Whether you’re a marathon maven or prepping for your very first race, D Magazine is here to help. With the Dallas Marathon just a few short weeks away, we enlisted the help of last year’s winner, Logan Sherman, to help you fly through those 26.2 miles with ease.
To kick things off, Sherman shared some things to consider now if you plan to hit the pavement on December 11.
Don’t Go It Alone
Finding a partner or trainer who will hold you accountable when attempting your first race is crucial.
“The summer of 1999 was the very first time I talked about wanting to win the White Rock (now the Dallas) Marathon,” Sherman says. “I began working with local running coach, Terry Jessup, and he encouraged me to set my goal early on. Terry has been writing my training programs ever since, and in preparation for the 2015 Dallas Marathon, Coach Jessup and I would check in on my progress every two to three weeks.”
There May Never Be a “Right Time” to Start Training
Many of us may have aspirations of running a marathon, but shy away because of hectic schedules. Sherman declared his goal to win the Dallas Marathon amidst opening up his own chiropractic practice in both Dallas and Plano, and was on the brink of marriage.
Tailor Your Training
Coach Jessup allowed him the freedom to decide how and when he would implement his key workouts, though Sherman had to be willing to commit many hours each week.
“If you are new to running, chances are you will spend your first couple of months learning to adjust to a new training schedule,” Sherman says. “Choosing a program is unique to every individual, so it’s important to allow yourself the freedom to make adjustment as necessary.”
“The biggest hurdle that I find with most novice runners is when they start off with too much mileage too quickly,” he adds. “This often leads then to neglect other areas of their training.”
“Look at several training programs side by side, and do not be afraid of mixing up what you like and don’t like from each one,” Sherman says. “The general rule of thumb is that you do not add more than ten percent of your weekly mileage to the following week.”
Start the Celebrations Early
Sherman shares that it’s important to celebrate the milestones as you meet them, and reward yourself along the way. Having both short-term and long-term goals makes the training more exciting. It’s also imperative to allow your body rest when given the opportunity.
When Should You Start Training?
Sherman encourages new marathon runners to get a solid running start, to allow their bodies to safely adapt to the stresses of training. He believes proper marathon training takes anywhere from 16-20 weeks of build-up.
“It’s also important to consider how far you want your longest ‘big distance run’ to go,” Sherman says. “I had a patient who just completed a marathon whose longest run was 13 miles. On the other hand, I’ve also worked with clients who run upwards of 26 miles to get ready for a marathon. I personally have done it every which way. I feel that my body adapts best with three to four 20-mile runs, and two to three 22-23-mile runs.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Halfsies First
“In my experience, starting with shorter distance races and working up to the full marathon produced the greatest results,” Sherman says. “I believe that progressing from 5K and 10K distances to a half marathon helps allow your body to build up strength and stability throughout the process. I find it more challenging to go from not running at all to training for your first marathon.”