Cleveland Marathon – Training Tips


Thankful to be running the 40th Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon this year, I have a little score to settle. Super thankful to be an RACM Ambassador this year, and as Spiderman said, “with that comes the awesome responsibility to help others.”  Or it was something close to that…

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So how can I help you run a better marathon?  Easy learn from my mistakes, my lessons learned, my success (where I’ve had some), and some helpful training tips.

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To start you off on your best RACM.

Don’t feed the trolls.  At some point in the race it may get ugly.  It might be your feet, maybe its turn out to be a tight hamstring, a sore ankle or your just plain out of breath.  Thoughts of doubt might crept in…you’ll consider quitting.  Don’t feed those thoughts…keep moving forward, it will get better.  We are all stronger than we think we are, capable of doing more than we think we can.  For more tips on not feeding the trolls, check out my article on the same subject.

Sleep is important.  Sleep is just as important in training as the miles are.  Your body can’t recover without sleep.  Just as you would not skimp on the miles…don’t rob yourself of valuable sleep during training.  Especially right before race day.  Most will suffer from some nervousness as our race draws near.  The night before, the night before is perhaps the most important night of rest.

Ease into your day.  Unless you’re gunning for a BQ or Olympic qualifying time you’ll run a faster race if you ease into your day.  Studies have proven and I have learned the lessons myself.  You’ll lose more time running out of gas at mile 20, 21, 22, 23, 24…..then you would have gained with the fast start.

Have a plan for race day.  Most races have aid stations every two miles.  You can waste a lot of time in the aid station zones if you don’t have a plan. Check my post on race day strategies.

Run those long runs with friends.  Whether my sites are set on the next marathon or a 100 miler, the long runs always intimidate me.  It’s not just the miles that drive me a little batty, it’s the time alone.  To help me win this battle I invite others along for the ride run.

20 miles, 50 miles or whatever your long run is, it’s much easier to pull off if you have some good running friends to spend the time with.  After it takes a village to run a marathon.

Test drive your gear and test drive your gear together.  On a recent training run for an upcoming 100-miler, I ran a 50-mile long run.  The morning of the run, I selected a pair of high-quality socks.  This pair of socks I’ve run long distances in before, I had confidence in them.  Later I selected a pair of shoes, again a pair I’ve run in a lot and likewise had tons of confidence in them.

About two miles into the day I noticed a weird feeling related to the combination of my shoes, socks, and feet.  Honestly, it felt like my socks were falling down.  Now I wear low rise socks, to begin with, so this was kind of strange.  I ran another half mile and I thought for sure my left heel was now naked in my shoe.  With 48 miles left to my day, I had to fix this situation.  I pulled over on the trail.  I sat down by a nice tree and removed my shoe.  Sure enough, my sock had been pushed down and nearly off my foot.

It dawned on me, I was not so sure I ever wore THAT pair of socks with THAT pair of shoes.  I struggled with sock issues all day and received a nice blister on the back of my left heel as my reward.

Check back for my next Cleveland Marathon training tip.