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  • Writer's pictureAlexa

Marathon FAQs

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

In this post I'm putting together my answers to some marathon frequently asked questions!

Why do my long runs feel so tough?

Long training runs should feel really gentle, and be far slower than target marathon pace. This is to build endurance and train your body to use body fat as fuel, the biggest mistake you can make in marahton training is going these long runs too fast.

So firstly, slow the long runs down, you should be able to finish them feeling like you could have kept going for longer, not being totally exhausted!

If they still feel tough take a good look at what food and water you are taking on board, more on that below!

If I run my long runs slowly how can I run faster on race day?

The pace on race day comes from the other runs in the week, so your speed and tempo sessions work on pace and that comes together with the endurance from long runs to lead to a faster performance on race day.

You also get a 2, 3 or 4 week "taper" pre race where distance and pace drops back. This means you'll go into the race feeling really fresh, fully recovered and full of beans to run fast!

Why don't I run race distance in training?

In essence the injury risk is too high for the training benefit! Marathon plans also work on the basis of building endurance and fatigue throughout the week; so an 18 mile long run has more value that just the 18 miles as you are doing it tired based on the runs before it in the week and the previous weeks long run.

So that taper helps again, meaning you go into the race fully recovered and with all of that fatigue you've been running with in training gone!

What is the taper?

The taper is where distance and pace drops back in the 2-4 weeks (usually 3) before race day so your body is fully recovered, adapted to all the training and full of energy on race day!

What happens if I miss some training?

This is a bit of an "it depends" if you are ill for example it depends on what you had, how poorly you were etc. If you are injured see my next point. If you miss a run or two, or even up to a week, due to a cold or life stuff, don’t worry and don’t try to catch them up, just let them go and pick up on the next run in the plan. If you miss a week of runs look at the plan to see if you have any "recovery weeks" where distance and speed drop back, see if you can move that week to the one you missed and pick up with the next progression week.

What do I do if I get injured?

See a physio! Get assessed, diagnosed and treated by a physio as soon as you can. They will be able to get you back running as soon as possible and also give you specific advice for you on what running to do and what other things you can do to rehab the injury and prevent it from happening again.

Why can long runs make me need a poo?!

Watch my video talking about this common topic here;

What should I eat during a long run?

What to eat before a long run?

Other information on what to eat and drink for running is here;

What other marathon related questions do you have? Let me know and I'll add more to this post!

Picture of runners at a race running away from the camera

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