Welcome to the Summer Edition of "State of the Art",
a regularly published newsletter of the State of the Art Marathon
Training web site located at: http://www.marathontraining.com.
Marathon training tips, featured question, personal success story,
the latest news, recipe, among other topics are featured within
this issue. As always, we welcome your feedback and contributions.
Email us your thoughts, experiences, suggestions, and/or anything
pertaining to marathon training and running in general for an
upcoming issue at email@example.com.
Thanks in advance and hope you will enjoy this newsletter!
Featured Web Site Section
Whether you’re new to the sport or have been running for
many years, one of the biggest challenges you may encounter from
time to time is finding the time to run. Originally written as
part of a weekly newspaper column for those training for Charleston,
SC’s largest 10K event, The Cooper River Bridge Run, Art
invites you to check out his article entitled
“Finding the Time to Run”. Highlighted are a variety
of strategies to enhance your chances of being more consistent
with your running program.
Just about every runner has a unique story relating to the circumstances
which led to their first strides. We invite you to check out this
issue’s featured article,
written by Simon Clarke, as he shares his personal account in
“Why Do I Run?”.
Since it was first being published in 2002, “The Everything
Running Book” has been among Adams Media Corporation’s
most popular sellers in their Everything Series. As a
testament to its success, work is in progress for its second edition.
Art along with editor Dominique DeVito have been collaborating
in updating and expanding its content. Look for “The Everything
Running Book, Second Edition” for sale in bookstores and
on the web in the spring of 2008.
The featured question this issue is submitted by Natalie P. of
I have run two marathons and came in at 3:12 both times. First
race, I started slow and bonked at 22nd mile and second race,
I started fast and bonked at 18th mile. I know glycogen level
is depleted after 20 miles, but how do marathoners maintain their
speeds and finish strong? What can I do to prevent or minimize
Thanks for the great question you asked! Let me first begin by
congratulating you on your two marathon finishes. Many people
would be delighted to finish in 3 hours, 12 minutes which equates
to running 26.2 miles at a 7:20 pace!
For those who aren’t familiar with the
term, “bonking” (also called “hitting the wall”)
refers to the point in time during a marathon when a runner’s
pace significantly slows, most often caused as a result of the
depletion of glycogen stores within the muscles. There are a variety
of factors, oftentimes inter-related, that can have an impact
on one’s energy level in the later miles during the marathon.
These include training, race strategy/pacing, carbohydrate loading,
hydration, and tapering.
You didn’t say anything about your preparation
for these events. While entire books have been written about the
subject, without a doubt, the long run is the most important component
of marathon training as it teaches the body to both physically
and mentally tackle the challenges of running 26.2 miles. Physiologically,
the body must learn to tap into and utilize energy reserves from
fat storage sites after the glycogen (fuel stores in the muscles,
converted over from carbohydrate food sources) have been depleted.
Through long run training (including two to three runs from 20
–to 22/23 miles), the capacity to store more glycogen within
the muscles increases. An increase in glycogen stores translates
into the ability to maintain one's pace during the marathon and
delay the onset of fatigue.
So what is the maximum pace you can sustain
without hitting the wall on marathon day? One way to determine
the answer to that important question is to experiment with pacing
during your long runs. For the first time marathoner whose primary
goal is to complete the event safely and comfortably, I recommend
doing their long training runs at an aerobic pace. By that, I
mean running at an easy, relaxed, conversational pace, without
pressing, during both long runs and the marathon.
Experienced runners who wish to “push
the envelope”, so to speak, during the marathon will need
to practice running at, or a bit faster than goal pace as part
of their long run training. Doing so helps condition the muscles
to sustain one’s goal pace over the course of 26.2 miles.
I cannot begin to adequately cover speedwork related to marathon
training here; however, it’s important to realize that speedwork,
along with running the marathon at too fast a pace for which you’ve
training increases one’s risk of injury. Additionally, aggressive
marathon pacing oftentimes translates to a much slower finish
time or even worse, failing to complete the event!
A final word about pacing - Running the correct
pace for your ability level is crucial in the marathon, especially
for the first time marathoner. It's so easy to start the race
by running at too fast pace for which you are prepared. Your pace
during the first miles oftentimes feels effortless due to the
adrenaline rush and excitement of the event. If you run the first
miles too fast, you'll pay dearly for the mistake in the later
stages of the marathon. A much better plan is to start out slower
than what you hope to average and then run the middle miles at
your chosen (hopefully realistic) pace. It's a better strategy
to pick up the pace during the final miles when you know you can
finish rather than starting aggressively. In the world of marathoning,
there's no such theory as "putting the fast miles in the
bank early in the race" and then holding on in the end. During
the marathon, constantly monitor how you are feeling, and adjust
your pace accordingly based on your perceived energy level. The
experience gained through your past long training runs will enable
you to do this.
Appropriately fueling the body is crucial to
the task of maintaining one’s goal pace over the course
of 26.2 miles. This is where carbohydrate-loading and staying
well-hydrated before and during the marathon comes into play.
By using your long runs as opportunities to experiment with nutrition
and hydration options, you will determine the specific types and
quantities of carbohydrate-rich foods, gels, and beverages that
most optimally work for you in sustaining your energy level during
Finally, be sure to taper your training mileage
three weeks prior to the marathon so that you will be well-rested
on the big day. As race day draws closer, an important rule of
thumb to remember is "less is best". Listen to your
body and take an extra rest day, particularly if you’re
legs are feeling fatigued or achy. Also keep in mind that there
are no workouts the week prior to the marathon that will enhance
your preparedness for the race.
I hope you find this information helpful in
determining how to push back the wall and avoid bonking at your
next marathon. Here’s wishing you all the best.
State of the Art Marathon Training
Art offers individualized coaching services
designed to meet your needs and to help you achieve your running
goals. For more information, check out the Personal
We’d like to share this wonderful letter we recently received
from Michelle K.
In July of 2006 I got the "brilliant"
idea of wanting to see how fast I could run one mile. Before this,
I had never run. As a matter-of-fact, I had always hated running.
I had never been an athletic person by any means, so for me to
want to run seemed pretty crazy. But, I went out and ran one mile
and my time was 10:15. I waited a couple days and ran again. My
time was the same. After a few attempts, I realized I needed to
be doing something different if I wanted a different result. My
mom saw my new found interest and bought me your book, “The
Everything Running Book". I was excited to find the beginner
schedule included inside. For me, this was a "no-brainer".
I just follow the schedule. And that is exactly what I did. It
was awesome to come home and check off another day knowing that
I was exercising and getting better.
By the time I finished the beginner schedule,
I no longer cared about my one-mile time. I now wanted to run
a marathon. So I moved from the beginner schedule to the mileage
buildup schedule and then on to the half-marathon schedule. Then
on April 14, 2007 I ran my very first half-marathon. What an awesome
experience it was! I ran it in 2:05:13 which equates to a 9:33
pace. I couldn't believe it. When I finished, one of the first
things I thought was “bring on the marathon”! I am
now beginning the marathon training schedule and preparing to
run my first full marathon on September 15, 2007. Thank you for
all the information that you have provided. I’ve managed
to stay injury free and loving running every day! My life is completely
changed! Between changing my eating habits and running, I’ve
lost over 85 pounds in one year. I am a completely different person
than I was before I received your book. Thank you!
Thanks Michelle and congratulations! We hope
that you too will consider sharing with readers your personal
success story and/or testimonial pertaining to running, racing,
general fitness, etc. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sylita Thomas graciously provided the recipe for this newsletter.
She’s a professional athlete and author of two popular websites:
Carrots Soup with Croutons
5 pounds – carrots
5 - potatoes
2 - onions
16 oz - tomato sauce
Handful - Croutons
To Taste – savory, salt, pepper
1. Rasp the carrots and potatoes
2. Cut the onion in small parts
3. Boil the rasped carrots, rasped potatoes and onion
4. After 10 minutes, add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and savory
and boil for 5 additional minutes
5. Serve with croutons
Per Serve: 518 calories; 102.2 g carbohydrates;
2.7 g fat; 48.6 g protein
Thanks Sylvia for sharing these tasty
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Thanks for reading State of the Art newsletter. Here’s wishing
you and your family a safe and fun-filled summer!