EUGENE, Ore. -- Staying healthy and challenging himself are Robert Wayner's goals as he trains for his first full marathon.
"It's kind of the peak endurance challenge," he said of the Eugene Marathon, coming up on May 3.
When the Eugene Marathon resumed three year ago, a lot of people got off the couch and hit the running trails.
But running 26 miles -- or even a 13-mile half marathon - can be an intimidating challenge. How much do you run to prepare?
Wayner is also a Eugene physical therapist who advises runners about how to prevent injury.
He says first key is to develop a plan where you don't increase your intensity or duration too fast.
Wayner recommends increasing your weekly running distance by no more than 10 percent. For example, if you run 20 total miles one week, increase to 22 the next week by adding just a mile or two to your long runs.
Marathon coach Joe Henderson of Eugene says to pace yourself on the long runs.
"Run at a pace where you can talk comfortably," Henderson said. "In other words, not getting out of breath. Aerobic, not anaerobic, which means breathless."
Another tip: You don't have to run your entire race distance while you're training. For a marathon, peak at 20 miles; for a half marathon, 11 to 12 miles. On race day, adrenaline will take you right over the finish line.
It's also important to give yourself a break for recovery.
"I think taking time to have a day off of running, as well as another day to cross train swimming biking, help out as well programming in rest weeks," Wayner said.
Physical and mental breaks, along with gradually building your running distance, will put you strides closer to finishing your race.