How to Approach Your First Marathon (Jason Gets Interviewed!)

Whether you’re an experienced runner or a newbie getting ready for your 26.2 debut, there’s always more to learn about tackling the marathon distance. The tables are turned this week as I get interviewed on the most important aspects of preparing for your first marathon.

In 2008 I ran my first marathon in New York City. While in some ways it was a bit of disaster – complete with the proverbial bonk at mile 20 – it was also an incredible learning experience. 

My marathon debut was a crash course in learning to respect the distance, and the experience demonstrated the training and commitment required to be successful. The marathon is like no other race. Unlike a 10k or even a half marathon, its length requires careful attention to fueling but also demands a consistently harder effort than many longer-distance ultramarathons.  

In this week’s podcast, Jaxon Burton, host of the Vegan Body Coach podcast, interviews me about the ins and outs of preparing for your first marathon. Racing a marathon well requires a balance of strength, endurance, and speed that need to be developed over time – there’s no cramming for the marathon distance!

Running Your First Marathon Can’t be Rushed

My 25-year old self thought I would breeze through my first marathon, but it was a humbling experience. Fortunately, time and training made for much better (and faster!) marathons over the years.

There are no hacks when it comes to marathon preparation, but there are two major factors that contribute to running well and staying injury-free:

  1. Appropriate training structure
  2. Strength training

Your mileage and workouts will vary dramatically with your level of experience, but as we discuss on the podcast, all training plans need a balance of easy running, long runs and workouts. Training must be progressive enough to help you develop aerobically without overwhelming your structural system (bones, tendons, joints, etc.) and causing injury.

Strength training is the key to helping your body handle the demands of higher mileage that you’ll need to run the marathon well.  “Sandwiching” your runs between a dynamic warmup and strength training provides an ideal balance that will allow you build endurance while keeping your body healthy enough to train consistently.

Jaxon and I get into the nitty-gritty of all things marathon, including:

  • The importance of tiered goals and being kind to yourself
  • The biggest misconceptions around marathon training
  • The best types of strength work to support your running
  • Marathon workouts that prepare you for the 26.2-mile distance
  • The importance of pacing and learning to run easy
  • Why shorter races are the best way to learn about yourself and prepare for marathon success

If you’re contemplating your first marathon or looking for how to make your next one better, you’ll enjoy my conversation with Jaxon!

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank You InsideTracker!


This episode is brought to you by InsideTracker, one of the most reputable blood testing companies in the world. They were founded in 2009 by aging, genetics, and biometrics scientists to help you analyze your body’s data and get a firm idea of how well you’re responding to training.

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