Top 10 Good Tips for Running Your Best Marathon

by : Bryan Ashbaugh

Marathons are becoming more and more popular these days. Marathons in large cities around the United States have started lotteries to pick the participants because of overwhelming registrations. At, we wanted to support people with their marathon training programs. If you are going to make the commitment to train for a marathon lets make the effort count.

  • Proper Running Shoes
    The most important decision you can make is proper running shoes for the biomechanics (way your foot moves) of your feet. The number one cause of injuries while training is improper shoes. There are three types of running shoes: stability, cushion, and motion control. Stability shoes are designed for those that have neutral to slight pronation (rolling your foot inward) during running. Cushion shoes are designed for people with high arches, and motion control shoes are designed for people that over pronate or roll their feet too far inward. Find a running shoe store that can test your biomechanics and recommend proper shoes for you.

  • Eat carbs
    We don't need to over eat carbs, just make them 60% of your daily diet. Carbs don't make you fat, they are actually your major source of energy. Often people running marathons for weight loss don't eat enough total calories for the amount of exercise they are doing. This puts them into an exercise starvation mode that shuts their bodies' fat burning properties off and people actually store more fat. If you are not losing weight with your marathon there is a good chance you are not eating enough. Use a heart rate monitor to measure your calories you are burning and add every calorie burned over 500 back into your diet.

  • Get electrolytes
    Drinking water is good enough. Electrolytes we eat and drink absorb water to keep us hydrated. Especially running in heat people sweat out tons of electrolytes and without replenishing them stay dehydrated even if they drink water. Electrolytes are found in salty food, sports drinks, and many of the running gels you can purchase.

  • Interval Training
    Most marathon training programs only put interval training into the advanced programs. Interval training is actually great for people at every level. Interval training is workouts where you repeat short durations of high intensity followed by short durations of low intensity running. Interval training is the most efficient way to increase your speed and your body's ability to produce more energy. With proper heart rate training any person can do optimal interval training.

  • One Long Day
    You actually only need to do one long run a week. If you can do it once you can do it for your race. Most people do too many long runs each week, which puts too much extra toll on your body. This extra toll causes so many of the marathon training related injuries. Most injuries occur from people doing too many miles, not running to fast.

  • Plenty of Sleep
    Your body needs the rest from all of your training. The best way to have a poor race is not to give your body adequate amounts of sleep. Getting rest the week before your race isn't good enough. To be in peak shape for your marathon you need to get a good night sleep for the entire training program. One night of bad sleep isn't going to do anything though consistent lack of sleep will greatly damper your results.

  • Train with a Heart Rate Monitor
    The best way to train at the correct pace for you is using a heart rate monitor. Training each week at different heart rate zones optimizes your speed and your body's ability to produce energy., an online personal trainer and dietician website, customizes your heart rate zones for optimal marathon race results. Secondly, noticing changes in your heart rate from day to day can tell you if you are overtraining, not getting enough sleep, or you are dehydrated.

  • Training Partner
    To run your best marathon it is good to get a training partner. A person that will help you be accountable to your training program and get out of bed on some of those tough days. If you are unable to find a training partner on a regular basis, find a person you can do interval training workouts with to push you and challenge you to become faster.

  • Rest
    You want to be in peak shape for your marathon race day. A good taper for a month before you race is ideal. A taper is a slow decrease in the mileage each week allowing your body to recover. You are not going to make any training improvements that will matter for your race, so give your body the rest and run the fastest race for you.

Finally, go easy on yourself. We all want to start fast and look good at the start of the race. Most people take off too fast and burn a high percentage of their stored energy in the first mile. Taking off to fast will drastically slow down your pace for the whole marathon. To run a fast time start even slower than you think and gradually pick up your pace until you get to a good pace for you. Starting slower will give you energy to go at a fast pace for the entire race and even go faster at the end. The greatest way to run a poor time is to be slowing down the whole second half of the marathon.