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THE MARATHON TRAINING BIBLE

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IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE SECTION CAREFULLY. Dear Friend,


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INTRODUCTION: So you want to run a marathon? I can tell you now that if you want to run a marathon then you will. All you need is the right information and it is inevitable that you will finish your first marathon. You just have to want it badly enough. I have a little saying. Dream. Plan. Move. It's inevitable. This means that if you gave a dream, a good plan to follow and you take action on your plan, then it is inevitable that you will achieve your goal. This is true with most things in life, but all the more so with completing a marathon. This book is about you. It is about you completing a marathon. Many countless hours of research have gone into the book to give you the most up to date information about how to train for and run a marathon. It is unlike most other books out there on running marathons because it focuses on giving you practical information, not the fluff that most other books are filled with. So let's get to it!

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MOTIVATION: The biggest hindrance that will stop you from finishing your marathon is a lack of motivation. Most people start out all enthusiastic training for a marathon, but little do they realize that their enthusiasm soon fades as the miles of training start to build. So how do you keep your motivation going throughout the 3-6 months it takes to train for a marathon for a person of reasonable fitness? The first way is through creative visualization. Most people know that something that the mind can see, it will achieve. For example, when the first people wanted to send a man to the moon, they started with nothing more than a vision. They had no idea about How they were going to send a man to the moon, they just knew that they were going to do it. They were called 'visionaries'. And so it is with running a marathon. You need to create a vision of what your end goal will be. For some it will be crossing the finishing line under 4 hours. Therefore, your vision may be running past the crowd to cross the line to look down at your stop-watch to see a time of 3hr 58min 43sec. For others it may be breaking your personal best. Yet for others still it may be simply to cross the finish line. Whatever your goal, you need to get a clear picture in your mind of what it is you want to achieve. Steps to creating your marathon vision: 1) Sit down in a quiet place with your feet placed gently on the ground. 2) Close your eyes and slowly become aware of your breath. 3) Consciously relax your muscles and let all of your thoughts leave your mind. 4) Let your conscious mind ask yourself the question 'What is my vision?', 'What is my vision?', 'What is my vision?' until a vision of what you want to achieve from running the marathon becomes Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

clear to you. 5) Stay with that vision and just allow it to be in your consciousness. 6) Open your eyes when you feel the time is right Good. You should now have at least a vague vision of what you want to achieve out of running your marathon. I liken this initial vision to a spiders' web. In the first stages it is quite weak. As you spend more time in this visualization mode, the stronger your vision will become. Before you know it, your marathon vision will become like an unbreakable rope and you will know exactly what you want to achieve from your marathon. You can also practice strengthening your marathon vision by the following exercise: Ways to strengthen your marathon vision: 1) Get back into your visualization state by relaxing your muscles, slowing your breath and focusing on your vision 2) If your marathon vision is in 2-D, spend time to visualize your image in 3-D. Float above, around and beside your image (this may take some practice). 3) If your image is static and not moving, make your image move by imagining that you are watching a movie of yourself 4) Consciously increase the colors in your image. Imagine that you are turning up the color of your television. 5) If the image in your mind's eye is appears to be some distance away and appears small, then consciously aim to get closer to your image to make it appear larger. The closer you are to your image the more real it will appear. 6) Add a loud sound to your image. Imagine that you can hear the sound of the crowds cheering, that you can hear your own breathing and that you can even hear your footsteps as they hit the Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

ground It may sound a little different at first, but the more you practice the creative visualization exercises the more real it will appear that you will run a marathon. Simply making your marathon vision in 3-D, viewing it as a moving picture, increasing the colors, enlarging the size and adding sound makes your vision appear real in your own mind. It is a fact that your mind can not tell the difference between an imagined event and a real event. If you imagine in your mind that you have completed a marathon, then your brain subconsciously acts to find ways to bring that into your reality. This is where your motivation to continue will stem from, almost seemingly like it is running on autopilot. Another way to keep your motivation to training for the marathon is to consciously get yourself into a peak state. It is difficult not to go out and train if you are feeling the best you have ever felt. This may seem a little strange at first, but here is a simple way to get into peak state: 1) Remember a time when you felt absolutely strong and unstoppable. This could be a previous running race that you excelled in, a time when you felt entirely confident or even a time when you just knew that you would achieve that goal that you had set. Whatever this event was, aim to bring it to your consciousness. 2) Become aware of the feelings that were in your body at the time when you felt strong and unstoppable. Consciously bring those feelings back into your body now. 3) Breathe into the feelings. Consciously aim to breathe the exact same way you were back then. Aim to stand in the exact same way you stood back then. Allow yourself to feel the exact same way you did when you felt strong and unstoppable. 4) 'Anchor' this feeling now into your body. To do this, clench the fist of your right hand and say out loud Come on!. Anchor this feeling into your body again by clenching your fist again and Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

saying Come on! Do this a third and final time by clenching your fist and saying Come on! That's great! You should now be feeling very charged up and ready to take on the world! The excellent news is that you can access this state any time you feel flat or lethargic simply by firing your anchor. Do this by clenching your fist and saying Come on! What happens is that you instantly bring up the feelings of your past triumph and get back into the highly motivated state you were once in. To increase the intensity of your anchor, simply follow the four steps above. Then when you fire your anchor the feelings of motivation you feel will be even stronger. Whenever you feel you are lacking the motivation to train for the marathon you have two weapons up your sleeve - visualization and getting into state - to push you through when you need it most.

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Before you start to hit the road and get into full swing of training for your marathon, you will need to select the right equipment to perform at your best. Running Shoes: Your running shoes are perhaps the most critical piece of equipment when training for the marathon. Your training shoes can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. If your running shoes are of poor quality or do not fit properly then the implication can be a result of either blisters or common running injuries. When training for the marathon you should look for a shoe that offers comfort and support. Your running shoe should also be light enough for your needs. There are no hard and fast rules as to the best type of shoe because it depends from athlete to athlete. However, when training for your marathon you should look for a training runner that is around 10-12 ounces in weight and offers cushioning and support. It is best to ask the salespeople at the stores, as they are up to date with the latest equipment. Just tell them what you are looking for and why and they will point you in the right direction. When fitting the shoe, make sure you are wearing the same socks that you will be wearing whilst training so that you get the correct fit. Also make sure that there is a finger width between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe. This will make sure that the shoe doesn't tend to slip, therefore reducing the chance of blistering. Depending on the amount of training you do, your weight and the quality of the shoe, you should aim to replace your running shoes approximately every 300-500 miles. Ask the sales assistant for advice in this area. Be sure to record how many miles you do in your training shoes because worn shoes can lead to injuries. This is the main reason why you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

You will also find that if you do long sessions in your new shoes that you will get blisters. The best way to reduce the potential of blistering is to wear sweat-wicking socks. This type of sock will keep your feet dry and therefore reduce the chances of blistering. However, the best way to reduce the potential for blistering is to make sure that you break your shoes in. Do this by running short distances in your new shoes of 3-5 miles. Note that it will take around 50 miles to break a new shoe in properly. The more serious of you out there may also consider purchasing racing flats. These are simply stripped down light-weight trainers of around 7-8 ounces. As you can imagine, the decrease in weight comes at the expense of stability and cushioning, so is not recommended for regular training because of the added risk of injury. It is estimated that racing flats will reduce your race time by between 3-5 minutes over the marathon distance, which is something to consider. Again, it takes around 50 miles to break in your racing flats, but due to the reduction in stability your racing flats should be replaced every 200300 miles. Once you find a shoe that is right for you, it is best to buy several pairs. The reason being is that manufacturers are continuously changing styles and there is no guarantee that your shoe will be in stock next season. If in doubt when choosing your running shoes, consult an orthopedic doctor or physical therapist. Socks: Apart from purchasing correctly fitting running shoes, your socks are the main piece of equipment that is going to stop you from developing blisters. The most common reason for getting blisters is from wearing Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

cotton socks. The reason for this is that cotton socks keep moisture close to your skin. It is this wet skin that then is most prone to blisters due to the additional friction that is built up. The ideal way to prevent this blistering from occurring is to use acrylic fiber socks that wick the sweat and moisture away from your feet. The reason being is that your skin develops less friction when it is dry. Clothing: The best clothing to purchase is both light-weight, loose and does not rub. The best on the market are either light nylon, 'Coolmax' or 'Polypro'. Avoid cotton clothing because not only does it stay wet but is also prone to cause excessive rubbing and skin rash. If you are training in cold weather conditions, refer to your bonus report on cold weather training. Once you find clothing that you feel comfortable with, stick with it. Lubricant: No matter just how good your clothing is, it is inevitable that at some stage you will experience either chaffing or blistering on your training runs. Over time you will get to know the areas that continuously chaff and blister, such as under your arms or your inner thighs. Once you know which areas regularly chaff then you can apply some cream to these parts. Test to find which creams work best for you. The best creams I've found on the market are Vaseline, 'Runners Lube' and 'Body Glide'. If you already have chaffing, the diaper rash ointment 'A+D Ointment' works wonders, as it soothes burning and promotes rapid healing.

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TRAINING FOR YOUR MARATHON: Now that you have a vision for your marathon, know how to get into peak state and have all of the equipment that you need to succeed, now it is time to find a suitable training program to follow. (Note: before starting a marathon training program it is advisable to consult with a medical practitioner or physician to assess your current health and whether it is suitable for you.) Firstly, you need to choose a course which appeals to you. There may not be a race scheduled nearby where you live, therefore you may need to travel to your marathon course. If you will need to travel to your marathon course then you will need to factor this in from the start. If you are looking to do a fast time then you should aim to compete in a marathon course which is relatively flat. Once you have selected a course and are aware of the date of the marathon, then the best idea is to purchase a calendar and work backwards to when you should start your training program. Depending on your current fitness levels, the amount of time for you to train should be anywhere from 3-6 months. The basic idea behind running a marathon is that you need to get miles into your legs. You need to get your body used to running for approximately the same amount of time that you will be running the marathon. If you can not get these sort of miles into your legs then you will tend to blow-up and hit the wall somewhere around the 18-22 mile mark. Obviously, it is going to take time for you to get your body to these fitness levels. This is going to take some work on your part and is where the motivational skills you have learnt will come into play. The idea behind marathon training is to start off slow and build up to longer distances. The worst strategy you can implement is to build up too quickly, as this will increase the likelihood of injuries. Your body simply will not be able to handle the extra stress you are placing on it.

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Once you are injured it usually takes a long time for you injury to heal and for you to get back to full training again. After an injury there is always the chance of the same injury occurring again. The reason for this is because the muscle is already damaged and it does not take much additional strain to set the injury off again. I can not stress enough the importance of building your miles slowly. The best way to do this is to make use of the 10% rule. The 10% rule states that you should not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% in any given week. The idea behind this rule is to give your body the chance to build up slowly and recover from the strain that is placed on it. So how many miles per week should you train for the marathon? Naturally, that depends on your current fitness levels and the overall marathon time that you want to run. The general rule is to consistently run 5 times per week and have two rest days per week. You are going to need to put aside quite an amount of time to train for the marathon because you will need to build up to at least 35-45 miles of training per week. The idea is to build up to 35-45 miles per week at around 3-4 weeks before the date of the marathon. This will allow you enough time to implement a tapering routine your training. Tapering your training will ensure that you are at your physical peak immediately before your marathon. And how should you schedule your training sessions? In any given week you are to include one long run, one semi-long run, two shorter runs, as well as a cross-training day. The remaining two days are dedicated rest days. It is the long training run where most of your fitness is going to come from. It is important that you do not miss any of these training sessions as your body needs longer training sessions to change it's physiology. Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

It is this change in physiology that will allow your body to be capable of running a marathon. Your training program should include at least 8-12 longer runs over a 3-6 month period. If you have access to a heart-rate monitor then you should keep your heart rate at between 60%-70% of your maximum heart rate. If you push your body too hard and go above this threshold then your recovery time will be extended. If you continue to train through this recovery period, then you will start to feel flat and lethargic throughout the day. Obviously, you should do these longer training runs when you have enough time to complete them. Sunday is the ideal day to complete you longer training sessions. You should also aim to prepare for these longer training days as though you are running your actual marathon race. The reason being is that you need to train your mind to be mentally prepared for running a marathon. The closer you can simulate running a marathon, the better prepared you will be come race day. The best way to be mentally prepared is to have a large meal the night before and to make sure you have an early night. This way you are simulating the marathon experience. Practice makes perfect. On 'race-day', aim to wake up 3-4 hours before the start of the marathon. This gives you sufficient time to eat, get ready and get to the race. You should aim to simulate this on your long Sunday training sessions. It is advisable to set two alarms for your wake-up time to ensure you do in fact wake up! After you wake, it is then best to eat a light breakfast 2-3 hours before you set off for your run. It is also best to have 1-2 glasses of water around two hours before starting so that your body is sufficiently hydrated for your long run. These times are not set in concrete and you will need to experiment with what works best for you. Also try to experiment with different combinations of meals for the night before, different breakfasts etc until you find a combination that is just right for you. Once Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

you find the right combination, then use this combination time after time. You want to get your experimentation over and done with many weeks before running your actual marathon. After you have had your breakfast, assess the weather conditions and make adjustments for what that means for your long run. You can not control the weather conditions on race day, so it is important to train in all weather conditions. Therefore you are ready for anything on race day. You need to know what it is like to run in wet weather and heavy shoes. You need to know what it is like to run in strong winds. And you need to know what it is like to run in the freezing cold and from the glare of the sun. This is why it is critical to experiment training in all weather conditions. Apart from your long run, you should also combine a mid-week semilong run into your training. It is best to do your semi-long run on a Wednesday. On either side of your semi-long run (Tuesday and Thursday) you should also aim to do two shorter runs. The reason for this is to keep your body fresh and supple. To further keep your muscles fresh you should also complete a cross-training session such as swimming or cycling on the Saturday. Your basic marathon weekly training guide should look something like this: Monday: Rest day Tuesday: Short run Wednesday: Semi-long run Thursday: Short run Friday: Rest day Saturday: Cross-train Sunday: Long run As your fitness progresses you should increase the mileage of each of your training runs. As you do this, make sure not to increase your weekly training sessions by more than 10% per week.

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This is especially true in the early stages of your preparation because your risk of injury is considerably high. Avoid at all costs the temptation to fall into the 'I feel good, so I'll train more' syndrome. This is a prime time when injuries will become most apparent. Training for the marathon is more about resting rather than total mileage count. By far the most important training run is your long run on the Sunday. Aim to never miss this training session. Because everyone is different and has different requirements, a generic marathon training program that suits everyone is basically impossible to develop. For this reason I have researched the internet for many hours and have found links to six free marathon training programs. http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00novice.htm (Excellent!) http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/training/trainingschedule.html (Good) http://www.marathontraining.com/marathon/m_mile.html http://www.napa-marathon.com/articles/training-guide.asp http://www.runningtimes.com/clinic/programs/marathonbasic.htm http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/longdist/tpmartime.htm Your aim with these programs is to increase the amount of time that you run on your long Sunday training session. Ideally, you should .peak. your training distance on the Sunday 3-4 weeks. The aim is to run for a time approximately equal to the length of time that you predict to complete your marathon in. For example, it you expect to run a 4 hour marathon then aim to build up to a 4 hour long run on the Sunday three weeks before your marathon. It is then 3-4 weeks before your marathon that you should start to taper off your training in preparation for the marathon.

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TAPERING: As you have seen, your last long training run should ideally be 3-4 weeks before your marathon. In the last month before your marathon it is virtually impossible to get any fitter because your body is near it's peak condition. Although it goes against the grain of the training you have been doing, this taper period is a time for you to rest and allow your body to recuperate. You should now start to decrease your weekly mileage by around 25% per week, depending on the training program that you have chosen to use. Ideally, you should aim to run and simulate race pace in your longer runs to get your body used to the pace that you expect to run. To simulate race pace, the best way is to calculate your race pace for 400m and run at this pace on a 400m tack. Simulating your marathon experience like this will embed within your body what it feels like to run at race pace. The main focus however should be on resting your body. You will no doubt feel like doing other activities such as gardening, walking the dog or going shopping because of the extra time that you have on your hands. This is normal but will take away from all of the hard miles that you have completed over the last couple of months. To combat the urge to do more activities, you need to think of activities in advance to fill in the extra time you have on your hands. Some suggested activities include reading a good book, surfing the internet or renting some DVD's. Your taper period is also an ideal time to catch up on your sleep. The more rested your body, the better you will perform. In order to get more sleep, the best idea is to wake early so that your body feels tired by late afternoon. Then simply allow yourself to go to bed early in preparation for the marathon. You also need to stay hydrated over the taper period. The temptation is to not drink as much water over this period because your body is not training as hard. Don't be fooled. You should aim to drink at least 8 Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

glasses of water spread relatively evenly over the day during the taper period. This will ensure that you keep your body in a fully hydrated condition. Continue to follow your training program over the taper period. When you are one week before your marathon, there are some special precautions and preparations that you need to take.

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THE WEEK BEFORE YOUR MARATHON: During this last week you should switch your focus to stretching more. This aims to get your body supple before the race. Be sure not to over-stretch because this can cause tearing of the muscles. Always be sure to loosen up for 5-10 minutes before starting a stretching program. Psychologically, you may be finding it tough to deal with the fact that in your last week of training you will be training less than the actual distance of the marathon! You need to accept this point and believe in the months of training that you have done beforehand. This last week should be a period that you enjoy. The Sunday before the marathon should be an easy 2-6 mile run, preferably at race pace. You also need to make a list of the items that you need to pack for your marathon. If you are flying interstate for your race, it is best to ensure that the items can fit into your carry-on luggage. This avoids the chance of them being lost on-route. Some of the items to pack for your race include: Marathon shoes Marathon clothing . shorts, singlet, underwear, socks Bib/race number Entry information Vaseline/lubricants Sun cream Tissues Safety pins Needle Plasters Timing chip Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

Toilet paper Sports drinks Foods: gels, raisons, power bars etc Throw-away jacket Two alarm clocks Black permanent market You should review your list at least twice during the week before your marathon. You should aim to pack everything 2-3 days before the marathon, to allow enough time to double-check that all items are included. Perhaps the most overlooked item to take to the marathon is toilet paper. Too often the toilets become crowded before the marathon and typically run out of toilet paper! There can be nothing worse because this one overlooked item can potentially ruin months of training and preparation due to the discomfort it can cause. Preparation is the key to running a marathon. In the last week before your marathon you should aim to increase your carbohydrate intake to around 70% of your dietary intake. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Glucose is further broken down into glycogen. It is the glycogen that influences the amount of time that you can maintain race pace. Well trained runners have enough glycogen stores to run for around 15-20 miles. It is when your glycogen stores start to dwindle that you may feel the effects of hitting the wall. To avoid this you need to store your muscles with as much glycogen as possible. Do this by increasing your complex carbohydrate loading to around 70% of your dietary intake in the last week, especially in the final 2-3 days before the marathon for maximum effect. Foods with high levels of carbohydrates include pasta, rice and potatoes. Be sure to minimize the amount of fiber that you eat during this period. Again, eat only foods that you feel comfortable with and that you have already experimented with. Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

In the week before your race you should also aim to decrease your stress levels as much as possible in order to give yourself the chance of running to your potential. Avoid as much physical activity as you can, including gardening, partying and shopping. Your main aim should be to keep your feet up and to rest your body.

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2-3 DAYS BEFORE YOUR MARATHON: It is now that you are getting to the critical time in your marathon preparation. All of the miles have been run. You are at your peak performance and no doubt your every waking hour is focused on the task at hand. You are aware that you need to get rest but with all the extra time on your hands and energy floating throughout your system you are finding difficult to keep your body rested. In order to keep you muscles in top condition you should treat yourself to an easy massage 2-3 days before the marathon. This will rid your muscles of any remaining toxins to help you perform at your best. It is also vitally important to keep your body hydrated in these final days by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. Aim to spread your glasses of water evenly throughout your waking hours. Ensure that you listen to your body and drink whenever you feel that you are thirsty. You should also cut down on tea, coffee and alcohol during this period because they can cause your body to become dehydrated. One important point that a lot of novice marathon runners neglect to take care of is the cutting of your toe nails. If you fail to cut your toe nails before your race, your toes are likely to end up severely bruised. To avoid this you should aim to cut your toe nails three days before your marathon. Like all other things, this is not the time to experiment. Cut your toe nails as you would normally cut them and avoid cutting them too short. During the last 2-3 days before your marathon you should avoid foods containing high levels of fiber such as banana's, bran cereals, lettuce and broccoli. These foods can potentially lead to a condition known as 'runners diarrhea', which can have a major impact on your performance. Distance-wise you should take it very easy during the final few days. The day before your marathon it is a good idea to go for a 2-3 mile jog to get rid of the remaining nervous energy in your system. If you are traveling inter-state, you should aim to be in the city of the marathon at least two days before the event. It is preferable to drive over the length of the course a couple of days beforehand so that you know what to expect, such as hills, sharp bends, landmarks etc. Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

If you are coming from out of town, avoid the temptation to do some last minute shopping, as this can eat into your energy reserves. The best activity for you to do is to sit in front of the T.V. with your feet up, relax and ensure that everything is ready to go.

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DAY BEFORE YOUR MARATHON: Now you are getting to the critical stage of your marathon preparation. There is nothing more that you can do. It is all out of your hands now and you need to remain focused. You may feel that you are becoming obsessed with what is going to happen on race day. This is normal. You have been preparing for months for this time. However, being obsessed can effect your performance, especially if you are prone to becoming nervous. To combat this, the best idea is to watch a couple of your favorite DVD's or Video's in order to take your mind off the event. Another good way to decrease your nervousness is to remind yourself not to take it too seriously. It is normal to feel jittery the day before the marathon and you may be thinking that these are feeling of fear, nervousness or worry. Let me tell you this . it is not! You are feeling this way simply because your body is fueled and ready to expend energy. The best thing you can do is aim to keep this energy inside of you and save it for the race. You should go for a slow jog for 2-3 miles the day before to get rid of the remaining excess energy in your system. Ensure that you consciously make your pace slow. The last thing you want to do is get excited and cause a muscle strain the day before your marathon. You should do your final run in your full marathon gear in order to give it a final shake-out. Also make sure that you attach your running numbers to your singlet because you need to ensure that they do not rub excessively. This final run will help to get rid of any remaining tension and will also help you to sleep better that night. Apart from this short and slow jog, most of your time the day before your marathon should be spent with your feet up (literally) and preparing both physically and mentally for the day ahead. Ensure all of your belongings are packed and re-packed for the marathon.

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Read the race instructions carefully. Also ensure that you take down the number of the hotel where you are staying in case you lose contact with your friends/family at the end of the race. There should be no surprises the next morning. You should also prepare mentally for the task at hand. You should already be aware of your projected splits times for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 miles. Make a point to watch the news in advance for the predicted weather conditions and mentally prepare for these conditions. Have a clear game-plan in your head as to what you want to achieve and spend time going over your mental vision of the marathon. Your final meal should also contain no new surprises. You have practiced this many times over the last couple of months and know what foods work best for you from your long training sessions. Make sure that your meal the night before your marathon is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. Aim to eat your meal 1-2 hours before you go to bed. Another tip is to aim to have a shower the night before your marathon so that you don't have to worry about fitting it in the next morning. Your should aim to be in bed approximately 8 hours before you plan to get up in the morning, even if you do not feel tired (most people don't!). You will more than likely find that you have difficulty sleeping the night before your marathon. This is normal. Be sure to set two alarm clocks for the morning as you have practiced in training. Nothing here should be new to you. The secret to getting enough rest the night before a marathon is to realize that it doesn't matter if you don't fall asleep. As long as your body is resting that is all you need to do. The best way to rest is to simply allow your body to relax and pretend that it is sinking into the mattress. Then turn your thoughts off and allow yourself to breathe. Just lying there without moving or thinking will give you all the rest you need. The worst thing you can do is toss and turn all night long, worrying about all of the What if's. If you find this happening, just find a comfortable position, allow yourself to sink into the mattress, turn your

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thoughts off and focus on your long heavy breathing. Your body will get all the rest that it needs.

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RACE DAY! Beep. Beep. Beep. Time to get up. TODAY.S YOUR BIG DAY! Hopefully you got at least a little sleep last night. Even if you feel that you didn't, it doesn't really matter too much. As long as your body had at least some rest and didn't toss or turn all night, then you should be fine. By now you should know your race day routine like the back of your hand. This is what you have been practicing for with your longer Sunday training sessions. After you have woken from your alarm, aim to have your usual breakfast around 3 hours before the start of your race. It is important to eat breakfast even if you don't feel hungry. The reason for this is that your body will be relying on this energy source in the later stages of the race. You may start to feel a little nervous. This is normal. Just make sure that you follow your normal routine and you should be fine. Whilst having breakfast, aim to turn on the radio or T.V. and get an idea of the exact weather conditions for the day. If it is windy, rainy or excessively hot then you may consider revising your split times to accommodate. If the weather conditions are what you were expecting then take out your black permanent marker and write down your predicted split times for the 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 mile marks on the back of your hand. You will be looking at these throughout the race, so make sure that you write them big enough and clear enough. It is the 20 and 25 mile splits that should be the most clearly written because this is when you will be feeling at your most fatigued. After breakfast aim to get all of your marathon items together, including the fluids you are taking to the race. Make sure to wear your marathon shorts, singlet, socks and running shoes. Double check that you have your bib number attached and that it isn't rubbing. If it is cold Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

or windy outside, be sure to take a throw away jacket or similar and jogging pants to keep yourself warm. Once you are ready, begin to make your way to the start of the marathon. It is better to get to the start of the marathon earlier rather than later because you never know what unforeseen problems may occur such as getting a flat tyre, roadworks delaying your journey, traffic jams or even getting lost if running in an unfamiliar city. As you have practiced, drink 2-3 glasses of water to hydrate your body two hours before the race start time. When you get to the marathon course, make sure that you keep off your feet as much as possible. To do this either stay in your car, sit under a tree or find a nice quiet place to relax. Depending on your personality you may feel more relaxed to find a fellow runner to chat with. Make sure you don.t let any of his advice or tips about running a marathon throw you off track. Now is not the time to start experimenting! After some time you will start to hear instructions and directions from officials, announcing that the race is about to get underway. Take special notice of anything out of the ordinary and make sure that you follow their instructions to the letter. In the back of your mind, remind yourself that you have done all you can do to get to this point. Trust in your training and hard work over the last number of months. About half an hour before the start of the race, aim take a couple of mouthfuls of water, strip down to your running clothes, put lubricant on those areas that cause you concern and either give your bag to family or friends, or ask an official where to leave your bag so that it gets taken to the finish line. Now you are ready to do a short warm-up jog to get the blood pumping throughout your system. Make this warm-up jog short as you don't want your system tired before you even start to run. Once your blood is pumping, do a few loose stretches to get your body into the right state to run. You are now ready to make your way to the start.

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Keep your body moving at all times and avoid the temptation to just stand there waiting for the gun to go. If you are feeling nervous just remind yourself that this is normal and that the nerves will diminish once you start the race. If it is a large marathon, then you will no doubt be a fair way back from the start line. This is normal and is nothing to worry about. Before you know it, the gun will sound and your marathon will have started. The first 3-5 miles of the marathon are perhaps the most important. It is during this period that you can destroy all of the preparation you have put into training by going out too fast. The idea is to consciously go out at a slow pace. It is the old story of the tortoise and the hare, and we both know who won that race. It is estimated that running 30-60 seconds below your predicted average mile pace for the first 3-5km can reduce your final finishing time by between 20-90 minutes. The best way is to go out at a pace that feels too slow. As with your training runs you should by now have a feel for what race pace feels like. Aim to check at your pace at the first mileage post. A lot of novice marathon runners waste much energy at the start trying to weave their way through the slow runners in front of them, as they think they are behind their predicted marathon pace. This is a wasted exercise because they will burn into their glycogen stores much earlier than needed because they went out too hard. You should be treating your first mile as a chance to warm up to your predicted marathon pace until the crowd starts to thin out. The main aim when running a marathon is to try and hit your mileage markings as planned. It really doesn't matter too much but it does give your mind something to focus on. It is also a good idea to aim to do a negative split over your race distance, by running your second half slightly faster than your first half.

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Do this by consciously holding back the reins for the first 13.1 miles. Then if you are still feeling good at the 18 mile mark then your can pick up your pace a little. If you are feeling the need to go to the toilet at the first toilet stop, then by all means go. The only problem is that the first toilet stop is often crowded because every man and his dog are naturally wanting to go at the first stop. If you feel that it won't hamper your marathon strategy, then aim to hold on until the second toilet stop. You will find this toilet stop is no where near as crowded as the first. As you progress through your marathon you should feel yourself getting into your marathon pace. In the early stages you are probably still feeling quite good. As at the start of the marathon, resist the urge to go any faster than your predicted race pace. There will be plenty of time later in the marathon to pick up your pace if you are still feeling energetic. As you near your first drink station you may be wanting to know whether to take a drink or not. This depends on your situation, but as a general rule it pays to take a drink at every drink station that you can. The reason for this is that it allows your body to remain hydrated throughout your entire race. By the time you start to feel thirsty, it is too late. The idea behind drinking during your marathon is to drink often and little. The best way to take a drink at a drink station is the same way that you practiced during training. Depending on how skillful you are at drinking on the run, it may be a better idea to walk whilst taking in 2-3 mouthfuls of liquid. As you are drinking be conscious to avoid swallowing too much air, as this can bloat your stomach. Depending on the temperature and how you are feeling, it is also a good idea to sponge your head and shoulders with water if available. If you are feeling the need to take some nourishment, ideally this should be done at the 10 mile and 20 mile marks. The best foods to eat during the race are food gels because you won't have any difficulty in having to chew them.

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Other marathon foods to experiment with are power bars, bananas, pretzels and sweet cookies. It all depends on what nourishment items the marathon organizing body decides to put out on the course but you will need some nourishment during your race to keep your glycogen levels within acceptable limits. As you progress further into the race, focus your attention on running as efficiently as possible. The best way to run efficiently is relax your body. A sure-fire way to ensure that your body is relaxed is to make sure that your cheeks are jiggling. If they are not then consciously aim to allow your cheeks to jiggle. This has a trickle down effect onto the rest of your body and before you know it you will be running in an efficient and relaxed state again. The problem when you are tense is that it causes your muscles to stiffen, which in turn requires more work and energy to run. By relaxing and enjoying the moment you are less likely to tighten and likewise cause fatigue and more likely to achieve your goal. You may also find that your mind starts to wander as you get further into the race. To bring your mind back to the present, use the mileage markers as a reminder of where you are. As you pass a mileage marker, use it as a means to focus on your technique. It is also a good idea to use the mileage markers to assess how you are feeling, to assess your posture, your breathing and to also assess your pace. Another excellent way to bring your mind into the present is to say to yourself... 'I am at mile _____ and am being steadily pulled towards the finish.' It's better not to think of how many miles you have to go because time will seem to drag on forever. It's better to bring yourself back to the present and to consciously see in your mind's eye the vision that you created for yourself many months ago. If you feel you are losing touch then fire a few triggers by clenching your fist and saying 'Come on!' This unorthodox technique works however be certain to contain the energy which comes up rather than burn it all up in a single burst. Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

If you find that your posture is becoming weak, then try to consciously push the crown of your head up and look towards the horizon. Doing this acts to save your shoulder muscles, improve your balance and improves your breathing thus allowing more oxygen into your lungs. A great way to gain a little more motivation throughout your race is to encourage your family members and friends to come along and support you, especially in the middle to later stages of the marathon. Depending on the number of runners in the marathon it may be a good idea for your supporters to carry banners so that you can easily spot them out of the crowd. In the middle to later stages of the marathon you may find that mind starts to play games on you. This is normal because your body is reacting to the strain that is being placed upon it. During this period it is amazing what incidents you find niggle, frustrate and even anger you. If you start to feel these feelings then you need to remind yourself that they are unproductive and are putting you off your game plan. It's not so much the external influence that is frustrating you but the fact that your reserves are low, much like the way we tend to get frustrated easily when we are tired over stupid little incidents. Simply reminding yourself of this will ease the frustration, as will training yourself to be cool, calm and unaffected by minor external annoyances. Along a similar line, you may find that your form drops off when either getting passed by another runner or when you are passing another runner. The reason for this is that your attention is being focused on external influences rather on your own race plan.. This is simple to overcome. It sounds stupid, but if you are passed by another runner pretend to get out a pair of big scissors and cut an imaginary cord that is connecting you to the other runner. This will allow you to regain your composure and focus again on your own race rather than being in the continual game of trying to catch Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

up. It is also productive to use the same technique when passing another runner, as you may feel as though you are being slowed down and held back as you pass. If you have made it your resolve to catch up to another runner in front of you then you should listen to your instincts and go for it. The challenge however is to catch up slowly over a period of 3-4 miles at a constant pace otherwise you run the risk of burning yourself out too quickly. In order to catch up to the runner in front of you, the best idea is to stare intently at the back of his or her shirt. Over a period of time you should eventually catch up to them because whatever your mind focuses on it eventually achieves. As you move on further into your marathon you will most likely start to feel fatigue set into your body. This could be the first signs of starting to hit 'The Wall'. This is when the glycogen levels in your body are close to becoming depleted and you run the risk of extreme fatigue. 'The Wall' usually hits somewhere around the 18-22 mile mark. If you hit 'The Wall', this is biggest test you will face in your marathon race. It is a painful experience and you have no option but to work your way through it. You already know that this period is temporary, so it will pay to tell yourself that this period will pass and that it is only a matter of time before you cross the finish line. As you go further into your race, you should pace yourself on your body symptoms rather than to keep on worrying about time splits. This is more of a mental game than anything else. The idea is to remain positive rather than to sink into negativity. In the later stages it will hurt. A great technique that you have already practiced is to keep your mind focused on a time when you felt strong. When you are feeling weak, take your mind back to this time and spend time in those thoughts. The more you can stay in this place, the more you negativity will shrink away.

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If you do happen to stop if you hit the wall, then the best idea is to continue to walk. When your body feels right to run again, then aim to get back up to your normal marathon pace as soon as possible. When you pass the 20 mile mark you can then realistically tell yourself that your have made it. The reason here is that now it is only a matter of time before you cross the finish line. It is in the last few miles that your greatest triumph will occur. At this point you should be running on determination alone and have entered territory that only an elite percentage of the population can call home. In these last few miles, it is best to focus your attention entirely on the positive times in your life and it is inevitable that you will cross the finish line. As you cross the line, savor the moment. This moment is something you will look back on for the rest of your life as something your are truly proud of. Congratulations!!!

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RECOVERY: Once you finish your marathon, the race still is not over. You still need to go through the recovery phase of the marathon to allow your body the time and means to get back into the normal way of functioning. The 26.3 miles you have completed will have taken a toll on your body. It is during this period that you need to undertake some simple management techniques to get back to normal. Even with all of the training that you have been doing in the leadup months, your body will be in a state of shock after you cross the finish line. The best idea directly after your race is to go for a slow warmdown of a mile or so when you feel that you are ready. Be sure to follow your warm-down with a few slow stretches to get your muscles supple after what they have just gone through. Shortly after you finish your warm-down, you need to refuel by eating some nourishment that is easy to digest, such as a banana or a smoothie. Even if you don't feel like it, make sure that you get some form of nourishment into your body shortly after your race so that your body can start it's recovery process as soon as possible. Also be sure to rehydrate after your marathon by drinking a few cups of Gatorade or similar liquid. Your body will literally be craving for both nourishment and liquid after such an ordeal that it has gone through. Be sure not to eat or drink too much just after you have run your marathon because chances are that your body may react physically through vomiting. As you can imagine, that's not a good thing to happen in such a crowded place as the finishing area! It is at this point you should also consciously congratulate yourself for such a good job well done. Even if you haven't achieved the time that you had hoped for, you should still give yourself encouragement for the months of training and hardship that you have been through. To simply finish a marathon is something that the majority of the population will never be able to do. If you have completed your marathon, you are truly amongst an elite group of the population.

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After you have taken the time to reflect on your experience, it is then time to go and celebrate as best as you can with your family and friends. When you get home, you can make further progress in your recovery by having a light massage. This massage acts to encourage the toxins to leave your body. Also remember to drink small amounts of liquid over the rest of the evening. It is also a good idea to have an early night after your marathon to allow your body to recover. If you have any blisters, be sure to pop them with a sterile needle and apply antiseptic cream to minimize the risk of infection. It should take you around a month to recover fully from your marathon. You should not run within the first week or until you feel the soreness in your muscles reduce. If you feel yourself getting 'itchy feet' then go for the odd slow-paced run within the second, third or fourth week after the marathon. However you should consciously take this first month after your marathon for recovery otherwise you run the risk of injury. Naturally, the day after your marathon your muscles should be feeling quite sore from what you have just gone through. Your muscles are no doubt feeling stiff and this is normal due to the lactic acid buildup. To reduce the stiffness, it is best to keep your body relatively active by doing light exercise rather than just lay in bed or to rest in a chair. This helps to release the toxins from your muscles. It is also a good idea to drink plenty of water the day after your marathon as this also helps to flush the toxins out of your body. It is also important to keep yourself fed with a well balanced diet and even use multi-vitamins as your body replaces the minerals and nutrients lost from the marathon. The second day after the marathon your body should feel even worse than the day directly after the marathon. This is just the way your body works. Again, it is important to stay well hydrated, to eat a balanced diet and to get plenty of rest. A massage will help to release the waste products from Copyright 2010 www.MarathonBible.com

your body. It may also be advisable to take the two days after a marathon off work, especially if you have an active position as you do not want to run the risk of a costly injury in this critical recovery period. Over the next week your soreness should gradually reduce. If it does not, then be sure to consult your doctor or medical practitioner. Even if your soreness fades after a couple of days, you should not go for a run in the first week after the marathon as again, you are risking the chance of injury. After a couple of weeks you should then feel that your body is back to relatively normal energy levels. It is during this period that you can then start to go for a few short runs again. If you are planning on running further marathons then the last thing you want to happen is for you to get injured, so respect your recovery period and give yourself the break you deserve. When getting back into training for your next marathon, you may feel yourself disappointed that your form has dropped off. This is normal. As a general rule it will take you around two weeks of training for every week off that you have taken off in order to get back to the same level of fitness. This may cause you some frustration but is just the way your body works. Physically it is possible to run three marathons a year however most people attempt two as a maximum because of the mental difficulty. As you dream of your next marathon adventure I'll leave you with the thought that there is a man out there with the goal to compete in running races in 100 different countries by the time he's 70. Dream. Plan. Move. It's inevitable!

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Before I go I've just got one little favor to ask of you. If this manual makes a difference to your marathon preparation, can you please let me know. For me, the pleasure comes from helping out the motivated people in the world. Knowing how I've helped you gives me a satisfaction second only to that gained from my family. So drop me a line and tell me about your feedback from this ebook. You can reach me by emailing davidfstyles@yahoo.com Anyway, thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Warmly, David Styles.

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