A marathon represents a personal challenge for many runners. You could wish to push yourself beyond your comfort zone or demonstrate your endurance. Maybe a friend persuaded you to do it. Perhaps your goals are to get healthy, lose weight, or promote a good cause.
Whatever your motivation, keep it close to your heart and keep it in mind throughout the upcoming months. Keeping your motivation high can allow you leave the house even when your legs are tired or the weather is bad.
How to Begin
Know your limitations. You are much more likely to get hurt running a marathon’s 26.2 kilometers than you are jogging around the neighborhood every day. Be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any fitness regimen.
Start early: According to conventional opinion, aspiring marathoners should run regular base miles for at least a year before beginning a marathon training regimen. Don’t undervalue the significance of consistently running at least 20 to 30 miles a week before committing to training for a marathon because boosting weekly mileage too soon or too quickly is one of the most prevalent causes of injury.
Take small steps: It’s a great idea to train physically and mentally for your first marathon by participating in a few shorter races, such as 5Ks, 10Ks, or even half marathons.
Selecting Your First Marathon
There are many different types of marathons, from low-key, low-key races on country roads to spectator-lined, tens of thousands-strong metropolis races. Run a few shorter races, support a buddy in their race, or volunteer at marathons to help you become accustomed to the race atmosphere and determine your preference. With the chance to run on familiar routes, choosing a marathon near to home may give you a “home field advantage.” On the other side, selecting a “destination” race might truly fuel your motivation in the months before race day.
The Four Foundational Elements of Marathon Preparation
The main components of marathon preparation are:
Standard mileage: Over time, increase your weekly mileage by jogging three to five times per week.
The long run: Run for a long time every 7–10 days to help your body become used to big distances.
Work on your speed: To improve your cardiac capacity, practice interval training and tempo runs.
Recovery and rest: Resting enough helps keep the body and mind healthy.
Taking Fuel and Water While Running
- Almost all marathons have hydration stations and rest stops along the route.
- If you intend to carry some water with you on race day, purchase a hydration pack or belt well in advance and practice running while wearing it. On race day, never attempt something new.
- Of course, you will run a lot of lengthy distances without the convenience of aid stations while you are training. Here are a few tested methods to think about:
- Carry your own water with handheld bottles, a hydration pack, or a belt.
- Run lengthy distances on a route with a few small loops so you can store water somewhere along the way.
- Plan your long run route to pass water fountains, but make sure they are turned on throughout the winter.
- The night or morning before your run, hide water bottles throughout your path.
- You’ve certainly heard of the phenomena known as “hitting the wall” or “bonking,” which many marathon runners encounter at the 20-mile mark.
- Glycogen, your body’s main energy source during the marathon, has a limited amount of storage space.
- Over the course of your marathon, this amount will be drained, and as it does, your muscles will start to feel heavy and fatigued. Consuming tiny amounts of carbohydrates will help keep you from reaching the dreaded wall even though no amount of nutrition consumed throughout the race can completely replenish your depleted glycogen.
- The simplest to bring and frequently the easiest to digest are energy gels or chews, although a few pieces of fruit or an energy bar will also work. Aim for roughly 60 grammes of carbohydrates every hour for any run lasting more than two hours.
- As with anything else, it’s important to experiment with different fuels during your training runs to determine which ones your stomach tolerates the best. This way, you can fuel securely on race day.
Tips for Race Day
On the day of the race, avoid wearing anything new, including new shorts, shirts, or shoes. If you typically drink one cup of coffee, don’t down three at once. You should perfect your attire, equipment, and fueling techniques during your long training runs.
Prior to the Race
- In the days before your marathon, drink plenty of water. The night before the marathon, sip on a large glass of water before bed. Early in the morning, take another one.
- Eat a straightforward, high-carbohydrate breakfast a few hours before the marathon. Fruit, oats, bars, and bagels are all suitable.
- Apply some Vaseline or Body Glide to any places that are prone to chafing (you probably learned where during training runs).
- Arrive early and, if necessary, wait in line for a port-a-potty 30 to 40 minutes before the scheduled start time. There might be a long line.
- Don’t overdress because the temperature will likely rise during the marathon. Wear a large trash bag over your clothes if you’re particularly cold at the beginning to stay warm until the starting pistol fires.
- Check in advance to see if headphones are permitted on the course if you intend to run to music; not all marathons allow them. If you can’t hear what’s going on around you while running, it can be dangerous, especially if you’re not on a closed course. Finally, there’s a case to be made for not ignoring audience noise and fellow runners.
Within the Race
- Begin gradually. It’s simple to get carried away by the excitement of race day, but getting off to a fast start is a big rookie error. If you’re feeling great, there will be plenty of miles to increase your pace.
- Avoid sprinting through every water station or attempting to drink from a cup while running at full speed. On the day of the race, either practise drinking while running, or simply pull over and take a little sip.
- The first few aid stations had the longest bathroom lineups. It might save you time if you can wait a few more miles without feeling uncomfortable.
- Plan ahead where your friend will meet you along the course if they are coming to support you. A supportive friend can be a tremendous help.
- Enjoy the onlookers’ enthusiasm. But don’t pay attention to the man with the box of chocolate donuts. Although he is trying to be kind, it is not a smart idea to stop for chocolate-glazed donuts at mile 18.
For Tutorial on how to train for marathon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-Hfw4gADx4