Tips on How to Train for a Cross-Country Marathon by Mark, Founder of Cambodia Run.

November 19, 2019

As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. This is especially true in running when you need to train your stamina, plan a nutritional diet, as well as practice the marathon day strategy to ensure you can cross the finish line.

So, whether it’s your first 5K or your tenth marathon, here are some tips and tricks from Mark, the founder and second-time challenger of the 330km Cambodia Run Challenge.

  1. How does your regular weekly exercise routine look like?

    I mix up my runs from shorter high intensity runs to longer runs at a slower pace to build up my long-distance endurance.

    I also have running-focused personal training sessions once a week, and try to cross-train by swimming.

  2. After experiencing the 330km route in 2017, how are you preparing yourself physically this year?

    I have a lot to learn when it comes to training for long-distance events, but I’m getting better. Building up my weekly mileage is important, but this year, I have been focusing on my intensity as opposed to just logging mileage.

    Hopefully, a combination of gymming, cross-training, and quality mileage will put me in good stead for the run.

  3. How are you preparing yourself in the food nutritional aspect? Do you have any diet restrictions?

    I don’t have many nutritional restrictions other than cutting out processed foods. I have a plant-based diet, so I don’t eat meat nor dairy products.

    I’m just focused on eating good and healthy meals with tons of nutritional value to help my body repair after runs or gym sessions.

    I have, however, refrained from consuming alcohol until the run. So no red wine on the weekend at the moment.

  4. Many say that “it is all in the mind” when running long distances. How do you prepare yourself mentally for a 330km marathon?

    Yes, I think a lot is in the mind, especially when you are going through some of the lows which are inevitable especially in the long days.

    For the first few days, I find myself having to quieten down my mind so that I can solely focus on the job at hand which is running from A to B.

    I think we are all resilient when we need to be, and it’s inevitable that there will be mentally-tough periods – it’s just a case of putting one foot in front of the other continuously and not stopping.

  5. Are you feeling more prepared (physically, mentally and emotionally) this year as compared to 2017? Or are you a little more apprehensive as you are now aware that some hiccups may happen during the run (for example, the 10km detour on highway 6)?

    I think I feel more prepared this year, which hopefully, is a positive thought!

    I expect myself to be better trained for the run this year as compared to 2017’s. Also, since I know how tough it can get, I like the fact that I know what’s ahead of me.

    I’m not an experienced ultra-runner, so this is a steep learning curve for me but its fun! No doubt there will be hiccups along the way, but as long as we are not injured or sick, we will try to take these small issues in our stride and keep moving forward with a smile on our faces!

  6. Do you have any marathon role models? If yes, who and why?

    Sadly I don’t have any marathon role models… That said, Killian Jornet, the trail runner, is very cool as he is arguably one of the best trail runners in the world.

    Nonetheless, he remains very humble which I feel is nice and refreshing in today’s world of oversized egos!

  7. If you could give a piece of advice to new runners, what would it be?

    Just run..! It’s not always that much fun at first, but after a few weeks you will become hooked.

    The feeling during and after a run is fantastic, and you will grow in confidence as you work towards your running goals. Needless to say, you will lose a ton of weight, feel healthier and be full of energy!

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