4 Ways to Run a Faster Marathon

Start of Bob Potts Marathon 

In October, I want to run the St. George Marathon faster than I ran the Bob Potts Marathon (3:58) in May so I've come up with a plan.

  1. More Miles - I did a maximum of 50-55 mile weeks training last time using Advanced Marathoning, but I'd like to increase that to at least 60. I want to run more 20 milers, too. Last time, I only did two.
  2. Plenty of Hills - I want to run hills at least once a week. Some days, I may substitute with stairs.
  3. Lots of Speedwork - I'll continue to do this at least once a week. I'll go by effort more and not get discouraged because my actual pace is slower than I want it to be not that it's so hot outside. 
  4. More "Strength/Weights/Core Work" - Increase to at least three days a week instead of just two.

The period at the beginning of marathon training is such an optimistic time! That's a good thing, but I never know what will happen on race day. If I've learned something along the way about challenging myself and perseverance, then it will be worth it. I'm looking forward to training for my 15th marathon!

How about you? Is there something you'll change when training for your next race? This might help: Analyzing Your Race Performance (Competitor.com).


Comments

  1. I really like that final paragraph! Marathon training is such a long journey and during that time so many things can happen over which we have no control... we just need to relax and enjoy the ride :D

    It sounds like a very heavy and demanding program, but then the goal is also a very ambitious one so you need to work for it!

    As already mentioned, I'm going to try and run a 10K in 50 minutes or less, and I've already realized that it's going to be very hard, especially considering that I'm still fighting with breathing problems :/

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    1. I like the fact that we all have these great goals we're working towards!

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  2. Looking at your 4 points it comes back to one thing. If you want to run faster you must train harder. The hard work does pay off though. I'm training for some serious trail and mountain races so I'm upping my time on the trails and do plenty of hills and stairs.

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    1. I haven't done much work on stairs before so I'm hoping that just running up and down them is all it takes. Sounds so simple, though!

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  3. It sounds like a great plan.. Hill training is always good, speedwork in disguise. So many benefits. Going to try and do more of that, also helps prepare of trails wink wink!

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    1. Speedwork in disguise - good point about the hills!

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  4. I have just started doing a regular weights/core regime and I am excited to see how it works out in my next marathon. I also need to get my mileage in the mid-high 50s during training (not ready for 60 yet!).

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    1. I'm finding it's not as hard as I thought it would be to add in some strength training. I hope the same works out for you!

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  5. That is a great plan. I wish I could put in 50-60 miles a week but my legs would hate me for it. I also need to do more cross training/strength training. I have recently started adding more hills to my training and it does make a difference. I am on the lookout for a fall marathon which will be my 4th! You are just amazing for having run 14! That is truly inspirational!

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    1. Can't wait to see how well you do on your 4th marathon after your recent PR!

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  6. Do you think a 1st timer should include some weight training? Your regime looks exhausting I really hope it pays off for you but I'd say after 14 marathons you know what you're doing :)

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    1. Being a first time marathoner is exciting! I hope your training goes well! I think weight training is good for everyone.

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  7. OH the St George Marathon is my FAVORITE! I grew up in STG. I have run it several times! I'm so excited for you!! Looks like a great plan of action you've got. Good luck with your training!

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    1. So good to hear that the St. George Marathon is a favorite of so many marathoners! I'll keep that in mind when I'm trudging up the hills on hot days this summer.

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  8. It's so easy to be optimistic at the beginning isn't it? But I think your plan looks doable and realistic. I hope it goes well!

    I'm always super optimistic beforehand, but the training can get frustrating. I have to work to get through the bad runs and take the good ones and really it takes running faster and running harder to run a race faster. But the payoff is so sweet that it is worth every run.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder that it takes running faster and running harder to run a race faster!

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  9. That sounds like a great marathon training plan. I've also been increasing my strength/weight training and my weekly mileage. In the last year I wasn't able to do so much speed work/intervals due to a previous injury. Have you got any great tips for any good speed work??

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    1. I've gotten some good ideas from the Advanced Marathoning and Run Faster books and online, too. On Twitter, @RunCompetitor often shares good ideas. I'm glad to hear you're on the mend!

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  10. Several of us were in the lottery for SGM again this year, but no one in our group was picked - bummer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in 2009. I would recommend some downhill, and uphill training.

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    1. Sorry to hear none of you are heading to St. George. Thanks for the reminder to work on downhills, too!

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  11. Great tips. I'm trying to decide what type of plan to use for my Fall marathon. Whatever I pick I know it needs to include faster runs and hills too!

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