10 Major Marathon Mistakes to avoid

Marathons are certainly the least forgiving among all the common race distances, still runners tend to make more mistakes in this event during both training and running than they do while participating in any other competition. Here are the top ten marathon training and running mistakes you must avoid.
10. Unaware of Your Course
Do not jump into the race without being aware of the course conditions. Inquire for the course type beforehand on whether it is hilly, grassy, graveled, asphalted, concrete or a combination. You should train according to the course conditions on similar surfaces. Also, make arrangements for special drinks or foods you may require for the particular course type in case it is not provided in the marathon. Do this simple homework and have a great running experience.
9. Training Ambiguously
When you train for a marathon run, you basically prepare your body for acting in a desired fashion on the D-day. The way you train will directly depend on what you want to achieve in the marathon. For instance, if you just desire to finish the marathon,  then you should practice goal pace running. However, if you wish to race the entire marathon, then you must practice hard running under fatigued conditions. Training in such a way will bring more positive results on the marathon day.
8. Lacking Strength Training
Strength Training has been proven to increase the stride length and decrease the ground contact time. It aids in making your muscles much more impact proof and resilient so that you experience fewer injuries, greater running efficiency and larger muscular endurance.
7. Sipping Too Much Water
Well hydration is necessary in order to avoid heat illness and maintain a strong pace. But you must hydrate yourself with sports drinks and not plain water. These drinks contain electrolytes and carbohydrates that will boost your marathon performance. Water on the other hand can simply generate opposite results.
6. Emphasizing the Size of Training Over its Quality
When it comes to marathons, what matters is how you train and not how much you train. You simply need to practice long easy running in order to improve your endurance and stamina. Usually, a 35 mile per week is sufficient to provide quality training. However, this can vary with the goal you set for yourself. Focus on quality of training than the quantity of training.
5. Insufficient Goal Pace Practice
One of the critical ingredients of marathon training is the goal pace running. Divide this practice session in two sets of miles where you will be doing the first part at an easy speed and the second at your goal pace.
4. Short Long Runs
Many people tend to stop their long runs at the 20 mile mark during the training sessions. However, this is not the suitable way since you are still left with another unprepared 10K distance. The best to achieve this is to gradually expand your long run to 23 or 24 miles.
3. Excessive Long Runs
Yes, long runs are an integral part of marathon practicing. But if you overdo it, your muscles will constantly be fatigued. Rather, you should try to integrate distinctive workouts into your training schedule. These can be sprint training, goal pace running, lactate turn point running, hill training and others. In this way, your muscles will be stronger and way from the over training syndrome.
2. Inadequate Taper
Practicing long runs Bi-weekly can shred the leg muscles. To recover from intense marathon training, muscles can take up to 3 to 4 weeks. In order to keep your leg muscles fresh and strong on the day of a marathon, you must start your taper at least 3 weeks before the race. Avoid indulging in additional long runs during the last weeks of training.
1. Starting Off Too Fast
Yes, this may come as a surprise to many. Starting at your best ultimate pace is actually  marathon mistake. You may even feel confident and strong enough to run at this peed forever. But running really fast will actually burn carbohydrates at a high momentum. Eventually, all your stamina will be drained out before the race completion. Hence, it is always recommended to follow your planned pace.
About the Author:
Jackson Merith is a fitness trainer who has been training people for marathons for several years at http://www.steinmetzgaboronemarathon.com/ . He also writes a weekly column in a local fitness magazine. His other interests include organic farming and fishing. 

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