Spring Marathoners, It’s Time to Celebrate!

March 27, 2009 By Uta Pippig
A day of Celebration… © www.PhotoRun.net

Spring greetings from the Take The Magic Step® Team!

Congratulations to those of you who have already run in one of the many great events spring offers each year for running enthusiasts. And to those preparing for marathons locally or in Rotterdam, Boston, London, or Hamburg, our thoughts and energies are with you as you challenge the roads and trails of your training runs.

Extra special greetings go out to those of you who are still navigating the remnants of such a rough winter. We hope you will remember that with every day that passes, you are moving closer to running in warmer breezes along paths decorated in colorful blossoms and budding trees!

We wish everyone good luck and successful training so that you will be at your best on Marathon Day—a day we always call a Celebration. In the weeks before your marathon, it is important to stay focused on your training, to stay injury-free, and to know that your hard work will be rewarded. Every step you take will bring you that much closer to your own Celebration!

Make sure your body is well rested before your marathon, especially after your higher intensity training period in which you tested your endurance and your running capability. Aim to be fully recovered and energized. In the days before your marathon, you might find some helpful advice in the article, “Two Days Before the Marathon.” Also before the race, you may benefit from reading “After the Marathon: A Quick Guide to Recovery” to learn how to efficiently get your energy back.

The hilly course of the Boston Marathon challenges thousands of runners each year. © www.PhotoRun.net
The hilly course of the Boston Marathon challenges thousands of runners each year. © www.PhotoRun.net

There are many reasons for running in a marathon, and it’s likely that you will be running alongside someone with a totally different motivation. Some of you may have started running with a friend as a means of staying fit and ended up deciding to go for the ultimate challenge, while others may be advanced runners looking for personal bests. Still others might be running for charity. (This year, I am honored to be coaching a group of runners with Team Hoyt, a fantastic charity organization that will be running in the Boston Marathon to raise money for the physically challenged.) Whether your goal is to finish a marathon or to run a 5K or 10K, we hope your reason for running will keep you motivated in your training and on race day.

And finally, two important pieces of advice that helped me in my marathons:

  • First, please start your race slowly! It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the big day and to run the first few miles too fast, which almost always comes back to haunt you during the last several miles. If you can run the first few miles a little slower than you think you can run the whole distance, you will have much more energy in the second half of the race.
  • Second, the thought of running 26.2 miles might be overwhelming and you might find yourself wondering: “How can I do it, how can I possibly cover this distance with a good running rhythm?” It will help you mentally to break the marathon into segments so that you can take it piece by piece. Think about covering each 5K segment, or getting from water station to water station. By checking out the course beforehand, you will not only find out where those water stations are, you’ll also find out exactly what the course feels like. Thinking in segments and knowing the course are essential parts of a well-planned race strategy.

To those of you not running a marathon this spring, please go out and enjoy watching one! It’s such a great scene of energy and cheering and challenge. Maybe the excitement and extraordinary atmosphere on the marathon course will inspire you toward your own goals in running and wellbeing.

Whatever this spring holds for you, I hope you will have some fun! Keep running!

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