07/05/2012 07:38 am ET

Marathon Training For The Real World: How To Tackle Tests Of Endurance

By Linda Melone, C.S.C.S. for Shape.com

You may have no problem pounding pavement for 26.2 miles, but what happens when you're faced with real-life endurance challenges: a sleepless night on a red-eye flight, packing and lifting boxes to prepare for a move or a six-hour road trip?

In general, several global principles apply to most real-life marathons, says Cindy Trowbridge, Ph.D., A.T.C., C.S.C.S., associate professor and clinical educator coordinator of the athletic training education program at the University of Texas at Arlington. "All too often during real-life marathons we forget to drink or we drink dehydrating beverages such as coffee or alcohol, for example. Even a two to three percent loss in body weight is significant dehydration."

As in any marathon, in addition to proper hydration, nutrition, preparation and rest all play major roles to help you cross the finish line in good form.