In December 2008 I decided which marathon I wanted to run. My marathon was the Kasumigaura marathon in Ibaraki prefecture Japan on April 19th 2009. With this goal set, I could really start concentrating on a serious training program and make myself mentally ready. Since this was going to be my first ever marathon and the biggest physical exercise in my life I felt increasingly stronger and more confident as the weeks went by. After doing some research on the web I found that it would probably be useful to collect some cross training exercises to further strengthen other body parts. I started with pushups, hooking, and bridge training. Also I do some exercises with light 1kg dumbells to strengthen my arm and shoulders.
I found some wonderful core exercise video's on Runnersworld demonstrated by Matt Tegenkamp. There are various useful video's here made with and by highly experienced and professional runners. Core strengthening, dumbbell, and balance training are really helping me to improve my posture and running style. Creating a stronger upper body gives me more speed as well.