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Best Running Tips Newsletter, Issue #018 -- Learn to Train Smarter, Not More

October 19, 2009

Welcome to the Best Running Tips Newsletter !

Many first-time marathoners have problems with The Wall... those last six to eight miles... you must have heard some horror stories before.

It's that point in the race where you run out of your glycogen (carb) stores and your body needs to change to burning fat instead. Burning fat takes a lot more energy than burning carbs, reason why the cookie crumbles and you enter a state of "dramatic fatigue".

Uptil now it seemed like there were not many marathon running programs that effectively addressed this issue.

The answer always seemed to be in doing more, logging more miles.

And not always with the right outcome. Doing more running training leaves you vulnerable to injuries, sickness, overtraining etc.

And when you do not have any guarantees of a better outcome, this can leave you very frustrated as is illustrated by the following question recently posted on

I am devastated. I ran my second marathon last weekend.
I ran a spring marathon as well, but at about the 19-20 mile mark my legs cramped up... I could barely walk!

Struggling along I crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 16 minutes. This left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. You can't call that struggle "running a marathon"!

Last weekend's marathon I was much better prepared. My average mileage during my training was about 45 to 50 miles a week and I managed to run three or four 20 milers (7:40 - 7:50 pace). Because of the training I have also lost quite a bit of weight (down to under 160 pounds).

I might have gone out too fast in the beginning.... I ran about 8:00 pace from the beginning and passed the half way mark in 1:43. I kept on going strong till mile 18. At about the 2 hour mark I had some Gu and my legs cramped up almost immediately. Despite my efforts I could not keep going and had to walk the last 7 miles... Again a disappointing time and again without the feeling to have actually "run a marathon".

Why is this happening? How can I change my training approach so I can run the marathon, preferably in less than four hours?

Very frustrating indeed!

For the first time in about two hundred questions I did not answer the question myself. You see, recently I had had some contact with Marius Bakken. Marius used to be "best of the rest". For two consecutive years he was the fastest non-African runner on the 5k. He is two time Olympian, and I thought this was a great opportunity for Marius to share some of his wisdom.

Because it turns out that that marathon running program that teaches you how to get to the finish line by doing things smarter, does now exist. It is called The 100 Day Marathon Plan, written by Marius.

As a professional runner Marius has worked with the Kenyans, absolute rulers of the long-distance. And with the Italians, who have done so well in Olympic marathons recently (wins in 1988 and 2004). Clever man as he is, Marius has translated the training principles of these top runners into marathon plans for us, normal people.

You can get more information here:

Through his coaching practice he has helped many runners already and he has now made his knowledge available in his book. Going through his book I was amazed. It's a completely different way of training!

Yet, the results are there. Plenty of people Marius coached ended up with a sub-3:00 Personal Record. The results don't lie.

So, if you want to run a marathon, and you don't want to hit the wall, then you owe it to yourself to give The 100 Day Marathon Plan a try.

Interested in Marius' answer to the question above?
Then check here:

A parting thought:

"A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether." - Roy H. Williams

I'll talk to you soon. In the meanwhile, visit my site often and happy running!





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