Photo by slgckgc via FlickrThis Sunday is the 42nd New York City Marathon. More than 40,000 people will run 26.2 miles in the five boroughs, making it the largest marathon in the world. The allure of such a great physical test is tempting for professional athletes, everyday runners, and celebrities alike. Heck, Drew Carey, Oprah, and Al Roker have all gone the distance.
Video: Preview the NYC marathon's events
You don't have to be a lifelong runner to train for a marathon. Runner's World recommends 16-week beginner training plans for people who have run for at least one year and regularly average 15 to 25 miles per week. If you watch the race and think that maybe you'd want to try a marathon, too, here's what it takes to go 26.2.
A RACE TO TARGET
Many marathons are in the spring or fall, but pick one that your local weather will allow you to train comfortably for. Although you can get in some good running on a treadmill, most marathoners say that the best preparation for an outdoor race is training outdoors as
Blog Posts by From the editors of Runner's World
- From the editors of Runner's World | Healthy Living – Mon, Oct 31, 2011 8:50 PM EDT
Photo by slgckgc via FlickrThis Sunday is the 42nd New York City Marathon. More than 40,000 people will run 26.2 miles in the five boroughs, making it the largest marathon in the world. The allure of such a great physical test is tempting for professional athletes, everyday runners, and celebrities alike. Heck, Drew Carey, Oprah, and Al Roker have all gone the distance.Read More »from Want to run a marathon? Here’s what it takes to finish one
Photo by mikebaird via FlickrYou have many reasons for losing motivation to go on a run or workout. But we can top 'em with tips, inspiring quotes, and more. Last week, we shared our first ten tips. Here are ten more motivations to run. Pick your fix. Repeat as necessary.
1. MAMA, GET A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. Two-time Olympian Shayne Culpepper puts new gear she receives as an elite athlete to good use. "It's fun to break in a new pair of shoes," she says. "Sometimes that's enough to get me excited."
2. PLAY IN THE STREET. Skip a dreaded track workout for a fartlek (Swedish for "speed play") session. After 10 minutes of easy jogging, run hard between two telephone poles, then slow down until you pass three. Then see if you can get to the traffic light before it changes, followed by a jog to the next mailbox. There are no set rules, so make it up as you go along.
3. JUST START. If the thought of running your full workout is too much to bear, just suit up to runRead More »from 10 More tips to motivate you to run
- From the editors of Runner's World | Healthy Living – Thu, Oct 27, 2011 5:04 PM EDT
You have many reasons for losing motivation to go on a run or workout. But we can top 'em with tips, inspiring quotes, and more. Pick your fix. Repeat as necessary.
1. GO EARLY. Two-time Olympian Shayne Culpepper says that rather than putting off a run, she'll head out even earlier than usual when she's not in the mood to work out. "If I have that extra cup of coffee or I wait an extra half hour, it becomes too torturous," she says.
2. RUN FOR A REASON. Do a race for charity. Helping kids with diabetes or women with breast cancer makes it much easier to get out the door.
3. RUN SOLO and away from the crowds on recovery days. The faster runners on popular routes will make you want to pick up the pace. Alone, you'll be able to listen to your body and reap the recovery you deserve.
4. PAY YOURSELF. Set a price for attaining a certain weekly mileage goal. When you hit it, pay up. Keep your mileage money in a jar, and once itRead More »from Need a kick in the butt? 10 Motivations to keep running
- From the editors of Runner's World | Healthy Living – Mon, Oct 24, 2011 2:31 PM EDT
About 45,000 runners will tackle the New York City Marathon on November 6. Though a 26.2-mile run might seem unthinkable, every single one of these people had to start somewhere. If they can run, so can you-if you've ever told yourself that you couldn't possibly be a runner, read on and think again.Read More »from 7 Excuses for not running, and how you can stop making them
Beginner's Running Tips
Excuse #1: "I'm too slow."
Sorry, but there is no such thing as "too slow." Watch any race and you'll see people of all ages and sizes running every pace from sprint to walk. Running is running, no matter the speed.
Excuse #2. "I'm overweight and running will stress my joints."
Shedding excess pounds will make running feel easier and reduce your risk of injury, but you don't have to wait for some magic number on the scale. You can start safely by incorporating running into walks. Begin with five minutes of walking. Then run gently for five to 10 seconds, and walk for 50 seconds. If that's comfortable, repeat the cycle for 10 minutes, and cool down with 10 minutes
Every runner knows that the night before a big race, you're supposed to eat a giant bowl of pasta…right? Wrong.Read More »from Are you carbo-loading the wrong way?
You can't completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, "which is why you should start carbo-loading two or three days before your race," says Monique Ryan, R.D., author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.
Recipes from Runner-Chefs
Here are four other rules of carbo-loading you need to follow to run your best:
KEEP TOTAL CALORIES IN CHECK
Starting two to three days before your event, 85 to 95 percent of your calories should come from carbs. You're not eating many more calories per day than you were during the thick of your training-it's just that more of those calories are coming from carbs.
AVOID FAT AND PROTEIN
Both nutrients fill you up faster than carbs and take longer to digest, Ryan says. Pick jam-not butter-for your toast, tomato sauce in lieu of alfredo sauce on your pasta, and frozen yogurt instead of ice cream for dessert.
Your desk job is bad for your fitness. Even when you get up, your muscles remain in their shortened position, which forces them to work harder to elongate when called back to action. Find ways to move every hour, and try this routine that engages muscles ignored when we sit. Do three sets of 30 reps (both sides) of each exercise three times a week.
Once the summer heat fades into crisp autumn weather, it's hard not to run a little bit faster, even on easy runs. If you've been running regularly for at least two to three months, you're ready to pick up the pace on purpose.
Running faster than normal once or twice a week is a great way to boost your fitness and break up your routine. The following workouts are all entertaining ways to play with speed-on your own or with your running buddies. In your faster segments, you should hit a pace that makes talking difficult but not one that causes you to hyperventilate.Push The Pace Without Hitting A Wall
ACCELERATE AND GLIDE
Jog slowly for 10 minutes to warm up. Then pick up the pace over 10 steps and hold that speed for 10 to 20 more steps. Slow down and walk for one minute. Repeat the sequence two or three times. Every week, add additional accelerations or steps to your "glide" as you feel comfortable.
CAT AND MOUSE
Do this speed play with a friend (or two). JogRead More »from 4 Fun ways to get faster this fall
- From the editors of Runner's World | Healthy Living – Fri, Sep 23, 2011 5:24 PM EDT
If you're training for a half or full marathon this fall, your highest-mileage weeks are likely right on the horizon. Some runners refer to this tough four-week period as Monster Month, and if you've never experienced it before, you'll soon understand why.Read More »from What to do (and not to do) during your toughest training weeks
To thrive during Monster Month, it's more important than ever to pay attention to the details of staying fit, focused, and balanced. You have the most to lose, but also the most to gain. We'll tell you what to do - and what to avoid doing - to make sure you gain every advantage you can.
Set the Right Pace During a Race
Try a dress rehearsal. Treat one of your longest runs as a race simulation. Keep the pace comfortably slow, but do everything else - eating, drinking, dressing - as if it's race day. Run at the same time of day and on similar terrain - even on the course itself if that's practical. This physical and mental rehearsal can reveal a problem that you can correct.
Get a massage. Regular massages are most valuable
Browsing running shoes in the store can be overwhelming, and shopping online can be even worse. With so many shoes to choose from, how can you make sure you're shelling out for a pair that will work for you?Read More »from Which running shoes are best for you?
You can go a long way toward discovering what you need in a running shoe by looking at your feet. There are three basic foot types, each based on the height of your arches. The quickest and easiest way to determine your foot type is by taking the "wet test."
1) Pour a thin layer of water into a shallow pan
2) Wet the sole of your foot.
3) Step onto a brown paper shopping bag.
4) Step off and look down.
Watch: How to Tie Your Shoes
Observe the shape of your foot and match it with one of the following foot types. Although other variables (such as your weight, weekly mileage, and fit preferences) come into play, knowing your foot type is the first step toward finding the right shoe for you.
Normal (medium) Arch If you see about half of your arch, you have the most common foot
When you're feeling good, it can be tempting to push yourself too often and run more miles than you can handle. Give in to that temptation, though, and you won't feel good anymore.Read More »from 5 signs you’re overdoing it
If you don't take time for proper R&R, your body won't adapt to the stress of your training-you won't get stronger or faster, explains Stacy Sims, Ph.D., at the Stanford Prevention-Research Center, School of Medicine. And this happens to recreational runners more than you might think. "With deadlines, chores, bills, kids, and lack of sleep, it's more challenging to recover properly from your runs," says Sims.
Pay attention to these five markers. If more than one of these indicators raises a red flag, you should consider taking a day or two off.
1. You're cranky When your body is overwhelmed by training (or other stressors), it produces hormones that can cause irritability or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when