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Marathon Training

Many runners have the mistaken impression that they have to run a lot of miles every week to be able to run fast in a marathon. Most will find that running too many miles slows them down. To run fast in races, you have to run very fast in practice. However, on the day after you run very fast, your muscles will feel sore. If you run fast while you are sore, you are likely to injure yourself and not be able to run at all. Take easy workouts until your muscles feel fresh again. Most competitive runners set up their programs so that they run fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays and longer on Sundays. The rest of the time they run slowly or not at all.

Before you increase the intensity of your running program or any other exercise, check with your doctor. Once you are in good shape, your goal on your fast days should be to run repeat intervals with short rests between each. For example, on Tuesdays try to run four half-mile repeats at a very fast pace with a quarter mile jog between each. If you can run a mile flat out in six minutes, you probably will try to run each half-mile repeat in about three minutes and 15 seconds. On Thursdays, try to run eight to 12 repeat quarter miles at close to the same pace of about 90 seconds each. On Sunday, try to run briskly for 90 minutes. The rest of the time, jog slowly, being careful not to run so much that it interferes with your two fast days and one long day each week.

Checked 12/29/14

May 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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