3 Key Concepts in my Marathon Training

Disclaimer: these are my experiences, go to your local running store before you do something that you regret!

I changed a couple things when I went into marathon training. I no longer lifted random weights because I thought I should nor did I just run a set distance everyday. I found myself running more, both slow and fast, lifting less and worrying more about form, core and injury prevention. I am still new to high mileage, so I was worried about getting an overuse injury. This can happen so don’t think you’re the only one. It happened to me last year after the Skunk Cabbage Half marathon and is the reason I didn’t run Buffalo the year before.

3 MT Concepts

The following are three discernible differences between my past training and what I do now. For more great running advice I recommend Sage Cannaday’s YouTube channel VO2 Max Productions. He is a wealth of knowledge for any runner from the 5k to the ultramarathon.

1.) Hip mobility exercises (Myrtl)

Improving my hip range of motion was a change I made to also stay injury free. It loosened me up after a run and kept my legs from stiffening while I work. Leg swings, donkey kicks, hip rotations or fire hydrants are all great to do after a run. Dynamic stretching before a workout is also advised, but I did not do that. Experiment with what works for you and what you can remember.

2.) Bodyweight exercises

2-3 times a week I use very light dumbells (15-20lbs) if available or just my own bodyweight to build up some strength. You are not going to get jacked or a six pack from these, this is simply injury prevention and running mechanic efficiency. If you are stronger or have more endurance, it takes longer for your running form to go down during a race. This is what we want because proper form makes running easier. One example of a 15-20 minute workout I would do is:

3×10 or 15 of each

Bodyweight squats

Bodyweight lunges


Bodyweight dips

3 minutes:



8 minute abs (YouTube this)

3.) Foot Maintenance

I cannot stress this enough. First, get proper shoes that fit your foot. I don’t care if you want to be a 9.5. If you are a 10, wear a ten. That solves 90% of foot problems. After that, get a pumice stone and work on your feet for 2-5 minutes after you get out of the shower. Smooth the rough edges that can catch in you shoes. Get rid of some of the dead skin. Granted, some calluses are good if they do not hurt. Rough feet are fine, it’s the calluses that develop over blisters that suck. Also, if your toenails are bruised, wait for the blood to harden, then cut off the dead parts. The build up is what rubs and hurts.

3 Things I added to my #Marathon Training to keep me injury free! @runningblogs @therunchat #running Click To Tweet

Do you complete any work outside of running?

What is one thing I can add?

19 thoughts on “3 Key Concepts in my Marathon Training”

  1. Oh my gosh. I love this post. Numbers 1 and 3 really hit home with me! I recently had hip problems and have had problems in the past with running in shoes too long (trying to get the most miles out of them!!) I’ve learned that its best not to be cheap when it comes to running shoes. I’m okay, but not great at hip exercises on my own, and yoga really has helped them feel better. I’m definitely going to try out these hip mobility exercises, thank you!!

    1. No problem Amanda! I hope it helps you out. I just did some major TLC on my feet (after avoiding it for a week or so) and they feel so much better!

  2. I’m not even a long distance runner, but I could use some of those foot maintenance tips. My arches will start hurting on some of my runs, which is a real pain to deal with. I know I should probably get new shoes, but I don’t want to pay for it. Do you know any brand of shoe that is on the less expensive side but still good quality?

    1. Honestly what you should do is get your gait analyzed at your local running store. I cannot recommend anything in good conscience if it’s for running. However, everyday walking shoes are a bit easier. Go to the shoe store and try on all the athletic shoes until you find one that matches the shape of your foot. For me, that’s Saucony. My sister likes Brooks. I have pointed feet, so that’s why they work. Some people with wider feet like Altra brand, but they are also zero drop so take some getting used to. This is a long answer, but hopefully I pointed you in the right direction!

  3. I used to be a snob about weight lifting, because I thought running was ‘the exercise to do.’ Well, I was definitely humbled to find out that weight lifting is SO important, and now I love it. 🙂 God humbles us in amazing ways. And I love how you told us to take care of our feet, because I’m bad at that. I need to use a pummice stone more, because I have huge calluses. Thankfully I’ve never had a blister that has been covered by a callus.

    1. Totally! I used to think I had wide feet, but really I was trying to stuff my size 10 feet into size 9 shoes. Once I got over the “big feet” thing, it’s been so much better!

  4. These are all good tips! I do that hip routine all. the. time. My hips are chronically tight and I probably wouldn’t be able to run even moderately high mileage without it!

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