Marathon & Half Marathon Training

How to Go From Zero to Marathon in 6 Months

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

Running a marathon is an undertaking that, in this coach’s opinion, should not be taken lightly. Whether your goal is simply to finish well with a view toward future marathons, or to chase a significant personal best and qualify for Boston, preparing for this event requires planning and vision… click for full article on Active.com


Marathon Race Week

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

What do the marathon taper and the Ab Belt (the infomercial machine that sends shockwaves into your abs claiming to magically melt away belly fat giving you a ripped washboard stomach) have in common? On the surface you might be thinking they have nothing at all in common, but stay with me. Read the product’s fine print and you’ll notice the recommended exercise routine and nutrition plan you should follow for best results – ah ha! If you put in the hard work of exercising and eating properly you’ll lose weight and have a more defined midsection. Interesting. Similarly, the success of your marathon taper is dependent upon all the hard work put throughout the buildup. The taper won’t miraculously enhance your fitness, but there are some things you can do in the final week of training to get the most out of yourself on race day… click for full article


Dog Days of Summer: Resolutions & Marathon Build-ups

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

Summer is a time when running fanatics, in all stages of their pursuits, begin their build-up toward fall running events. In recent years, marathons have become both more accessible and popular. For Queens Distance rookies who plan on completing a marathon this year, take to heart a few critical tips in your summer marathon build-up…. click for full article from Active.com


Marathon Training For Beginners

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Endurance

Many of the athletes, a majority in fact, who ran the Olympic Marathon Trials two weeks ago in Los Angeles qualified for the event with a half marathon time. And for some, the Olympic Trials was their marathon debut. In fact, two of our four ZAP Fitness athletes that competed at the Trials were running their first ever marathon. While the vast majority of marathoners do get better after experiencing the distance a few times there are many runners who have turned in spectacular races on their first try. This success isn’t limited to the professional athletes qualifying for the Olympic Trials, but it is hinged on proper preparation and avoiding some of the common mistakes first time marathoners make… click to read full article


Running Back to Back Marathons

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

So you say you had a rough day. After months of training and careful preparation, the marathon you were targeting went poorly. Perhaps it was the weather; maybe you made some mistakes with your fueling or you just had one of “those” days. Whatever the reason, you find yourself with your tail slightly between your legs, wondering where to go and how to proceed. The standard procedure for most runners and their coaches after any marathon—good or bad—is to rest and avoid racing. For the more motivated, an unconventional alternative might be to tackle another marathon in the next 5 to 6 weeks… click for full article on Active.com


Marathon Long Run

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

Hitting the wall. It may be the most well known phrase in all of distance running. One minute you’re running along breathing effortlessly, your legs feeling rhythmic and light, feet popping off the pavement with every stride. The next minute your breathing becomes labored, your legs feel heavy as lead, and fatigue courses through your body from head to toe begging you to slow down. There are many factors that can lead runners to hitting some version of “the wall” in a marathon, but there are just as many things you can do to break right through it. When implemented properly the long run may be the most effective weapon that can power you to a strong finish at the end of a marathon… click for full article


How Much Marathon Training Do You Really Need?

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

The marathon is one of the most challenging events in endurance athletics. To succeed in the marathon, a runner must possess a great deal of durability and aerobic strength as well as a healthy dose of economy and power. Training must reflect the demands of this unique distance, and while the lion’s share of training for the marathon distance can and should be simple aerobic time on your feet, specific “marathon prep” sessions will yield greater performances on race day—if implemented correctly… click for full article on Active.com


Final 5 Marathon Workouts

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

With summer mercifully in the rearview mirror it’s time to turn the months of fighting through the heat and humidity into fast fall racing. There is no greater feeling than those first weeks when the weather breaks and the air is cool and crisp. The blood plasma boosting heat of the summer makes those first few weeks of fall feel like you could run forever, and now it’s time to take advantage of that in training and racing. One of the challenges in preparing for fall marathons is dealing with the summer heat early in training that can make long runs and workouts difficult to execute. Even if you’ve struggled with those longer workouts over the summer there is still time to cap off your fall marathon training with some fitness boosting workouts over the final few weeks of your prep… click for full article


How Often Should You Race During Marathon Training

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

Summer tends to be a mixed bag for road racers. For some, the summer is the time to back off after a competition-laden spring filled with races of all distances. Others ramp up in the summer, ready to hit the American road-racing scene—from the Peachtree Road Race to Falmouth to Bix and the Utica Boilermaker—after a spring of slogging through the mud. For roughly 350,000 American runners, summer is prime time to get ready for fall marathons; it’s the time to establish the aerobic running base that will prepare them to attack the Queen’s Distance… click for full article on Active.com


Marathon Recovery

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

After the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl I remember reporters asking Tom Brady how he planned to celebrate his win, how he managed to engineer the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, what he was thinking when Juilan Edelman made his circus catch, and a host of other questions about the game. What I don’t remember anyone asking him about was his recovery plan for the few weeks following the game, aside from maybe going to Disney World. As runners it’s easy to be excited about a big race, even about training in the anticipation of performing well or running a personal best. The recovery that comes afterward is far less inspiring. As evidenced by Tom Brady’s press conference, it’s much more exciting to revel in the glory of finishing a marathon or running a quick 5k. However, recovery after a key race is an important part of staying healthy and progressing in the next training cycle… click for full article


The 3 Month Marathon Training Plan

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

Popular running media has introduced hundreds of marathon plans over the decades. From run-walk “finish healthy” programs to the more intense “big PR performance packages,” there isn’t one perfect marathon plan. The duration of a marathon build-up should be based on a number of factors, not the least of which is the degree of conditioning in which you enter your build-up… click for full article on Active.com


Perfecting the Marathon Taper

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

In just a few days at the Chicago Marathon Joan Benoit Samuelson will attempt to break 3 hours at the age of 60, something no woman has ever done. It would be another amazing feat from the woman who has had a career full of amazing feats, most notably storming to the front 2 miles into the 1984 Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles and never looking back. She will forever be the first women’s gold medalist in Olympic marathon history, but it’s amazing how close she came to never making it to the start line. A mere 17 days before the Olympic Trials, a window where most athletes would begin their taper, Joan Benoit had to undergo arthroscopic surgery on an injured knee. Incredibly, she returned to running just a few days after the surgery, toed the line at the Olympic Trials, and won the race… click for full article


Use 5k and 10k Distances to Improve Your Marathon

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

Marathoners are, in this coach’s opinion, distance runners of the purest form. The event, itself, along with its more time intensive and aerobically-based training, tends to attract those who enjoy the process as much as (if not occasionally more than) the outcome.

As a result of this passion for greater time on feet, shorter events are often the first to be discarded in marathon preparation. Instead, you should consider 5K and 10K distances as effective tools as you plan your next marathon cycle… click for full article on Active.com


Speed Workouts Between Marathons

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

There are only 6 men in history who have broken 4 minutes for the mile and 2 hours and 8 minutes for the marathon. To put that into perspective, there are close to 1500 men worldwide who have broken 4 minutes for the mile and a quick search shows that an astonishing 331 men ran the marathon in 2:08:00 or faster in 2017 alone. Now there are numerous reasons that club is so exclusive, certainly many of those sub-4 and sub 2:08 athletes never attempted to race the other distance, but the point is that the speed required to run fast in a mile is not a prerequisite to running faster over 26.2 miles. However, mixing in some faster workouts between marathon training cycles helps improve running economy, prevents burnout and staleness, and can have a positive impact on performance… click for full article


A Simple Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

The marathon is one of the most challenging events in endurance athletics. Success requires well-developed aerobic capabilities as well as stable connective tissue and a psychological resolve not seen in other events. Executing a proper training program is essential to maximizing performance on marathon day. This maxim rings particularly true for first-timers who are likely to make common errors in the critical final 12 weeks of build-up. This plan lays out an intelligent approach to the final few months of marathon training—both for beginners and for those returning to the event after an extended hiatus… click for full article on Active.com


Types of Marathon Long Runs

By Ryan Warrenburg, ZAP Fitness

The marathon long run can be as perplexing as it can be intimidating. With so many variables involved it can leave your head spinning as to the best approach to the marathoner’s weekend ritual. The long run is the most critical component to building the strength necessary to endure the 26.2 mile distance so it’s important to understand. When implemented correctly the long run has the ability to make the biggest difference in our ability to not just endure 26.2 miles, but to race with confidence from mile 1 to 26.2. The following four types of long runs all serve specific purposes in allowing you to run mile 26 as strongly as mile 1… click for full article


How to Run Negative Splits in a Half Marathon

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

The half marathon is rapidly becoming the distance of choice for many runners both domestic and international. From Washington to Florida and across the globe, the 13.1-mile event is flourishing in popularity, with new half marathons popping up at a rate only second to the 5K… click for full article on Active.com


A Marathon Training Approach for a PR

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

For the majority of distance runners, the marathon distance has a steep and enjoyable learning curve, if intelligent training and equally intelligent rest are properly applied. Virtually all of the “rookie” marathon runners with whom I have worked set primary goals—in their debuts at the distance—for both health and a strong finish. I intentionally under-train first-timers, because I know the importance of simply making it to the starting line… click for full article on Active.com


How to Run Multiple Marathons in a Month

By Pete Rea, ZAP Fitness

On the first weekend of October in 1989, American marathoner Kim Jones won the Twin Cities Marathon with a time of 2:31—a personal best. Three weeks later, Jones finished second at the New York City Marathon with a time of 2:27, knocking another four minutes off her stellar PR… click for full article on Active.com


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