Major Marathon Running
Running a marathon is no easy feat but running the Abbott World Marathon Majors takes running marathons to a new level!
The Abbott World Marathon Majors consists of six marathons hosted throughout the world and runners who complete all six get to bask in the glory of a great challenge with an exclusive Six Star Medal. The six marathons are held every year between the spring and fall seasons in the cities of New York City, Chicago, London, Boston, Berlin, and Tokyo. While this challenge is certainly not an easy one to begin with, there's another tricky detail, these marathons do not have a guaranteed entry. For all six races, runners must enter into a lottery for a chance to participate and for the Boston Marathon specifically one must qualify with specific times.
Meet: Matt Marques
Fit2Run’s very own Matt Marques, Fit Expert and Fit2Run San Juan manager, set out to complete the incredible challenge and we wanted to share his story. Matt has been an avid runner since his high school years who’s love of running only continues to grow everyday. While Matt loves all running events his favorite race distance to run is the marathon distance. Having run his first marathon in 2009 he was hooked and soon set his sights on the Abbott World Marathon Majors.
Since 2014 Matt has completed 4 of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors, some more than once, and this year has finally been lucky enough to be among the selected runners to run the 2021 London Marathon, putting him one step closer to that six star medal! Currently, he is in the middle of training for the London Marathon taking place this October, and shared with us some of his ups and downs in training, gear preferences, and tips he uses to keep motivated while he gets ready for his next marathon.
Ask a Marathoner:
How is training going?
Training is going well. This year I have been concentrating on maintaining the consistency of running, with all the restrictions we faced last year it was very hard to keep constant so I wanted to make sure this year that racing came back, I wasn’t starting from zero. Currently working on increasing the mileage of the weekend long runs leading up to the race date which are very demanding and important in the training process.
What is your favorite part of training?
“Sunday long runs” while they are not always easy, I enjoy the challenge of the distance. To me the marathon is the ultimate distance, you only do that specific distance on race day so working to get closer to that every week is very exciting.
Personally, when I train I like to participate in some local races and use them as practice for timing and other details that you can only experience during an in person race. For example, recently I participated in a 21K and used the race as my long run that weekend which was also a great way to test out best practices with some of the nutrition I plan to use during the London marathon.
What’s your goal for this marathon?
My goal for London is to enjoy the whole experience. I have been waiting a long time for this amazing opportunity and I plan to make the most of it. For the race itself I always propose myself 3 goals (A,B,C) when training and use them to keep me moving forward on race day. For this race in particular, Goal A is to finish under 3 hours. Goal B would be to finish around 3:15 and Goal C is to finish 3:30, or less.
Best tip for training?
Train your arms and upper body. People think running is only about your legs but you don't realize how much the rest of your body is also involved in running. It’s important to work on some strength exercises in between the running schedule.
Favorite products for training or race day?
For this training, the shoes I have been mainly using are the New Balance Fuel Cell for shorter runs and some speed workouts, and the On Cloud Stratus for longer runs. I still haven’t decided what my race day shoes will be. I always prefer to run in tank tops and shorts, and I always run with a hat. Currently I am using a combination of New Balance, On and Janji apparel.
As far as nutrition, I often use GU gels and Clif Bloks, usually fruit flavors. GU gels I always use Roctane flavors during a marathon, for the extra strength it gives your body. Clif blocks are very convenient especially if you want to distribute your nutrition through more of your race.
What are you most looking forward to after the race?
Running the next one! There is no finish line! London will mark my 5th star and I am excited that I will be just one step away from completing this challenge. Tokyo will be another great race and I am looking forward to it in the spring.
Even though all marathons consist of a 26.2 miles distance, every race is unique in it’s own way and the experience that comes with it is just as unique. From the training to the race itself, no two marathons are the same. Most important when getting ready for a big race like a marathon is to remember your goals and why you started. For runners like Matt, it’s about setting a challenge, not stopping until you get it and hopefully exceeding even your personal expectations. In his own words and personal motivation:
"Don't just chase your dreams, RUN them down"
If you want to learn more about Matt’s marathon journey, training or general running come by our Fit2Run store in San Juan and say hello! You can also check out his page @sanjuanrunner on Instagram.