As I write this, there are only twelve weeks until October 22nd, the day you’ve hopefully penciled in on your calendar to remind you that you’ll be running Venicemarathon. Twelve weeks can be seem like few or many, depending on where you are with your preparation. If you want to see it from another point of view: if you train four times a week there are still forty-seven workouts to complete. Does that feel like to few or just enough? From my point of view you still have the month of August to lay down a solid foundation and then start with a long block of marathon refinement in September. During those months you’ll probably want to sign up for a few preparatory races before the big marathon day.
 
On the fall calendar you’ll find a few longer distance races planned specifically for those that are participating in marathons in Italy or abroad. My recommendation is to focus on the distance of the half marathon and any event around ten kilometres.
 
Racing these two distances combines usefulness with fun; racing will train you and at the same time the result will give you an indication of what kind of time you should expect for your marathon. For the half marathon I would race somewhere around mid September and then another half at the beginning of October. The important word to remember here is, "race". You have to run at a good pace (relatively speaking). If you have in mind a specific time for your marathon here are some examples of times to target at your half.
 
Venicemarathon in 4h30'00 = half marathon in 2h07'00 "
Venicemarathon in 4h00'00 "= half marathon in 1h52'00"
Venicemarathon in 3h30'00 "= half marathon in 1h37'00"
 
You can race a 10k race at any time and use them as a tool to give your speed a bit of a kick. One important thing to remember: your main race is Venicemarathon. Other races are important steps toward that goal but not a point of arrival or your main goal. Get a temporary tattoo with that to remember it!