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The Marathon Rookie Times, Issue #002
July 27, 2005
Keeping a close watch on your heart rate (HR) during training will help tremendously. Use an HR monitor. This allows you to measure the intensity of your runs and to gauge your progress towards fitness and conditioning. First, you need to determine your maximum beats per minute. The best way to accurately measure this is to test it out. After a light warm-up jog, run three ¼ mile sprints (as fast as you can run) with a 30 second walk between each sprint. Then check the beats per minute on your HR monitor. This will give you a measurement of your maximum beats per minute. As you move through training, you should begin to see the beats per minute drop while you are running the same speed as you did early in the training period.
As you train, your heart simply gets stronger and gets better at pumping blood, which produces more oxygen for the muscles. Thus, the more you run, the stronger your heart gets and the easier it is to run.
Your training runs should be at 70% to 80% of your maximal HR. This may be difficult at first, but stay with it and your heart will adapt, get stronger, produce more oxygen to the muscles, and then runs should become easier. As you move through training, you may find you need to pick up the pace to be at 70% to 80% of your maximal HR.
• Invest in a heart rate monitor. Most athletic stores have them or you can get them online. Polar makes excellent heart rate monitors. Prices vary by functionality.
• Test to determine your maximal heart rate and run at 70%-80% of your maximal heart rate during training runs.
• Have fun monitoring your improved fitness level!
Heart Monitor Training for The Compleat Idiot (yes, it is actually spelled that way) is a great resource for more information about heart rate.
Listening to upbeat music before a run is a fun and easy way to gain extra motivation during a run and to make long runs more enjoyable. What gets your blood pumping? My personal favorite is still the Rocky IV Soundtrack. The songs are upbeat and have powerful, inspiring lyrics that play in my head late in my runs when I need it most. As one song goes, “In the warrior’s code, there’s no surrender. Though his body cries stop, his spirit cries…NEVER!” Wow! I’m getting pumped up just writing that!
Find something that moves you and speaks to you. I know some people like to wear headphones during runs. However, I encourage you to not wear headphones while training unless you are running on a treadmill. Instead, enjoy the run by letting your mind run free. Your imagination will run wild on things to think about. In fact, you will find yourself finding solutions to challenges in your life and coming up with new goals to set for yourself. If you are listening to positive, inspiring music, then you will find yourself playing back the tunes in your head when you are out of things to think about.
• Find a CD that inspires you.
• Listen to it before each run. If you run in the mornings, then listen to music in your car on your way home from work the day before. No matter when you run, make sure to listen to music that inspires you.
• Enjoy the extra motivation late in the run!
Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 stick margarine
1 cup rice, uncooked
4-6 chicken breasts (fillet)
salt and pepper
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1½ cans water
1. Melt margarine in 9x13 casserole dish
2. Pour in rice
3. Salt and pepper chicken and arrange on top of rice
4. Spread soup over chicken.
5. Fill soup can with water and pour (1½ cans) around edges of rice
6. Cover and bake at 350o until done (about 1 hour)
(Good with Cream of Chicken soup, too!)
Nancy Clark's Food Guide For Marathoners is a great resource for nutrition during training.
Want to submit a recipe? Email me at
As a valued subscriber to The Marathon Rookie Times, I am pleased to offer you a 25% discount on my Marathon Rookie or Half Marathon Rookie eBook. From now through August 5th, you can purchase either eBook for only $9.72 and also get a free Training eJournal to track your progress. Both are fun-to-read, highly inspiring, and tell you everything you need to know to enjoy a fun and successful experience.
“Elevate your thinking, elevate your fun, elevate your results.”
- Brad Boughman
Brad Boughman works with runners who want to successfully train for and finish their first marathon. To learn more about Coach Boughman’s personal coaching programs, visit
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