Twitter Chats and a Marathon Strategy!

My favorite thing I have discovered since joining the blogging world and twitter has to be the chats. I love Twitter chats! I love talking to the people I meet on Twitter, hearing people’s training stories, worries, and successes. I love finding out other runner’s opinions on races.  I love sharing advice on fueling, training plans, speed work, and race strategies. Mostly, I love connecting to a group of people who love running and healthy living as much as I do.

Tuesday I was able to participate it a Twitter chat with Bart Yasso.  Most Twitter chats involve a chance to introduce yourself and a series of questions posed throughout the next hour.  Everyone responds and converses on the subject.  Bart Chats are different.  They don’t have a scheduled time, and they don’t pose questions. You show up, you say hi to everyone and you jump in! I started chatting and threw out this question:

Chicago Marathon is 10 days away! I needed to start getting a strategy together and get a plan in place.  Having a plan would be the only way I would meet my goal time of 3:35 and qualify for Boston Marathon.  What better way to get some advice on this than from some really great runners!

I immediately got feedback from some fellow runners and I was so happy to hear their advice.  Here’s what they offered me….

Go out slow and build my speed as the marathon progresses.  My fastest miles should be after mile 20.

Don’t put time in the bank! This just leads to hitting the wall at mile 20. 

Join a pace group! Chicago has some of the best pace setters.

Relax and De-stress! You’ve done the work and can accomplish your goal!

Bart Yasso, from Runner’s World and the so-called Mayor of Running tweeted me back…

Everyone’s advice and encouragement was really touching! After re-reading the tweets from my fellow runners and Bart Yasso I took to devising a plan that incorporated  the information I had learned from the chat.   As I was doing this I had some questions about what my mile pace should be at different points throughout the marathon.  I didn’t want to guess and mess up my opportunity to Boston Qualify.  So I tweeted my question out to those who had helped me earlier in the day.  Bart sent me the following message back…

I also promptly received similar advice from another runner on twitter who I had talked to earlier in the day.

So my marathon strategy is as follows:

Eat oatmeal and a bagel. Drink plenty of water 2 hours before the start and about 8oz. of Gatorade.

Get to the start with plenty of time so that I am relaxed and calm.

Stretch and warm up with a little bit of jogging followed by a few strides.

Miles 1, 2 and 3 run at an 8:20 pace

Miles 3 to 10 run at an 8:15 pace

Miles 10 to 20 run at an 8:10 pace

Finish up miles 20 to 26 at a sub 8:10 pace

Accomplish a goal pace of 3:35 or better!

I feel much better now that I have a good strategy in place for the marathon.  I also like knowing that the advice I received was from runner’s who had made the mistakes themselves.

Twitter and blogging is bringing an already close-knit community of runner’s closer.  Now we can simply tweet a question a receive answers from fellow runners all over the country.  Similarly we are only a tweet or a click away from some of our running idols, like Bart Yasso.  Twitter and blogging is becoming a valuable tool for runners to gain information and advice.  I’d encourage all of you runner’s to join the online running community and connect with your fellow runners!

Have you had the opportunity to connect with the running community online? Do you have a similar story? Have you chatted with some of the running greats online? What have you learned from your fellow runners?

Thanks to Bart Yasso and all the runners on twitter for their advice and encouragement!

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