Team Couch Potato
Last update November 2010

I suggest you print this out, get a calendar and mark the long run training dates backward from race day.

At first glance it may look too easy, but it has proven itself to work.
If you normally run longer than 1 hr, then you can start at which ever week has that time.
Do not exceed the schedule or you run the risk of injury!
Unless otherwise specified weekly runs are all for 1 hour at conversational rate.
Easy rate is 1 minute per mile slower than normal conversational rate.
Do not run if still sore from the long run.
Make sure you have water, Iburprofen, salt, tums, food, etc. on all long runs as you would on marathon day.
Wear the same shoes and clothing you intend to use at the race on the long runs.
No runs the day before the weekend long run, but an easy 40 minute cleansing session (10 min. walk - 15 min. jog - 10 min. walk - 5 min. stretch) the next day will make you stronger and feel better afterwards.
The cleansing session counts as one of the two weekday runs.
Weekend long runs are at the conversational rate

    Week 1: 10K race or 6.2 mile known course as a base line to be run at a conversational rate in 55 to 65 minutes. You can estimate your relatively flat street marathon finish time as 4.3 times your base 10K time. One mid-weekday run easy.

    Week 2: 1:15 Hr. long run, one weekday run.

    Week 3 1:30 Hr. long run, two weekday runs, one easy.

    Week 4: 1:45 Hr. long run, two weekday runs, one easy, one race pace.

    Week 5: 2:00 Hr. long run, two week day runs. Weigh yourself before and after. The Hydration Test is the most crucial factor you can do to prevent hitting the wall in the marathon!

    Week 6 & 7: 2:15 Hr. long run or Half Marathon (try any carbohydrate or sports drink half way into the run and note how you feel a half hour later, practice efficient movement through aid stations and getting enough fluids), two weekday runs.

    Week 8: 2:30 Hr. long run, two week day runs.

    Week 9: 3:00 Hr. long run, two week day runs. Do the Hydration Test again and fine tune the amount you will need to drink in the marathon to stay even.

    Week 10: 3:30 Hr. long run, two week day runs.

    Week 11 & 12: 2:00 Hr. long run, two week day runs easy.

    Marathon Week: one run easy on Tuesday or Wednesday, YOU ARE READY!

Race Day
Get plenty of sleep 2 nights before the race and eat normal but drink a lot of fluids. Eat a light breakfast no less than 2 hours before the start that you know will cause you no problems while running. Arrive 1.5 hrs. early so you have no hassle parking, registration, Port-A-Potty, etc. plus time to relax and talk to other runners. 20 minutes before the start, put on your compression sox and or knee bands, or take your Ibruprofen with a 1/2 pint of fluid.

After the gun goes off, use the first 20 minutes of the race to warm up. Let the crowd of runners thin itself out and you get into your pace - let the rabbits go, you will probably pass them in the last 6 miles. Talk with those around you and savor every moment of this great accomplishment. Look around and take in all the sights, crowds, and happenings along the course. Don't think about how many miles yet to go or worry about your time. If you have tuned into yourself you will always be doing the best you can at every moment and the time will be what it will be - your goal is to finish.

Drink at every aid station the amount you know you will have lost by time in your training hydration tests - do not skip this no matter what! Walk through each aid station for about 30 seconds to drink and check your time for taking salt, ibuprofen, Tums and food. It's really easy to walk and drink at the same time by squeezing the cup to a point and not splash the fluid all over your face or up your nose. Take stock of how you feel and if at a low point, try taking some Goo or other food as well as mentally recheck that you are on schedule with your hydration. You may have to increase your intake if the weather is hot or humid.

After 1.5 hours from the start, and every hour after that, take what ever 200 calorie food you have brought in your run pack.

At 3 and 6 hours after the start, if you are taking Ibuprofen to prevent joint inflamation, take 400 mg with food and half a bottle of water.

If you feel cramps coming on and you know you are well hydrated, take a Tums.

After what you estimate that you have drank at least 24 ounces of fluid, take a salt tablet or something salty at an aid station. Repeat this after every 24 ounces of fluid.

Recovery. You won't feel like it, so have a good friend at the finish make you do the following:
Do not stop at the finish, take a Tums and walk for 10 minutes then easy stretch for 5 minutes. Between 1/2 and 2 hours after finishing, eat some easily digestible high carbo foods - a cold beer and pizza actually works quite well.

Do a 40 minute cleansing session the day after the marathon. 2 -3 weeks later, you may want to try a flat 5 or 10K where you have a good chance of a PR. Your concept of distance will have changed after completing 26.2 miles.
Congratulations, you are now a marathon member of Team Couch Potato!

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