Write to Run a Marathon

Rite2Run was never intended to be a typical running blog. There are no calendars of races, training logs, nor herculean achievements—never was, never will be. Instead the blog writes and runs and rambles, leaving bits of advice about distance running, marathoning and endurance sports in its wake.

Since April I’ve posted eighteen entries about marathon training, milestones, epilogues, stress and touring on foot and bicycle without ever mentioning the first anniversary of this blog. I also overlooked a cycle ride from Irish Pub in downtown Philly to the Irish Pub in Atlantic City in July, and a half-marathon trail run in August. The half-marathon taught me a familiar lesson—thirteen miles is only the halfway point of the marathon.

I had scheduled the race months in advance, knowing I would need to increase my miles by mid-summer if I was going to run a marathon this year. My endurance level was fine, but I cramped-up the last couple of miles. Granted the course was brutal—one climb about mid-race was called “128 Steps to Hell”—nevertheless, it is time to get serious. Marathon season is around the corner.

Earlier this summer, I began posting periodic entries for new marathoners. These narratives aren’t technical in nature, but rather practical advice to prepare both physically and mentally. The three posts are: 

The Train to November – Prepare for a Marathon Without Killing Yourself

Six Miles of Truth – Check the Mirror

Marathon Training for the Rest of Us

Here is the next installment of advice for recreational runners who want to stay on track to run a marathon this year: Register for mid-distance races in your region. The power of registering for a race cannot be understated. Once you enter your information on a website and click Pay you are committed, and an amazing thing happens when you have a race on your schedule—YOU TRAIN. Print out the front page from the race website and hang it on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or tape it to the dashboard of your car. You will be surprised how much that picture will motivate you to run.

Time is getting short. Most marathon training programs build up to a twenty-mile run–some longer. If you plan to run a marathon in November, you should be in the ten mile range by now. Register for a half-marathon in September and look for a 30K or longer by mid-October. When you cross the finish line at the marathon you will be glad you did.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in Health, Marathon, Running, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Write to Run a Marathon

  1. (scratches head), hmm, so maybe if I pay to walk in a 3K sometime in the fall, I will be motivated to go to the yoga classes and gym in the months before….


  2. aaronwest says:

    This is great stuff. I’m not planning on running a marathon now that my 2013 plans changed, but this is the type of schedule I would follow. Absolutely agree about the power of planning and registering. Knowing that date is lurking out there keeps me posted. Nowadays I keep my calendar pretty full, which keeps me (mostly) motivated.

    And hi Suze!


  3. Kyle Kuns says:

    I agree with you. Having something on the calendar makes you TRAIN.


  4. suzecycling says:


    I saw your post on the 2013 TDF on SteepClimbs. All I know that’s officially -strongly -rumored (!!) is what you wrote: Stages 11 and 12 in the Pyrenees. But, do you know Velo Peloton? Paddy Sweeney usually seems pretty well informed, and sometimes ahead of the game. He’s at http://www.velopeloton.com/2013-tour-de-france-route/ Also he hosts a forum that might include early news, or gossip.

    As an aside, I never really knew David Byrne of Talking Heads before reading Bicycle Diaries…a fabulous book! Next I’ll go read your post on the book.

    Have fun if you get to the Pyrenees, I’ve done a very , very little riding there, it’s totally amazingly fantastic.



    • Jim Brennan says:

      I actually came across the Pyrenees stage into on Velo Peloton, but didn’t know how reputable the source was so I’m glad you wrote. Thanks, I’ll keep an eye out. My son was reading the Bicycle Diaries when we were on vacation and it somehow the book now belongs to me. Kids are great. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your blog. And kill the hills!


  5. So very true. Commitment, aka, paying for a race can really start a training program for those who maybe a bit unmotivated. Great tips.


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