Tips for Your Marathon Goals


As a 34-time marathoner, I have plenty of marathon training tips to help you prepare for your next race. A marathon is a 26.2-mile race that reveals your training and preparation. And believe me, you cannot fake preparation when running a race of this distance, so make sure you are prepared by following my race tested tips.


With proper training, you can reach your time goal and feel great! You will also recover quicker while reducing your risk of an injury by following these tips. Below are my marathon training tips so you can have a great race and have fun!


Plan a Schedule


To prepare for race day, you need to begin by creating a marathon training schedule. You can consult a running coach with help with this or look online for a free training program. There are various online training programs that range from beginner to advanced levels.


Creating a schedule tops my marathon training tips because without a schedule you will fall short of your goal! 


Over my 14 years as a trainer, I have met with many runners to discuss and customize a training schedule to help them achieve their goals. As a result, they smashed their goals!


Invest in Good Training & Race Sneakers


To have an efficient race and reduce the risk of an injury, it is important to have proper running shoes. You should invest in a pair of mid-weight training sneakers for all your training runs and a lighter weight pair of sneakers for all races and speed work. 


In years past, shoes needed to be broken in to feel good. But with recent technology, shoes should feel comfortable to run in from day one. Your best bet is to go to a local running store to get fitted and find the sneaker that works best for you. So, find shoes that work for your foot, running style and are geared to long distance.


Figure out the Right Fueling Plan


Some runners eat a full breakfast before their training runs while others eat a light breakfast consisting of an apple. As a trainer, I tell my clients to find the right balance of what works for you. I usually opt for an apple and a piece of whole wheat toast prior to my runs. During training runs I prefer coconut water or an electrolyte fluid to maintain my potassium levels and avoid dehydration. Find what works with your body and stick with it!


Practice with Some Smaller Races


One of the best ways to train for a marathon is to practice by running smaller distance races such as the 5K, 10K or half marathon.


By racing prior to marathon day, you will be less nervous come race day and be more mentally prepared. Schedule smaller races into your training so you will be race day ready for your marathon! Races are great rehearsals for your big day!


Add in Some Cross Training


To diversify your training, it is important to integrate weight training and cycling or another sport. This will also help you to build your strength and endurance. Additionally, this will help your range of motion which can aid in recovery while also quickening your times.


Never Try Anything New on Race Day


Make sure you train in the same race clothing for your long runs. This will ensure that your training outfit suits you well for race day. Never try anything new on race day. I have trained clients that had visited a race expo the day before the race and tried new race fuel and that evening they were sick.


I have the same rituals in what I eat for breakfast the day of the marathon, along with what I wear. I stick with what works.  Why change a good thing?


Be Confident on Your Big Day!


After you put in the training for your marathon, be confident for race day! Get plenty of rest the night prior to your marathon with a goal of 8 hours. Eat your carbs in the week prior and get ready for a great race! A simple addition for added carb is one bagel a day the week of the marathon. This is just what you need for glycogen storage. Eat light the night prior to your race—you do not want to feel bogged down or have digestive issues come race day.


If you follow my marathon training tips and prepare, you will have a great race and this will be the first of many more races to follow! Are you ready for the challenge of running a marathon? Happy Running! Celebrate your days with many miles and don’t forget to smile.



Tara Zimliki is a nationally recognized weight loss expert, personal trainer, health coach, health writer and founder of Tara’s Bootcamp, the Premiere Bootcamp of New Jersey. Tara also runs her own blog,