Within the framework of 35-45 miles per week, it is important to make changes in the quality or intensity of the individual runs. It is sometimes important to borrow from your days, gradually increasing the length of one of your runs.

A training schedule should have a long run, a run of moderate distance and several shorter runs. As time passes, the long run gets longer, but the total weekly mileage will remain the same with better recovery and less chance of injury. During your normal training week, there should also be a short day when you run faster than normal, followed by a slow down for recovery.

Prior to the marathon, it is wise to take a last long 20 mile run two to three weeks before your actual marathon date and then start cutting down the long mileage. Find a 10K (6.2 mile) run for a good speed tune-up to gain a good race pace for the marathon.

It is important during pre-marathon week not to deplete carbohydrates, which deplete muscles of glycogen, and not to consume large amounts of protein food for three days early in the week. This can also deplete muscle glycogen and could lower the runner’s resistance to a cold. Therefore, consume light amounts of carbohydrates early in the week to keep up the body’s resistance, and then increase the amount towards midweek to stay healthy for the big event.

· Don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink water as it may be too late. Drink about three cups of water each hour to keep the body from dehydrating if it is a hot weather marathon.

· Apply Vitamin A & D ointment or Aquaphor ointment as a lubricant on places that the body my chafe, such as underarms, breast and between the thighs.

· Always carry some form of identification with you in case an accident should occur. You should also record any medical problems such as diabetic, asthmatic or allergic to penicillin.

· Be prepared with proper clothing for a race day that could be anything from cold and raining to hot and humid.

· Be honest and start where you belong in the pack, according to your pace and time. It will prevent you from being place into a pace that is too fast, which will lead to overstress and possibly not finish at all.

Keeping a good physical, mental and spiritual outlook throughout the 26 mile, 385 yard race will help you to a successful finish.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a sports podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Dr. Weiss is a veteran of 35 marathons, has a practice in Darien and resides in Westport. For more information visit his website at www.therunning doctor.net.