The research on marathon training is very interesting and informative. Three main aspects are running form, training schedule and diet.
There is a proper running form for endurance running. Instead of running on the toes, which is for speed running, long distance running is done heels first and toes following. (In other words, flat-footed) Also, runners should run with their arms loose, their back straight and chest forward.
The training schedule will help the runner prepare for the big event. While training, it is very important to build up gradually and take resting days as serious as running days. Rest days are just as important because the body needs time to build up muscle by repairing strained. The importance of stretching has often been underestimated. A runner should stretch 15-20 minutes before and after a run. The schedule gradually has the runner build up mileage each week with the greatest mileage being 20 miles and then decreasing during the last three weeks called the taper period. Even some last few days of walking should be including during this time.
What to put in the body is critical for success. Carb loading is an important factor during the taper period of marathon training. Carb loading is done by eating foods high in carbohydrates to store lots of glycogen. The body is capable of storing a lot of this. Foods like potatoes, yams, bananas, corn, and peas to name a few should be eaten for carb loading. Water is also extremely important. Every 15 to 20 minutes runners should drink water especially during the marathon. Runners should drink only when thirsty or every 15 to 20 minutes of the run. During the taper period more rest should be taken for the big day at the marathon a few weeks before by gradually decreasing the length of running days, and consuming more (carb loading). In the last three days, the runner should run less and even walk at times.