4 Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Ready for a Marathon

Preparing for a marathon requires careful planning and training to ensure a successful and injury-free race day. While many runners prioritize their long runs, there are several common mistakes that can hinder their preparation. In this article, we will discuss four critical mistakes to avoid when getting ready for a marathon.

1. Overemphasis on the Long Run:

One common error is placing excessive focus on the long run while neglecting other crucial training elements. While long runs are essential for building endurance and getting used to the distance, they should not be the sole focus of your training. 

Neglecting other types of runs, such as tempo runs, interval training, and threshold runs, can lead to an increased risk of injury and an incomplete preparation for the marathon. It is important to strike a balance between long runs and incorporating other training components into your regimen.

2. Neglecting Proper Nutrition Practice:

Proper nutrition is vital for marathon success, but many runners make the mistake of not practicing their nutrition strategy early enough in their training.

It takes up to 17 exposures to for your body to adapt to specific fuels and nutrition sources, such as energy gels or carbohydrate loading. Waiting until race week to experiment with new nutrition practices can lead to digestive issues and unwanted surprises on race day. Instead, start experimenting with different nutrition strategies at least 17 times before the marathon to ensure that your body can tolerate and benefit from them.

3. Failure to Prepare for Marathon Pace:

Another common mistake is not adequately preparing for the marathon pace. While it’s essential to train at various speeds and intensities, some runners overlook specific workouts targeting their goal race pace.

Your target race pace should be practiced during training to help your body adjust to the specific effort level required. Attempting to run at race pace during every training session can lead to fatigue, burnout, and even injury. Consider incorporating lactic threshold tests, which can help you determine the effort level at which you should be training.

4. Overemphasis on Pace Instead of Effort:

Focusing solely on hitting specific pace targets during training can be counterproductive. When training for a marathon, it’s crucial to understand that external factors, such as race day atmosphere, adrenaline, and tapering, can enhance performance.

Instead of fixating on a precise pace, concentrate on running by effort level. This means running at a perceived intensity that aligns with your training goals and the effort you plan to exert during the marathon. Incorporating lactic threshold tests can help you gauge, and train based on your individual effort levels.


  • Preparing for a marathon requires a well-rounded approach that goes beyond simply logging long miles. By avoiding the four common mistakes discussed in this article, runners can enhance their training, minimize the risk of injury, and optimize their performance on race day.
  • Remember to diversify your training, practice your nutrition strategy early, prepare for marathon pace, and focus on effort rather than just pace. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of a successful and rewarding marathon experience. Happy running!

If you would like further information visit https://everardpilates.com/marathontraining 

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