My 4 part marathon race strategy. This can be used for a half marathon too, just update it to breakdown the miles into 4 pieces.
Hi! Today’s Hyland’s Team Challenge post is to visualize the race and do some word association for a few different miles of the Boston Marathon. How does that mile make you feel? What do you think of when you imagine hitting that mile marker? The point is to share any specific mile or part of the race that is particularly scary or exciting or stressful or fun (some miles are all of those things).
This was kind of a fun and scary process (just like actually running a marathon) because I had to think about how I’d feel at the end of the race. I don’t want to think about that because I already know how I’m going to feel = like quitting or crying or peeing or doing all of those things at the same time.
I don’t want to think about that! I like to just let it surprise me.
But I hate surprises – so that’s not really a smart plan.
So I am creating a marathon strategy to run the race smarter and stronger. I broke it down into 4 parts.
Mile 1 -6 : Run Smart.
I need to run the beginning of the race smart. I often go out way too fast and pay for it later. This is an even bigger challenge at the Boston Marathon because it starts downhill!
The combination of being super excited about running the freaking Boston Marathon, just starting the race and there being a big decline = RER running too fast and completely using all her energy in the first 6 miles.
So my focus is to run smart, listen to my body, pay attention to my pace and enjoy the race.
Mile 7 – 12: Turn on the machine.
You are a machine, a running machine that is primed and ready to rock 26.2 miles. Get in the zone. Run YOUR pace.
Enjoy everything around you. Take in all the sights and sounds and crowds. Take a deep breath, say a prayer and thank God for getting you through all the training miles that led up to this point. Turn on the machine and run your plan.
Mile 13 – 18: Work hard, run hard.
I remember Sole Runner’s coach Steve saying something like miles 13 to 17 is when you put in the work. This is the part of the marathon where you are no longer buzzing with excitement. Your energy is probably fading at this point too. You’re not close enough to the finish to feel like ‘you’re almost there’. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
This is where you just buckle in and do the work. Make sure you’re fueling and hydrating – the wall is coming if you don’t! Get in a zone and try to conserve energy by checking in with your running form. Check your pace and keep it steady. Have a gel or bloks. Keep going.
Mile 19 – 26: Be Brave and fight for it.
This is where I tend to slam into the wall. This is where the finish line seems so far. This is where I want to quit or cry or pee or cry about how I have to pee. My mind starts falling apart, my body feels heavy and slow…. and the only thing I can do is tell myself.
You’re hurting? Okay, that’s normal – be brave and keep going.
You’re tired? Okay, that’s normal – be brave and keep going.
You feel like quitting? Okay, that’s normal – be brave and keep going.
Be Brave. Save the excuses for something else and fight for yourself. Fight to finish strong. You put in all the training and so much work. You deserve to fight hard to finish strong.
Want more on the Boston Marathon course?
Question: How do you breakdown races or long runs?
Do you have a strategy? Reminders or mantras?
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