If you not only want to finish a marathon, but you want to crush a marathon then you have to do more than just run.

#1: First off, you have to run more. The biggest issue with running more is making sure you don’t get hurt. This requires the following:

  • Slow build up in miles. Do not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% week over week. For example, if you are comfortable running 40 miles per week, you should not be running more than 44 miles in week 2 and no more than 48.4 miles in week 3.
  • Now the key is week 4. Week 4 should be a down week. Less miles and less quality.
  • Then in weeks 5, 6, and 7 you can resume that 10% increase week over week. Then down again in Week 8. Get at least 16 total weeks of this leading into the race at a minimum.

#2: Add a base of mileage before adding marathon specific workouts including tempo runs, track workouts, threshold runs, amongst others.

  • Four to eight weeks of just base building (easy running, increasing mileage) prior to adding hard workouts.

#3: You need to do more quality workouts. Some of the most popular among hard workouts are long runs at your goal marathon pace, shorter more intense tempo runs, and even the strangely named “fartlek” workouts.

  • Google these and figure it out.
  • No more than two of these per week.

#4: Recovery beyond the down week.

  • Listen to your body people. If it feels like crap. Take a day off.
  • Taking care of yourself through body work and icing things that hurt.