Imagine hearing the announcer shout out “You are a marathon finisher!”
It may seem like a pipe dream for many runners to finish a marathon. 26.2 miles is no doubt intimidating– but it’s not impossible. All it takes is training, perseverance, and time.
For many of you, the desire to run a marathon is a personal challenge. Whether it is to lose weight, get healthier, or test your limits, remind yourself of it during the months of training ahead. If you can run a 10k, you can run a half-marathon and a marathon.
As you are gearing up for your marathon or half marathon journey, keep these training tips in mind.
It’s entirely possible that life gets in a way during your course of training. You may skip a workout here and there. Remember to prioritize – the most important workouts should be your long runs as they build the endurance you need to finish a marathon. Learn to love the long run. If you need to skip, we recommend skipping easy workouts or tempo runs. Try your best to not skip the entire workout. Performing part of a workout is better than none.
The most critical thing in a marathon training is to know your true fitness level. When you finish a workout, run at a pace that is you’re comfortable with. Ask yourself if you can complete six miles comfortably. If the answer is no, then take the time to develop your strength before starting a program. Also, don’t compare yourself to a running partner, a family member, or even the level of running you did prior. You will most likely to get the desired results when you truly listen to your body.
Start Small, Finish Big
Stick with the training and it will get you there. The thought of running 20+ miles can be intimidating, so focus where you are, not where you’re going. Follow the training plan and your weekly mileage will gradually increase. For beginner marathoners, the best way to get faster is to run more. The extra endurance will give you a stimulus of an extra boost making you a much faster marathoner. As the week goes by, the thought of completing a marathon will slowly become morph into a reality.
Rest is a vital part of a proper training as your body needs to recover from the training stress. You should include two rest days a week to stay healthy. Don’t work out or do anything active on planned rest days. Enjoy your time off feel fresh and ready for the upcoming training and ultimately, a marathon.
TIPS FOR THE RACE DAY
Before the Race
- Check if the marathon permits headphones if you plan to run with music. Keep in mind that running without hearing what’s happening around you can be dangerous.
- Don’t overdress. The temperature tends to rise over the course of the race. If you are cold at the beginning, try wearing an oversized trash bag then take it off when you’re warm enough.
- Stay hydrated several days before the race. Before bed and first thing in the morning, drink a big glass of water.
- Before the start of the marathon, eat high-carbohydrate breakfast such as bars, fruit, or bagels several hours before.
- The line might be long, so get to the starting line early. Use the restroom 30-40 minutes before the starting time, if needed.
During the Race
- Don’t try to drink from a cup when running full speed or pass on every aid station. It helps if you practice drinking from a cup while running. If not, then take a few seconds to stop and drink.
- The first few aid stations, bathroom lines are typically the longest. It may save you time if you could wait a couple of miles without discomfort.
- If you have friends coming, plan on where they can meet you ahead of time. Having a friend along the running course can be a big boost.
- Don’t let the race-day adrenaline start you off too quickly. There will be plenty of miles you can pick up if you’re feeling awesome. It’s a common rookie mistake to start too fast.
- Enjoy the energy of the crowd and the spectators!
RECOVERY AND BEYOND
Immediately after you finish the race, walk a little to allow your muscles to cool down. Drink plenty of water or sports drink to nourish your tired muscles. Whether you feel like it or not, eat some carbs.
Take your time, at least a week, to rest and get plenty of sleep. Eat well-balanced meals as your immune system will be more vulnerable after the race. If you have any injuries from the marathon, take care of those.
Marathon Pace (MP) Your estimated marathon pace per mile
Easy Effort Run (EZ) In this easy pace, you should be able to talk comfortably and breathing should be relaxed throughout the entire workout.
Negative Split (NS) The first half of the run is at the easy pace. In the second half, increase your pace gradually to cover the same distance 1-3 minutes faster.
Long Slow Distance Run (LSD) The most important workout in your training. Run a long distance at a comfortable pace.
Hilly Run (H) “+H” means that your workout should be performed on rolling terrain.
Rest and recovery help prevent mental burnout and are an essential part of training to prevent injuries
FEATURED PRODUCT: BREAK YOUR PR
The program is designed with first-time runners in mind. Completing 26.2 miles will be an amazing accomplishment. You can do this!