11 Keys for a Successful Marathon Journey

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If you Google 'marathon training,' you're likely to come up with thousands of pages of information about how to have a successful marathon journey. It can be almost as overwhelming as the thought of training for your first marathon. There is plenty of how-to information out there, so I wanted to go over the 10 traits every marathoner should develop on their way to the start line.

Post it in a highly visible area like the fridge and refer to it when you need a fresh dose of perspective. Like a supportive training partner, it will remind you that it's all about the journey and not the destination and that some of the best marathoning moments are likely to happen on the way to the start line.

More: Last-Minute Marathon Tips for Race Day


Start from where you are in your fitness level to get to where you want to be safely (the finish line). The fastest way to a successful marathon journey is down reality street. The first week of the marathon training plan should closely match that of your current training. If not, find one that does.

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Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Every marathon season starts with the very first step. Tomorrow's workout will lead to the next and soon 6 miles will turn into 14. And you'll know you are on your way when you use the words "only" and "6 miles" in the same sentence.


It takes a village to train a marathoner. Surround yourself with a community of people who will support you from start to finish (seasoned marathoners, running store experts, massage therapist, your spouse or friends).

Take the time to communicate with your family and friends the importance of this journey as well as the significant time commitment. You'll need support along the way, and if they know what it means to you, they will be there for you.

More: Does Your Partner Support Your Training?


Track your workouts, feelings, weather, apparel, foods, mishaps, and anything else you can think of along the way. You are writing your own marathon novel and keeping track of the details can help boost your confidence later in the season.


Every long training workout is an opportunity to rehearse for race day. Fine-tune your pre-race meals, on-the-go fluids and fuel. Most importantly, decide what you'll wear. This will help you be less frazzled and more mindful on race week.

More: 5 Ways to Beat Anxiety on Race Day