2011 Marathons in the US [Infographic]

Marathon runners are unlike most people, even other runners. They have a certain determination that drives them to push themselves beyond the physical limits that keep most people from even attempting long-distance races. Marathon training—whether outdoors or on a treadmill—is intense, and not to be undertaken lightly. It can cause injury if you’re not careful, more so than just running a mile, or even ten. But if you’re up to the challenge, running a marathon will give you a feeling like nothing else. It’s not a race against the other runners. It’s a competition with yourself and your own body, to see what you’re capable, and to gain a sense of accomplishment and pride. Training for a marathon also provides many benefits to your health and well-being.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or are considering running a marathon for the first time, this 2011 United States marathon calendar will give you an idea of some of the great marathons out there, just waiting for you. Marathons have become big events that involve much more than just running. Many of them include entertainment, or present unique challenges not found in any other races in the country. If you really want to test your limits, consider trying an extreme marathon. How many of these marathons have you already run?

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Click to view the full marathons in 2011 map

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Are you trying to stick to your new year’s resolution of completing a marathon? Before you even register to run a marathon, you need to prepare yourself, both mentally and physically. Follow these marathon training tips to ensure you’re in the best shape possible so you can complete the race, and avoid injury.

Marathon Training Tips:

  • Get a physical. Even if you exercise on a regular basis, and you feel fine, it’s best to get a clean bill of health from your doctor.
  • Work your way up to running 30 minutes straight, without stopping, before you begin actual marathon training. This will get your body accustomed to running for long periods of time and distance.
  • Build up to running 15 to 20 miles non-stop. Two to three weeks before the marathon, slowly begin decreasing your distance to allow your body to rest, but don’t stop training altogether.
  • Use a marathon pacing calculator to project running times, and to determine the best training methods for the races on your marathon calendar.
  • If you’re unable to train outdoors for some reason, consider doing your marathon training on a treadmill. You can even adjust the incline to mimic hills on the course.
  • Avoid running every day. Your body needs time to recuperate. Run two days, then take a day off.
  • Wear good shoes. Those made specifically for running are best. Don’t wear new shoes on race day—that’s just asking for blisters and injuries.
  • Adjust your diet so that you’re eating at least 65 percent carbohydrates during marathon training. This will ensure proper fuel for your muscles.
  • Stay hydrated while training for a marathon. If you plan to run for an hour or more, carry water with you, and drink 6 to 8 ounces every 20 minutes.
  • If you plan to run a few marathons in 2011, be sure to space them out so your body has time to rest and heal between races.

Above all, remember to enjoy yourself. If it’s your first time, and you have to walk some of it, or even if you don’t finish, that’s ok. Running a marathon is not an easy task. Take a break, then get back to your marathon training, and give it another shot. When you do complete your first marathon, the victory will be that much sweeter.

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