Hacks for Making It Through Marathon Training Season

running at water

Between double digit long runs and all the early morning alarms, marathon training can feel like a slog. Prepping for race day is a lot of hard work, but there are ways to be more efficient. Whether you're at the start of a training cycle or nearing race day, check out these hacks to make the most of your miles.

Destination Long Runs
If your usual routes are feeling stale, it may be time to turn your miles into an adventure. If you have access to public transportation, run to a far-away coffee shop or bakery and plan to take the bus or train home. No public transit option? Ask a friend to meet you and give you a ride back. Having a destination will give your run purpose!

Run Commutes
If you live within running distance of work or school, you might be able to save time with a run commute. It can take a bit of planning (Where will you shower? How will you get back home?), but skipping traffic while also fitting in your run can be worth the effort.

Combine Miles and Social Time
Happy hour plans on hold until after race day? Ask friends to meet you for a run or cross-training workout instead.

Squeeze in Strength Training
Rather than blocking out an hour for a head-to toe-stretch and strengthening routine, fit in exercises when you can. Try lunges while you wait for water to boil or bicep curls as you bring grocery bags inside.

Refresh Your Running Shoes
If you're starting to feel aches and pains in your lower legs, it may be time for a new pair of kicks. New cushioning might be just the thing you need to get through your highest mileage weeks.

Treat Yourself to Some New Gear
We all have a favorite pair of socks or shorts, so if you feel like you're constantly doing laundry, buy an extra setinstead!

Outsource Your To-Do List
During marathon training, most of your energy is going towards training, leaving little motivation for chores like leaf raking, meal prepping or deep cleaning. If possible, hire someone to help out with these tasks in the short term (or ask your roommate or significant other to pick up the slack until race day).

Switch to Audiobooks and Podcasts
If you're short on time in the mornings or evenings, skip the news or TV and get some extra sleep instead. Use your running time to catch up on media.

Break Up Your Long Runs
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the miles on your training calendar, try dividing the run into chunks. For example, run a 5-mile loop with a friend, listen to a favorite podcast for the next 5 miles and finish up on the treadmill. Long run done!

Eliminate the Junk Miles
The more miles you run (within reason), the more efficient you'll become, but if you're pressed for time and energy, make only the essential workouts a priority. If you need to focus on work or get some extra sleep, skip easy runs. As long as you're not missing long runs or key workouts like tempos, your fitness won't suffer too much.

Edit Your Routine
To save time, find ways to pare down your daily to-dos. Can you shave every other day? Use dry shampoo a little more often? Until race day, figure out what's essential and what can wait.

Discuss This Article