How Course-Specific Training Can Improve Race Day Performance


As race day approaches, virtually all marathoners and most half marathoners pay some mind to the topography of the course upon which they are about to embark. Some will drive the course the night before, or even run parts of the course at some point during training. However, very few will incorporate the attributes and nuances of the event and its host city throughout their training.

This may be a mistake.

Quick Tip

When you can't get to similar terrain, use a treadmill to simulate the topography of the course for which you're training.

From hills to climate to the size of the race, itself, considering the various elements and details that could—and likely will—impact your performance on the big day is crucial.

Consider the Boston Marathon, for example.

Success in arguably the world's most famous footrace requires preparation for any and all weather, as well as the ability to handle the logistics of the Super Bowl feel of the event. The field of over 30,000 runners is the largest most will ever run with and, as a result, pacing is typically varied throughout the race. But, one of the most important items on your Boston Marathon training checklist is preparing for the course, itself.

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