for it,” Flanagan says, noting how they push and support each other both mentally and physically. “We feel like we can get each other really far,” Goucher agreed.

2. Be Consistent
When marathoner Desiree Davila placed second in the 2011 Boston Marathon, she not only clocked in at her personal best (2:22:38), she also set the record for the fastest time ever run by an American woman in the Boston Marathon. Davila credits her speed to the consistency of her training. “Just logging the miles and putting in the hard work has played the biggest role in my improvement,” she told SHAPE magazine.

3. Don’t Ignore Your Core
There’s more to long-distance running than putting one foot in front of the other. Building up core strength improves your running form, which – you guessed it – helps you run faster. Flanagan and Goucher do a series of simple but effective plank exercises on an exercise ball. Davila’s go-to? Yoga. “The stretching aspect is important, but it’s also great for core strengthening,” she shared.

Haven’t booked your race yet? There’s still time to register for the New York City Marathon (claim your entry by March 18), the Chicago Marathon, the Honolulu Marathon, and more.

Our Go the Distance: Marathon-Training Essentials and Runner’s High: Men’s Marathon-Training Essentials Boutiques are now open.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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March 5, 2014