Marathon season is approaching. Are you ready?
There are a lot of reasons to run a marathon, from challenging yourself with fitness goals, to testing the limits of your body, doing it for a good cause, and even doing it to prove a point. I have been getting really into marathons lately, and my favorite part of it is the camaraderie that comes from accomplishing something on your own, while surrounded by a group of people with the same goal in mind.
Marathon season is coming up, and that means that if you haven’t already started, it’s probably time to prepare. If you have never done one before, though here are some tips and tricks on how to prep.
Choosing the right marathon is the first step. There are tons of options, from small, low-key races to huge spectator sports with tons of people. My best advice here is to start small, somewhere local. Make sure you are being realistic about your limits. You wont be able to do a 26-mile marathon on your first try, without any practice. Make sure you ask your doctor what is appropriate for you.
READ MORE: How to Train for a 5K in One Month
Build up mileage slowly. Run 3-5 times per week, increasing your distance a little every week until you build up to the proper distance. Include a longer run once every week so your body can build up the endurance it will need for the marathon itself. Run 5 and 10K’s on the weekends to prepare.
Focus on intervals. When you run, make sure you vary your speed from running to walking, depending on what your body needs. Don’t run until your body can’t take it anymore. The key to running marathons is patience and endurance.
Get enough rest. Recovery time is really important when training your body for anything, so during your marathon training make sure you are eating right, getting enough sleep, and stretching your muscles before and after.
Hydrate. Get used to carrying a camelbak bag with you, carry a bottle at your waist, or stash bottled water along the route of your run. In order to run a marathon you need fuel and hydration. Hydration is ultimately the most important thing.
Eat. Whether you eat fruit or energy bars, your goal is to take in 60 grams of carbs per hour. Test this out during your practice runs so you can be sure you don’t eat anything that will upset your stomach.
Running a marathon is all about preparation and endurance, so it is definitely something you shouldn’t go into unprepared.
If you follow these tips and take the time to get your body in proper shape, running a marathon can be one of the most gratifying things you do.