Start Training Now for El Paso Marathon and Half Marathon

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018


EL PASO, TEXAS – If you’re planning on running the next Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon or Half Marathon, now is the time to start running to set a base of mileage with the goal of finishing or improving in the February 2019 race. 


The El Paso Michelob Ultra Marathon and the Half Marathon have evolved to become the Borderland’s de facto championship road races.  And just as elite runners tend to run two “A” races a year, regional distance runners might make one of their A races be the El Paso half or full marathon.


Indeed, beginning training now is prudent whether you are a veteran of several distance races looking to establish a personal record or a novice looking to finish a long race for the first time. 


For many Borderland runners, the El Paso Michelob Ultra Marathon has become the standard to measure who the fastest marathoner is. Even for those marathoners who don’t plan to compete, running the hometown marathon has become a badge of honor for all local runners.


At this point, if you are committed to doing a half or full marathon in February, start to increase your mileage. If you are currently running three to four times a week, add a day, with the goal of getting to five to six days of running a week. 


If you are running fewer than 3 miles a day, add 1 mile to each run, then hold it for a couple of weeks. That is, increase each run to 4 miles a run, then do that for three weeks. Then add another mile, and hold that for three more weeks. The goal is to get to 6 miles per run by late August. 


Also, now is the best time to add a few more miles on your weekend run. That is, try to lift your mileage on Saturday or Sunday to 8-10 miles. 


Do remember to increase mileage and days gradually. The generally rule of thumb is to increase mileage by no more than 10 percent a week. You may feel like you can handle more. And you may run and do fine. Your heart and lungs will probably be able to handle it. 


The problem is your legs, muscles, tendons, etc., don’t get in shape as quickly as your heart and lungs. You can fool yourself into thinking you’re in better shape than you are, and within a few weeks, get injured.


So be careful as you increase your mileage. Your goal is to be running 5-6 miles a day, and 10-13 miles on a weekend day, by October, when the “real” or harder training begins. Start growing your mileage now to be ready. 


Note: It should go without saying that running in the summer heat, especially in the high desert of the El Paso/Juárez region, is vitally important. But I’ve heard more than a few runners say they are trying to train their bodies to run with less water. That’s a little like trying to get your car to run without oil. It’s dangerous and potentially could cause long-term harm to your body. Don’t do it. Be sure to carry enough water when you run. 


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