No Category selected 3 of the most useful pieces of marathon advice I’ve ever gotten

    3 of the most useful pieces of marathon advice I’ve ever gotten


    Since we’re in the middle of marathon season I wanted to share the three most useful pieces of marathon advice I have ever received. Now I know no one asked me, but this isn’t my advice, it’s advice I have taken and have (quite literally) gotten a lot of mileage from, so that makes it okay, right?

    So without further ado:

    #3. Surges

    Late in the race, when your legs feel like they belong to the Tin Man and you just seem to keep slowing down, do between two and six surges between 15 and 30 seconds long. I know, it sounds like it will hurt – and it probably will. But I can’t understate how helpful this has been for me. It’s like a little shot of caffeine that wakes up sleepy muscles and makes goal pace feel so much easier.


    #2. Don’t walk, run.SONY DSC

    Late in a marathon, when it hurts as much to walk as it does to run, resist the urge to walk. Running will get you there faster, and let’s face it, if you are within seconds of your goal – or any round number for that matter – you will kick yourself for that extra walk break. Once you can use your legs again, that is.


    And the Number 1 Most Useful Piece of Advice I’ve Ever Received About the Marathon:

    Turn off your brain and run.

    95% of the problems encountered during endurance events begin between the ears. Any that begin elsewhere are arguably exacerbated when you start thinking about them, dwelling on them, and letting them drag you down. So don’t think. Just run.


    Bonus: Enjoy yourself. You have put in way too much time and effort to spend the race hating every second of it. Enjoy the weather, no matter what it’s like. Enjoy the cheers. Enjoy your strength. Enjoy the pain.

    You’ve earned it.

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    A runner for just over four years, Karen has already completed a marathon, two half marathons and a variety of 5k and 10k races. She describes her first marathon - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last September - as "a nightmare." However, she met a very interesting person in the process - a man named Sydney who was running his 152nd marathon! Although the race didn't go as well as planned for Karen or Sydney, he showed her that no matter how experienced a runner you are, you can still have a bad day. "Does that mean we shouldn't bother to prepare, or maybe just shouldn't bother at all? Of course not!" says Karen. "In the end, it is what we make it." We like her optimism!


    1. THANK YOU Karen. It’s been a long year. It started with: “I rather try and fail than fail to try”. So here I go. Thanks you for your advice.

    2. I actually did #1 during my last marathon. Unfortunately #2 was out of my control at With less than 5km left in that same marathon. A major cramp/Stitch hit and all I could do was only walk as if came on a long gradual climb.

    3. Wendy – congratulations, marathoner!!

      Bryan – yeah, sometimes that happens…but hey, still a marathon!

      Lora – have a great race next weekend! Where are you running?

    4. I am definitely going to try all three. This is not my third half so any advise is good with me 🙂 Watch out Hamilton!!!
      Thanks Karen.

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