The marathon is an intriguing event because so many factors come into play in determining how well you will do and how much discomfort you might experience. Did you come face to face with the infamous "wall"? In the days and weeks when the marathon is finally behind you, you may wish to consider the things you did correctly along with errors you may have made in your training and racing.
Below is a list of evaluation questions to reflect upon when contemplating what you may do differently the next time you train for, and run a marathon. If necessary, modify and adjust your program to address these issues. Also included below are sections of this site where related information appears. Good luck with your upcoming marathons!
Did you train intelligently and make it to the starting line rested and healthy?
Did you train consistently?
- Did you avoid injury throughout your training?
- Did you listen to the feedback your body was communicating to you and make minor adjustments to your training schedule to avoid fatigue or injury, thus becoming stronger?
Did you eat and drink properly before, during, and after the marathon and long training runs?
- Did you complete most of the scheduled workouts listed on the training schedules?
- Above all, did you complete all or most of your long runs (18-22/23 milers)?
Did you run the correct pace during the marathon and long training runs?
- Did you consume ample amounts of carbohydrates prior to long runs and the marathon? Did you consume ample amounts of fluids (water and sports drinks) during long runs and the marathon? Did you use gel energy supplements (or other "fast energy" carbohydrate products) during long runs and the marathon?
- Did you eat and drink immediately following the long run and marathon?
Did you make adjustments for unforeseen problems (e.g., blisters, chafing, stomach discomfort, muscle cramps, etc.) during both the marathon and long training runs?
- Did you practice pacing during your long runs?
- Did you enter any shorter distance races (5K - Half Marathon) in the weeks prior to the marathon to help determine your goal pace for the marathon?
Did you possess the best possible mental/psychological attitude throughout your training and during the marathon?
Other factors for which you have no control include weather conditions (e.g., too hot, too cold, too windy, precipitation, etc.) along with the difficulty of the marathon course.
- Did you experiment with a variety of issues during your long runs to find solutions for blisters, chafing, misc. cramps, etc., among other potential problems on race day?
- Did you effectively address any problems that surfaced during the marathon?