The Marathon Move: How to Finish Strong in Your Next Marathon

Are you strong over the last few miles of the marathon? Most runners aren't. But, there's a quick fix to the marathon fade. It's called the Marathon Move, and you can incorporate it into your training plan over the last few weeks before your race so you can finally master the last few miles.

Marathon Move Step #1

Calculate how long it should take you to run the last 4 miles of your marathon based on your goal pace. This is called your Marathon Move.

If your marathon pace is 8 minutes per mile (3:29 marathon), then it should take you 32 minutes to run the last 4 miles. For a 10-minute miler (4:22 marathon), the goal is 40 minutes for the last 4 miles. For a 12-minute miler (5:14 marathon), the Marathon Move is 48 minutes.

More: 2 Workouts to Make Marathon Race Pace Feel Easier

Successful marathoners are physically and mentally stronger over the last 4 miles of the marathon than marathoners who fail to meet their goals. Both marathoners may run the first 22 miles in the same fashion (proper pacing, optimal fueling/hydration), but the marathoner who's ready for the increased effort required over the last 4 miles is more likely to have a successful finish.

More: 4 Valuable Marathon Lessons

Marathon Move Step #2

On every other long run (see chart below), run at your normal long-run pace for the bulk of the run then begin to pick up the pace slightly toward the end of the run—this is your Marathon Move. Start with a short Marathon Move and every other week build to where your Marathon Move lasts as long as you hope to run the last 4 miles of the marathon.

More: How to Beat the Wall During Your Marathon

For example, if your normal long-run pace is 10 minutes per mile and you are running an 18-mile long run, the run will take you a total of three hours to complete. In a Marathon Move run near the end of your training program (around three weeks before your race), you'll run the first 2 hours and 20 minutes at a 10-minute pace but then pick up the pace and run the last 40 minutes or so at 9:30 to 9:45 pace.

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