Coach Brendan Shares Four Components to a Successful Marathon


This week we welcome, Coach Brendan, a running coach who has been helping members of Team ChiParks get started on their base training for the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Read on to learn about Coach Brendan’s four components to a successful marathon.

Coach Brendan in action wearing his signature chili pepper running shorts! Top Photo: Coach Brendan in Antartica 

Coach Brendan in action wearing his signature chili pepper running shorts! Top Photo: Coach Brendan in Antartica 

With Chicago’s winter fading in the face of spring-like temperatures (a few recent weekends have seen the thermometer climb close to 80 degrees!), the lakefront running path is filled with runners. Many have thought about running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2016.

While some of these runners have been running many years, each year a significant portion (40-55% in some recent years) are running their very first marathon. Training for a marathon is a significant undertaking and not to be taken lightly. However, many runners successfully cross the finish line through dedication and goal-setting.

There are four components to a successful marathon. The first is Desire. The will to train and learn about yourself. And if you are seriously thinking about running the marathon, the desire has been kindled.

The second component is Conditioning. Conditioning is achieved over the course of a training program, usually 18-20 weeks of gradually building endurance to accomplish the marathon distance.

The third element is Knowledge. Knowledge is what each runner learns about himself or herself during the training period; knowledge of what works or doesn’t work for each runner. Knowledge of self – what we are capable of (which usually surprises us in a positive way).

Finally, the fourth component is Luck. Luck is not just serendipity, and luck improves significantly when we have the Desire, the Conditioning and the Knowledge to compete on marathon day.



Coach Brendan is assisting Team ChiParks members in base training during the first couple of months before summer training starts. He emphasizes how important psychological awareness is to your marathon training. Coach Brendan believes anyone can run a marathon with the right attitude and training program.

There are still spots available for runners on Team ChiParks! Join today and receive exclusive benefits including free guaranteed entry into the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, free gear, and most importantly the best post race party right at the finish line! For more information about Team ChiParks contact Angie at

Brendan Cournane is a running coach and motivational speaker based in Chicago. He has completed over 90 marathons, including one in each of the 50 states and all 7 continents, with a marathon PR of 3:16. He is certified as a coach with USATF and RRCA.

Jennie Scheerer