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How to get my marathon time down?

Answered By Jordan Schillit

Question

"Hey, I am a 14 year old that lives in Southern California. I am a 8th grader and I ran my first marathon (the LA Marathon) with SRLA (Students Run Los Angeles). For those of you who don’t know about the program, it lets anyone from 7th grade to 12th grade run and train for the LA Marathon. I ended up with 4:48:42. I wanted to run closer to 4:30:00, but fell a little short of that. Next year, I want to try and break 4 hours. Do have have any advice for getting my time down? What should I do from this point on?

Answer

Congrats on finishing your first marathon! And at 14 years old!! Very impressive! One very important aspect of running is setting goals. Your primary goal of this past race was to finish the marathon, so you have to be happy about that. I know you didn't run quite as fast as you wanted to, but it's just your first race! Remember that many people don't finish their first marathon. So, I congratulate you on your determination to get through the race! For the future, I think you should focus on letting your times come down naturally. Generally speaking, the more mileage you run (especially for the marathon) the stronger you will get; thus, the faster you'll be for your upcoming races. Just make sure that you increase your mileage very gradually over the course of the year (and over the next several years) so that you learn what your body can handle. Be VERY patient! You're just 14! You have lots of time to build that strength. Remember to always have fun with the sport! If your school has a cross country team, make sure to join the team and train with your friends! It's much easier to get in the mileage with some company by your side. Also, listen to your coach and his/her advice. Good luck in the future! Feel free to reach out on twitter! - Jordo @runjordo

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