Graham’s Rules of Marathon Training

As we get ever closer to the Boston Marathon, members of the Level Legion: Boston Marathon Edition are checking in with some thoughts on the training the race, or whatever else they can come up with it. We let them go freestyle, and we’ll be presenting those to you throughout the week. Up first is…

Scott Graham

There are a couple of rules that I use to train myself for a marathon.

1.  You’re not ready to run a marathon until you’ve had a bad long run and mentally push your way through it.
2.  Run HOT. Years ago Geoff Smith gave me this advise. He was a big believer that if you’re always hot during a training run, come race day you’d be hard pressed to overheat. So I always layer up during my training runs.
3.  You’re out the on the long runs to put time on your legs. Speed work is saved for speed work days.
4.  I’ve never put in my log that I beat someone in a training run. Heck, I’ve never really kept a log.

I made this humorous little video a few years ago about this:

What does it take to do a marathon? I believe anyone can do a marathon…ANYONE!!

The first thing you need is a burning desire to do one. It has to be almost like a bucket list type of thing. Your mindset has to be finish at all costs.

Second you need time, lots of time. You will be spending many hours running and with that you’ll need to balance this with work, family, friends and rest. Yes you’ll need recovery time and rest is very important.

Third, for beginners you’ll need a plan, something that will structure your training. I’ve been doing this for nearly 30 years so I listen to my body, but someone new needs a well defined plan that they can follow.

Lastly and most importantly you need a good/great support system. A support system can come in many forms but for me it’s my ever encouraging and patient wife Chris. She knows that on my long run days don’t plan anything. She understands what I need nutritionally and knows that there will be a mountain of training cloths piling up in the laundry. She is without a doubt my foundation to my training. Heck she has put up with my Boston training for 28 years. She knows the drill.

Another form of support is your training partners. Everybody needs help. Everyone has down days and when you do your friends will be there to pick you up and get you going. You depend on them because they also depend on you. For me this comes in two forms, the first is my racing team, GLRR. Second, I belong to a lose group of guys 50 or so strong out of Westford, MA. We go by the name of ROAG (Roudenbush Outdoor Athletic Group). This group of guys are into all sorts of sports year round: biking, running, snowshoeing, swimming, mountain biking, skiing, XC skiing, triathlons…etc. This group has a saying for when one of our group starts to fall back and they have to swing back to pick the person up. “We’re not here to help, we’re here to watch”. They just love watching someone suffer. They are a fun group and with them I’ve been able to really mix up the training over the years so it doesn’t get stale.

I’m looking forward to my next two long runs on the course. I’m feeling stronger but you just never know. Hope everyone else is progressing and are looking forward to April 21st.

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