The marathon: for many, it’s a mythical unicorn. Capturing a great performance can be elusive and may take years.
Jason and Matt on the days they ran their fastest marathons
When I ran my first marathon, New York City in 2008, I thought that I’d breeze through it. After all, I was a fairly competitive runner. What could go wrong?
I bonked hard at 20 miles (how cliche) and every step until the finish line was excruciating. Instead of finishing strong, I slowed down by more than a minute per mile and it felt like a hammer was slamming into each quad with every step. The next six months were spent with debilitating IT Band Syndrome.
Is that really how a marathon is supposed to go?
Absolutely not. In fact, I made a lot of mistakes that I had to learn the hard way. And after transforming and upgrading the way I approached running, I ran a 5+ minute PR to finish the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon in 2:39:32.
Strength Running is the embodiment of that training upgrade. But today, I want to talk specifically about the marathon and the strategies you can use to run faster, stay healthy while prepping for 26.2 miles, and maybe even qualify for Boston.
The Uncanny “7 Strategies” Podcast
As some of you know, I coach a group of runners with Matt Frazier who are specifically training to run their fastest marathon. Members of Run Your BQ enjoy a private website that includes 45+ articles specific to the marathon, 25+ video lessons and demonstrations, a private forum to talk with other members, and a library of marathon training plans (and post-marathon recovery plans).
But what’s most special about this group is that Matt and I get on video every month to do a live webinar that we call a Coach’s Chat, taking member’s questions for an hour or more. Our members get exclusive access to us to ask their personal running questions about their marathon goals, pacing advice, injury treatment techniques, and the mindset it requires to run a fast marathon.
After a particularly fun Coach’s Chat spent teasing Matt and making jokes about CrossFit, we sat down to outline our most important training and racing strategies for an in-depth presentation about running your fastest marathon. And something surprising happened.
We thought, as two very different runners, that we’d each bring a few different ideas to the table about how to run your best marathon, put them together, and have a comprehensive presentation to share.
But what happened was quite different. It didn’t matter that I’m a more competitive runner with a 2:39 marathon PR and that Matt started at 4:53 in his first marathon and ultimately broke 3:10 to qualify for Boston.
The strategies we found were responsible for our results were almost identical.
From how we chose our races, to how we ran our long runs, to how we put it all together on race day, it was almost eerie how much overlap there was in how we succeeded.
Which, when you think about it, shouldn’t be so surprising at all. It’s just that we’d hit upon a few just-about-universal truths for running your fastest marathon. And that’s what this podcast is about.
Today I want to give you a preview of this one hour, ten minute conversation between Matt and I. If you want to listen to the whole thing, just sign up here and we’ll send it to you.
You can listen to a preview of the podcast by clicking the button below. Or, click here to open it in a new window.[audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/StrengthRunning/7+Keys+for+Your+Fastest+Marathon_Preview.mp3]
You’ll hear some of our strategies for running the fastest marathon your body is capable of running, and how you can apply them in your own quest to capture your marathon unicorn.
My favorite topics from this podcast:
- What season gives you the best chance of running a big PR
- The #1 most important key for your long run if you want to get faster
- Why “staying focused” during your race might actually lead to disaster
- The race-day nutrition mistake 88% of runners make
- How to dig deeper than ever before and own the last 10K of your marathon
- Matt’s journey of improving from 4:53 to 3:09 in the marathon (read the full report here)
Get the Full Podcast, Plus Learn More About Run Your BQ
I’m always impressed with runners who plan their goal marathons well. Because when you get the race right, during the most helpful season and train smart with the right mindset, it’s often mind-boggling how much faster you’re able to run.
It’s funny that huge personal bests sometimes have nothing to do with your running but instead with your planning (especially marathons!).
Matt and I want to help you learn more about the planning, execution, and mindset that helped us run our best marathons ever. I hope you enjoyed the preview of our conversation.
If you’d like, the full podcast – at over 1-hour and 10 minutes – is available for free. Click here to get the full podcast.
We’ll let you know when RYBQ is opening to new members, too.