Marathon Training & Racing from
Joe Bowman
All 50 States & DC under 3:00

  • Off Days - I don't make a habit
    of scheduling them; they just
    happen...once or twice a
    week.  It's not the end of the
    world, ya know.  Hopefully
    running isn't your life; it's an
    enhancement of your life.
    Relax and have a stronger,
    faster run tomorrow.

  • Training Partners - It's 5:30AM
    and there's no way I'm getting
    out of my warm bed, EXCEPT
    for that commitment I made
    with a buddy.  Turns out it was
    worth it.  It's hard to stay
    motivated all by yourself.  Find
    some runners that are at your
    same level and agree to do
    some training together.

  • Training Run Speed - 7:00 to
    7:30 is generally good for runs
    of 5 to 10 miles.  If you're only
    going to get in 3 or 4 miles,
    you're probably short on time
    anyway, so pick up the pace.  
    It's generally called a tempo
    run; I call it common sense.

  • Music - I'm from the Sony Walkman era...and I'm not proud of it.  Sure
    the thing served a purpose, but not for my running.  I've always been
    anti-music for running, but thanks to Steve Jobs, I've changed my
    'tune.'  I find it hard to live without my new Ipod Shuffle on my track
    workouts.  And my IPhone has a built-in speaker and can put it in an
    Amphipod Rapid Access Pouch and carried on long road runs
    without headphones (if you need some safe company).

  • Training Run Speed - 7:00 to
    7:30 is generally good for runs
    of 5 to 10 miles.  If you're only
    going to get in 3 or 4 miles,
    you're probably short on time
    anyway, so pick up the pace.  
    It's generally called a tempo
    run; I call it common sense.

  • Nutrition - Because of my wife
    Shannon focus on quality
    cooking, I'm eating the
    healthiest I ever have.  Beer
    and chips are still a
    weakness, but healthy eating
    is paying off for me...and it
    shows in a stabilized, light

  • Heart Rate Monitors - HR monitors are fine for less than 1 hour
    workouts, but beyond that, if you're running hard, your core
    temperature is on the rise, sweat is draining your fluid levels and the
    only way for your heart rate to go is UP.  At that point I don't know what
    real value you gain from the numbers.  HR monitors are good tools
    for determining your working rate at a certain pace and that's
    important.  On a daily basis though, it's overkill to log in all the
    numbers unless you have a way to efficiently do with the new
    Garmin Forerunner 301.  Tie it in to your MotionBased account and in
    about a minute everything goes straight to your log...and that's my
    kind of log book!

  • Massage - Hey Laura...she's
    my 'therapist.'  I'd give you her
    number, but her schedule
    stays jammed and I don't want
    to lose my spot.  Find a
    trained professional and
    preferably one that
    understands runners and
    common running ailments,
    then go once in a while,
    whether you think you need to
    or not.  Your body is good at
    making adjustments for the
    good of the moment, but
    you're preparation goes way
    beyond today or tomorrow.  
    The only way to maximize the
    strength and power you're
    building in those legs of yours
    is to make sure each muscle
    is functioning and firing at its

  • Stretching and Warming Up -
    These are different.  I'm all for
    flexibility work (the stretching
    part) and strongly recommend
    yoga.  Warming up though; I
    don't really get it.  There's no
    need to take off in a dead
    sprint straight from the car, but
    there's also no need to waste
    precious training time running
    at a slower-than-planned
    pace for 15 or 20 minutes.  
    Start out a little easy (like you'll
    be doing in the marathon);
    that's all it takes.  And no, I'm
    not much on cooling down
    either...unless walking back to
    the car counts.  Some light
    stretching and ice after a hard
    workout won't hurt though.

  • Da Track - Learn to love it.  
    Come on, you're running 26.2
    miles; you can run a few
    circles once or twice a week
    without dreading it can't you.  
    It's the controlled environment
    you need to tweak and study
    your fitness level and pace.

  • Hard/Easy - If you do an easy
    run just because you did a
    hard run the day before, that's
    wrong in my book.  If you need
    an easy run, go do an easy
    run or take the day off, but if
    you feel good and you know
    there's some chance you
    might not get in all the hard
    work you want for the week,
    then do another solid workout.

  • Trails vs Road - No question...TRAILS...but if you're like most folks, you have easier access to pavement.  
    Whatever you do, don't spend time on's just too dense.  Asphalt is fine, but it pounds the legs
    harder than softer surfaces like dirt or grass.  You need some training time on the surface you'll be racing
    your marathon on (most likely asphalt), but don't do everything on it.  Nothing works all your leg components,
    provides great scenery and leaves the feet and legs fresher than trail work.  Spider webs in your face; a bit of
    a down side.  Turning your ankle; the biggest fear.  My worst ankle sprain though came on a paved road, so it
    can happen anywhere.  Just don't make your first trail run through a ton of roots and rocks.

  • Marathon Frequency -  This is
    a developmental thing with no
    one right answer.  My body
    rebounds in two or three days
    and is ready to go again the
    next weekend, but it wasn't
    always that way.  The only
    thing I want to drive home is
    you've put in too much training
    to bet it all on one day.  You
    may feel bad, the weather may
    be bad, whatever...and the
    result is not what you wanted.  
    Sign up for another one...
    training is work; racing is fun!

  • Frequent Racing - I think it's
    good mentally, physically and
    strategically.  What distance?  
    Assuming you're not running
    ultras, nothing but a marathon
    will prepare you for a
    marathon, but the marathon
    will prepare you for any other
    lesser distance.  All shorter-
    than-marathon races basically
    fulfill the components of a
    core workout or two while
    providing variety and that's
    good, but do you have to run
    shorter distance races for
    successful sub 3

  • Mileage - If you look at the
    core workouts and apply
    some math, you'll probably
    have a hard time getting to 75
    miles.  Your long run is 16 to
    20; your next longest is 12 to
    14...that's hardly 30 miles.  If
    you average 8 miles for the
    other 5 days that's 74 miles.  If
    you put in the core work, it's
    OK if your mileage is only 60
    some weeks.

  • Cross Training - I've recently
    become a huge fan of
    spinning.  From weight control
    to leg strength, it's an
    awesome way to spend a non-
    impact hour...just don't let it
    take the place of your running.
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