Running your first marathon can be an enormously satisfying experience – but when it comes to training you need to start out slowly and do it right! Here are a few tips to prepare yourself for the big day:
1. Especially if you’re not used to long-distance running, you need to visit your doctor before you start training. Marathons have a much higher risk of injury than other types of exercise.
2. Why do you want to run a marathon? The answer to this question will motivate and inspire you as you train, so keep it in the forefront of your mind.
3. If you’re anxious to jump in and sign up for that race, that’s great. But you should be able to run a consistent base mileage for a year – and that’s just the prequel to a marathon training program. A good goal to shoot for is being able to run 20-30 miles a week regularly before you head into training.
4. Run some short races before jumping into a full marathon. This will help you to see what you’re up against. Even if you just go to a marathon and watch, it will help you get an idea of what running a race entails.
5. Plan your training. Most training plans will range from 12 to 20 weeks, and you’ll spend the time building your endurance. You should start out slowly, running three to five times a week, and increasing your mileage weekly. However, this week-to-week increase should never be more than 10%.
6. Don’t forget to incorporate some rest into your plan, as well! This means a few days of the week where you don’t run at all. This will let your muscles recover from the days you do run, which will help to prevent injury.
To ensure a successful marathon, make sure you plan ahead!