5 Tips On How I Beat My Marathon In 4:30

Photo Credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

Photo Credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

I completed my first marathon in 2011 a little over four months after my first race, which was a 3k run. Due to lack of knowledge and proper training, the race was a huge challenge for me as I struggled a lot just to make it to the finish line. It was almost a running disaster! Right around the 17th kilometre, I started to feel the muscle cramps building up on my calves then up to my quads. I had to slow down, stop, and stretch just to relieve the pain, not to mention the nasty chaffing on my inner arms and my thighs. Though I made it in one piece through to the finish line in 4:47, still it wasn’t a good race performance. I could’ve trained harder, or better yet, I could’ve waited for the right time to run my first marathon. Nonetheless, it was a learning experience for me, and it’s something that I won’t be very proud to talk to about. And I definitely won’t encourage runners to do same thing.

Learning from other veteran runners, coaches and doing my own research, I trained on my own, tweaking the training programs that come in handy to suit my schedule and my fitness level.

When Run United Philippine Marathon made its debut, I also recorded my first Sub4:30 in a marathon distance clocking in at 4:29:02, ranking 247th out of 2,072 runners in the 42k distance. I had to train hard and it took me a long while to hit that 4 hour 30 minute mark. But it was worth the wait. My training and perseverance paid off.

For some runners, a Sub430 is an easy-peasy target finish time whilst for others, it could be a coveted personal record. Runners who are gunning for a specific target finish times are already in their top shape and training form. With barely a six weeks left to go before the Run United Philippine Marathon, how’s your training so far?

Are you gunning for a Sub430?

It would be safe to assume that you have already done at least a couple or three marathons in the past 6 months or so, with a good finish time. Take note that to for a sub4:30, your running pace should be at 6 minutes and 25 seconds per kilometre.

Here’s how I did it.

In my case, I considered slashing off a good 20 seconds per kilometre to give leeway for the stops at the hydration stations. I have also considered the fact that as I run further, I could slow down and even go below the target pace. My strategy was to hit my first 10 kilometres in just about an hour or 1 hour 5 minutes. Make it to the 20th kilometre in 2 hours and 10 minutes. So, that leaves me with 2 hours and 20 minutes to run the next 22 kilometres. At this time, I’m taking my second energy gel.

The next ten kilometres can already be physically and mentally challenging. But I had to make sure that in 3 hours and 15 minutes, I should already hit the 32nd kilometre mark. There goes my third energy gel. With 1 hour and 15 minutes left on the running clock, run the remaining 12 clicks at 6 minutes 15 seconds a kilometre taking my last energy gel at 37th kilometre just enough to get me to the finish line.

Remember to stick to your nutrition plan, and when to take your hydration/sports drink. Wear comfortable running shoes, shorts/compressions and singlet. You don’t want to blame your gears for another epic fail performance of not hitting the target finish time. And as I have always said, “Listen to your body.”

So, how was my training like weeks, and even months before the race?

Quite frankly, I didn’t train everyday because I felt that training everyday won’t efficiently help me to become stronger and faster. I train three to four times a week using a dynamic training plan. There’s long runs, speed training/intervals/hill repeats, easy/recovery run after a hard training, and running at race pace. In this case, that’s 6 minutes per kilometre.

  1. Speed training. For my speed training, I started with a 30-minute run at my race pace then gradually increasing the duration by five minutes (that’s a kilometre) for each speed training day.
  2. Mileage is important. Increase the distance of your long runs each week. Also, consider the 10% rule for your weekly total mileage.
  3. Rest and recover. Don’t do hard trainings consecutively. Give your body enough time to recover to repair any damaged tissues.
  4. Hydration and nutrition. I have developed a nasty acid reflux due to unhealthy eating habits. Since longer periods of trainings and running can deplete my electrolytes level, as an alternative to sports drink, I’m using Hydrite instead.
  5. Focus. When you feel like slacking off on your training, focus on your goal.
Photo credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

Photo credit: Adrian Aquino Photography

My Pre-race and Race Day Reminders:
  1. Stick to your diet during your race week. Remember that carbo-loading does not only happen a day before the race. Your carbo-loading happens on your taper week. Taper week is when you cut down on your training, this will help you avoid any possible injuries and getting burned out for the big day. So, even if you have less training hours and less intense training, try to start to load up so that you don’t binge a day before the race. And come race day, you don’t want to feel a bit slacking. Carboloading the night before would mean eating more that your normal food intake. And that could mean upset stomach. You don’t want stomach cramps a few hours before the gun start,do you?
  2. Wear the most comfortable running gear. Remember not to wear anything new on race day.
  3. Prayers help a lot. Regardless of what your beliefs are.  Ask for guidance from the One above.
  4. Smile. Nothing can beat that. Make sure to wear your best smile at the finish line.

Start strong. Finish Stronger! See you at the race!

3 Responses to 5 Tips On How I Beat My Marathon In 4:30

  1. laoag88 says:

    Tnx running suplado for sharing your tips unselfishly.


  2. laoag88 says:

    Tnx running suplado for sharing your tips


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