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How To Run A Fast Marathon

 Bill Rogers, aka Boston Billy, pictured winning the 1979 Boston Marathon. Note his expression is not a smile of joy, but a grimace of fatgue.

Bill Rogers, aka Boston Billy, pictured winning the 1979 Boston Marathon. Note his expression is not a smile of joy, but a grimace of fatgue.

Everyone who races the marathon gets tired. No one says, "I want to be able to race the Marathon and not get tired." There are no books or training plans called The Easy Foolproof Way to Race a Marathon Without Getting Tired.

Because that is not the point. When you register for a marathon, you've signed up for tired. You've committed to tired. Endless days, hours, and miles of tired. Training with tired. Working out with tired. And, of course, racing with tired.

Many worry about tired, even some pro runners. And rightfully so, the feeling of tired can be overwhelming, a cause for concern and angst. 

Those who finish fastest in a marathon get tired just like you and me. The only difference is they've figured out where to put the tired. They don't deny tired. They don't fool themselves into thinking, "I am going to run 26.2 miles without getting tired," and when tired arrives freak out. No. They embrace it. They expect tired. They knew it was coming. 

And when tired shows up, whether at Mile 2 or Mile 22, what they do is say, "I have tired, now let me put it somewhere so I can get back to the race." Once they figure out where to put the tired, they immediately return to running and focus their energies on racing and the competition at hand, not on being tired and wanting to stop and walk. 

Sure, you can obsess about the length of your long runs, the percentage of time spent training at marathon pace, fueling strategies, footwear choices, etc. However, if you don't know where to put the tired when it appears (and it will), then all other meticulous preparations will prove futile.  

If you figure out where to put the tired, then you can do it, you can run the race, and run it fast.

 

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm

Jonathan Marcus