Brittany's Marathon Training Tips


Meet Brittany, “The Funny Runner”

Hi! I’m Brittany Charboneau also known as “The Funny Runner.” I’m a Denver-based proud athlete for Team Tailwind along with The North Face and have competed in every distance from the 10k to the 80k. I’m currently training to represent Team USA’s 80k team at the World Mountain Championships in Chiang Mai, Thailand this November. My marathon background started on the roads spanning a 17th place finish at the 2018 NYC Marathon, a win at the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon, and a 13th placed finish at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials with a PR of 2:33. After the pandemic shutdown most road races, I jumped on the trails and had a blast! I won the 2020 Pike’s Peak Marathon, set the FKT on the Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop, and won my debut 50-miler at the 2022 Lake Sonoma 50. 

That’s the runner part. The funny part is that I use my background in comedy and performance to enhance my training and racing…something I encourage others to do as well! For example, I kicked off my 2022 season with a win-sweep at the Walt Disney World “Dopey Challenge,” four consecutive days of racing a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon, a feat that had never before been accomplished. I brought my joy to life by dressing up as a different Disney character for each race, which was proof that you can still be playful while chasing goals! 

Marathon Training Tips

I’m passionate about sharing my somewhat unique approach to training because it’s so important to keep it enjoyable. Sure, marathoning is supposed to be hard, but I’m a firm believer that the majority of training should be enjoyable. Here are my top three favorite marathon training tips:

  • EAT! One of my biggest mistakes early in my career and something that I see so many runners that I coach do is failing to put fuel in the tank. It’s important to embrace fueling to help get you through marathon training healthily and injury-free, and eating enough is a huge piece of this. I love that Tailwind gives you the carbs needed during the run and also has the perfect mix for post-run recovery packed with even more carbs and protein. Lean on a dietitian for personalized help, and keep that tank full!
  • MIX IT UP! I know that running the same routes can be easy, but what’s the point in being an explorer on foot if you don’t get to see new things? To keep all of the miles enjoyable, challenge yourself to run all of the streets in your neighborhood, run all of the parks in your area, try out a new trail, or run with a friend in their neck of the woods!
  • RUN EASY TO RUN FAST. Another rookie mistake of mine early on was running my easy miles too fast, which left me feeling fatigued (mentally and physically) for my workouts and long runs where gains are actually made. Embrace and trust the power of the easy run, keep it conversational (or singable, in my case), and save the energy for the runs that count.

  • Marathon Racing Tips!

    Ok, you’ve made it through training, and the big day is here! It’s ok to feel nervous, but remember to remind yourself that you’re excited for the whole experience! Here are my top three tips for marathon racing:

  • MAKE A RACE PLAN. A marathon is a long way to go and just wing it. There will inevitably be the temptation to go out too fast and moments where you question your sanity, so I’ve found that it’s vital to have a plan of attack before going into the race. I like to break each race into 3-4 “chunks,” where I assign a mantra, character, or song to each chunk to help remind me what I should be focusing on. For example, for one of my Disney races, I was “calm as a cat” for the first chunk, “smart as an elephant” for the middle chunk where I needed to power through the hard miles, and “playful as a dolphin” for my finish, a reminder to enjoy every step of the race…even when it gets really hard. 
  • COVER YOUR WATCH. My goal for the Olympic Trials was to enjoy every moment of the experience I may have only once in a lifetime. Of course, I wanted to PR, but I knew that would come if I was focused on what I was doing and enjoying myself. I also knew I’d be distracted by a million thoughts if I was glued to my splits, so I made the choice to cover my watch with pink tape with the mantra “Surrender to Joy.” I surrendered to joy, loved that day, and yes, also PR’ed. 
  • HAVE A KILLER VIBE THAT YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT! This simply means, getting yourself stoked with an outfit, hairstyle, nails, socks, shoes, etc. that you’re excited to rock on the day of the race. Splurge on something new that makes you feel fast, confident, and excited to race. I’m a huge advocate of, if you look good, you feel good, you race good!

  • Above all else, don’t forget that each training cycle is a journey with ups and downs. Each race is also there to teach you something. Don’t give up, keep running fun, and remember to smile when it gets hard! 

    I’ll be cheering you on! 


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