Train, Don't Strain

Marathon training should be tought, but it doestn' have to be torture.  You'll do just fine by keeping the following in mind.

Don't try to cram mileage

If you miss a run, or have to cut one short, don't try to make up the mieage by doubling up your next run.  A few missed kilometres aren't going to make or break your race, and trying to cram in ks could get you hurt.  It's far better to arrive at the starting line feeling slightly undertrained, but strong and eager, rather than to feel worn and on the edge of injury.

Recover, recover, recover

You ton'd have to train hard seven days a week.  You have train smart three or four days a week.  You may feel strong enought to run on your rest days, or add mile to your easy days, but it's best to stick with the miles.  You body needs time to recover so that it can rebuild tissues and get stronger.

RICE on a regular basis.

When you've got muscle aches or joint pains, there's nothing better than rest, ice, compression and elevation for immediate treatment.  These measures can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and protect damaged tissues, all of which speed healing.  The only problem with RICE is that too many runners focus on the "I" while ignoring the "RCE".  Ice reduces inflammation, but to ice and run, ice and run, without giving the tissues enough time to heal, is a little like dieting every day until 6pm and then pigging out.

Get those long runs done

The LSDs you see on the Training Plans are the foundation of your marathon preparation.  They help you get accustomed to being on your feet for three, four or five hours at a time so you don't get injured on race day.  Running with a training partner at least once a week helps a lot, as it makes the journey easier, more exciting, and more fun.  Bue even with support from regular training partners, you still need to be you own toughest boss.  That means posting your training schedule where you'll see it often, and generally treating workouts as unbreakable appointments.

Stay flexible

There may be days when you sleep throught your morning run, or there will be days when it's 30 degrees for you long run.  Don't hesitat to shuffle your runs around.  Just don't do hard workouts - like long runs - back to back.