Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta is an accomplished runner that has completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Atlanta Half Marathon, the U.S. 10K Classic, and many more. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta spends most of her free time dedicated to training and hopes to offer advice to those wanting to run a marathon for the first time, or wanting to accomplish their best 26.2 miles ever.
· Do a half marathon. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta notes that runners should compete in a half marathon about one month out from race day. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta recommends that runners try to complete the half marathon slightly faster than their full marathon pace. This will help boost your morale before the big day, and also mentally prepare you for the competition.
· Add speed at the end of your run. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta recommends that runners start below their goal pace and slowly work up to their race pace or faster with eight miles left. This will help runners be prepared to conquer running with maximum effort even when fatigued.
· Mimic the course. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta states that if it is possible to run the actual course before race day to do so. However, if you are signed up for a marathon that is taking place out of town, it is important to start doing runs on the same topography as the marathon. If it is a flat course, do flat training runs; however, if you are going to be competing on steep hills—prepare accordingly. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta states that if you do not live in an area with a similar topography to adjust the incline on the treadmill to simulate the course.
· Run the same time of day. It is important that runners get used to running at the time of day the race will take place during. If the race is early in the morning, try to complete your long runs at the same time. This will condition your mind and body to be ready come race day.
· Taper. Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta warns that it is crucial to taper before a marathon. Even though you might be nervous to conquer the full 26.2, if you have appropriately trained—you are ready. Cramming in last minute long runs will hurt you, not help you! Trust your body and rest accordingly.
· Set appropriate time goals. A common problem that Tracy Kinnan Pisciotta sees during races is that people set goals that are unrealistic. If you run a 9-minute mile during training, do not expect to run an 8 during race day. If you set too high of standards for yourself in the beginning of the race, you will quickly get burnt out. Pace yourself according to your training runs to ensure success.