26 miles – that’s how far you’ll be running the day of the marathon. Your name is signed up, and now it’s time to start training. But just where do you start when it comes to preparation? Although there is a lot to think about, these next few months don’t have to be stressful.
Increase training slowly
It might be tempting to get out there and hit the roads hard and fast, but you could do yourself more damage in the long run. Instead, it’s better to work up slowly, so your body isn’t overwhelmed by all the extra miles. It’s suggested that your mileage should increase by 10% with each week of training. This will not only help your muscles but will also increase your strength and lung capacity with fewer risks of getting hurt. After all, it would be no fun to get an injury in the weeks leading up to the big day!
Think about your footwear
So you’ve signed up for a marathon and want to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes? That’s a great idea! A little treat can be the push to keep going. However, you might want to take them on a few practice runs before the big race. After months of running, your shoes will mold to the shape of your feet, and you’ll get used to how they feel. If you decide to bring them out for their grand debut on the day of the marathon, you could find that they rub or cause blisters. Running 26 miles is already tough – you don’t need to make it harder.
Getting in long runs
Marathons usually take around four hours to complete, but they can last even longer depending on how fast you run. So why would you waste your time going on short, fast runs? If you want to make it all the way through to the end, then try and work several longer runs into your workout programme. As your training increases, so will the number of miles you are able to complete. Eventually, you will be running a marathon like it’s an everyday occurrence! Just remember to build up to it, so your feet (and the rest of your body) get used to being up and active for so long.
Recovery is important
Getting ready for a marathon isn’t all about pushing your body to the limits. In fact, a lot of the training includes recovery time. You could end up burning yourself out, or even face an injury as your body doesn’t have the required downtime. Spending time doing simple stretches and relaxing is just as important as lacing up your shoes and going running. Many experts suggest that you should train around three or four days a week for maximum results.
Load up on carbs
When you’re looking to prepare for a marathon, carbohydrates are about to become your new best friend. Oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, and pasta are just some of the many options you can go for when finding the perfect carb-rich food. The reason they are so important is all down to how your muscles use energy. When you are running for long periods of time, your muscles will be craving glycogen found in carbohydrates. These can also be replenished by carrying a sports drink with you on your runs.
See? Training for a marathon doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it once seemed. In fact, as the weeks pass by, you could be surprised by how far your body can go. Just take it one step at a time, and you’ll soon find yourself flying over the finish line.