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Tips for a Successful Marathon
By Alex Fedak
The pro men skate in lock-step in the 2009 Chicagoland Inline Marathon
Any race is exciting. I’ve been in scores of them and my pulse still pounds at the starting line.
But don’t let the excitement get the best of you. A marathon is not a sprint. You’ll be skating for at least an hour. So don’t start so fast that you run out of gas before the finish line.
Skate smart. Stay relaxed. Save as much energy as possible. And learn to recognize — or better yet, create — key moments when maximum effort makes things happen.
Always arrive at the venue early. That way you won't have the added stress of last-minute rushing.
Have a consistent warm-up routine. Performing it will loosen up the body and relax the mind.
Pick your battles.
Keep in mind that a marathon (even a half marathon) is a long race. Position is important. But fighting for second place in the third mile or constantly changing position is a waste of energy.
Instead, ease into a good spot and hang tight. Save your energy for when it counts.
Read the race.
Scope out the race. Figure out who's who. That way you'll know where to position yourself and how to recognize which breakaways and surges are a threat.
Pay attention to what's going on at the front of the paceline. If you see increased arm swing and leg movement, speed up. Don’t wait until a gap forms in front of you. If you do, you'll waste valuable energy catching up.
Also, be aware of what is happening behind you, especially when it involves top skaters in your division. Recognize and react quickly to attacks from behind. An attack by one skater may not be a threat (depending on the skater). But a multiple-skater attack increases the chances of a successful breakaway and could leave you in the dust.
Use the peloton to your advantage.
Remember that a group is faster than a solo skater, if all other factors are ...