The Importance of a Benchmark Fitness Run

Before embarking on a 16 (or more) week marathon training program, you should first make sure that you are “fit-for-duty.”

Everyone’s fitness level is different; from the elite runners to the Boston qualifiers, and the 4 hour finishers to those that walk most of the race. Even the elite runner won’t start out on day 1 doing their longest, hardest run of training. You’ll want to figure out where your body is; how it’s responding currently, before moving forward. Don’t worry, you have 16 weeks of marathon training ahead of you to get in the miles. The goal is to be fit and un-injured at the starting line.

Day 1 Tips

  • Make Sure You Have Your Doctors Go-ahead to Start Running
  • Start with Some Dynamic Stretching to Get the Blood Flowing — Try some a-skips, butt kicks, toe-touchers, high-knees (ask your coach how)
  • Start a Light, Low Intensity 1 Mile Jog to Wake Up Your Legs
  • Benchmark Run — Run 2 Miles at Your Best Pace (write down your finish time and note how you felt)
  • Perform Light Stretching After You Catch Your Breath

Now You Have Your Benchmark Running Fitness Level — What Next?

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* This content is not intended to replace any formal training plans directed by licensed coaches. You should always get your doctors go-ahead prior to embarking on any fitness regime. Mercy Health, Glass City Marathon and the Toledo Roadrunners Club are not offering this content to replace a monitored training plan. — Use this content as conversation starters with your doctors, nutritionists, coaches, etc.