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It Worked for Pheidippides

Posted Nov 01 2010 6:52pm

Tonight’s dinner was a delicious and healthy Greek salad, pita bread, and hummus. This dinner covered all the nutritional bases including the extra carbs!

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If it worked for Phidippides in 490 B.C then hopefully it will be my perfect fuel too!

It’s amazing how far the marathon has come since ancient Greece.


The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides , a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), [3] which took place in August or September, 490 BC. [4] It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "??????" (Nenikékamen, ‘We have won.’) before collapsing and dying.

This week, to keep my fellow marathon runners from collapsing like Pheidippides, I have brought together an amazing support team of experienced runners. Each day I will feature a different experienced marathon runner. A distance runner since 2003, Jen provides readers with a real dose of inspiration day in day out through her running adventures, life trials, and healthy living. Today, she provides her tips for getting through your marathon!

Jen from Runner’s Trials  

1. Trust your training. The few days leading up to a marathon are almost as challenging as training itself- for me anyway. It’s so tempting to obsess over every little thing that may happen during the race, but try not to think about it. You’ve put in months of hard training, so trust that it will do you well. Nothing you can do now will help you; it can only hurt you. Hang out with non-running friends, go see a movie, or do other non-strenuous activities.

2. Fuel early and often. The key to avoiding "hitting the wall" is to fuel properly. Maybe you’re not thirsty yet at mile 2, or hungry for Gu at mile 5, but take it. Hydrating and eating early and often will keep you feeling strong throughout the race. Use the same fuel you used during your long training runs.

3. Ignore your time. Unless you’re an experienced marathoner or trying to qualify for Boston, don’t obsess about the time on your watch. In fact, run without your trusty Garmin if you can. Things happen: the weather, the course, and a million other things can affect performance on race day. You are running a marathon! No matter how long it takes you, you’ll still be a marathoner. And that is something most people can never say! Racing is a celebration of a long, hard training cycle. Remind yourself of that, and be proud no matter what happens :)

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