To run your best marathon "is part art, science, guts, faith in yourself and a little luck."
Those hallmarks of Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Cucuzzella's advice heading into last year's Marine Corps Marathon hold true today.
If you've followed the PT365 Run Plans to get to your race, you'll be glad, Cucuzzella says.
"This is why slow aerobic training is critical for marathon success; it helps you build a massive electric (fat-burning) engine," writes Cucuzzella, author of the PT365 Run Plans.
Cucuzzella is a professor of family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He's been a competitive runner for 30 years — with more than 100 marathon and ultramarathon finishes — and continues to compete as a national-level Masters runner. His marathon best is 2:24, and he's won the Air Force Marathon twice, including in 2011 (2:38) a week shy of his 45th birthday.
He is the race director of Freedom's Run race series in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and executive director of the Natural Running Center, an education portal and network of stores designed to teach healthier running and to promote more natural footwear. He hosts educational conferences and speaks nationally on topics related to running, health and injury prevention.