Completing a marathon is something that thousands of people think about each year. Whether using this as a goal to aim toward or as a means of fundraising for a chosen charity, marathons are gruelling tasks and are not suited for the faint-hearted.
While deciding to do a marathon is a difficult action in itself, there are a plethora of other choices relating to running a marathon that takes some consideration and planning. After all, a marathon is not a walk in the park and takes a lot of preparation.
Suppose you are in the position where you have recently signed up to run a marathon in the coming months. First of all, good on you! Not many people get the chance to, particularly if the spaces in a marathon are assigned on a ballot basis.
Secondly, you might find yourself wondering what you need to do in order to prepare yourself properly for a race of this magnitude. Those who are avid runners will naturally have some idea of what they must do, whereas those who are not lovers of running might find themselves falling short of ideas.
This is where we come into the picture. Detailed below, you will find a helpful list of suggestions for those intending to run a marathon. Get yourself in tip-top condition; read on for more!
Create an Exercise Routine
It goes without saying, but you cannot just up and go when enduring such a rigorous race. This will be a lengthy process, which will require a great deal of training and preparation over a prolonged period.
While you might feel tempted to throw yourself in the deep end and run long races from the word go, this is highly discouraged. Your body will not be used to being active for such lengths of time, and you greatly increase your risk of injury and not recovering enough in doing so.
Starting slow and gradually building up the distance is the best way to prepare yourself for such a long run. Finding the fine balance can be challenging, but by giving yourself enough time and increasing the increments bit by bit, you are sure to be successful.
Finding a running trail in your local area or even taking along a friend – both two and four-legged – can make this process a bit more manageable.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Naturally, to get your body in tip-top condition and be marathon ready, you should make every effort to eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Your body will not be prepared if you are eating takeaways every day, nor will your body be receiving the vital nutrients it needs.
While this is not to say that you cannot treat yourself every once in a while, there is no harm in that! Ensuring that you stick to a diet plan and restrict the treats will go a long way, and ensure you are well on your way to getting your marathon bod!
At the same time, you should assess what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to be performing at its best. Micro and macronutrients are things that not many of us consider in our daily lives, but are something you will likely need to think about when preparing for a marathon and other gruelling exercises.
Protein, for example, is a crucial component when strengthening your body and is what your muscles need to develop and get bigger. While you can increase the amount of protein you are consuming through your diet, you can also explore the range of delicious protein snacks, food, and powder that is on offer through companies like EatProtein and others.
Have The Right Clothing, Equipment and Resources
It goes without saying, but you want to be as prepared as possible when running a race of this magnitude. While this would undoubtedly include being physically prepared for the race, it extends to having the right sorts of equipment and resources for the prolonged exercise.
Purchasing running shoes that are durable and comfortable is critical to your ongoing and future success as an athlete. Having ill-fitting shoes, which rub your feet or do not provide adequate support will drastically increase the chance of you picking up an injury. Exploring the various options that are out there, comparing reviews and testing different brands will ensure that you find something to suit you.
This also extends to include finding the right sportswear for the job. Nowadays, you can expect to find a wide variety of sportswear and don’t have to settle for outfits that are in drab and uninspiring colours. Sportswear is viewed very much as a sense of style; finding an outfit that is colourful and which makes you look good will contribute greatly to how you are feeling mentally while exercising.
Allow Yourself To Rest and Relax
We have all been guilty of pushing ourselves to the limit every now and again; there is no doubt about it. While that is very well the case, and we have often faced the consequences of doing so, this is also something you should be taking on board when training for a marathon, both in the short and long term.
It can be easy to fall into a pattern of pushing yourself to the limit in the hopes that you will see results as soon as possible. Being rational with yourself and understanding that it is a lengthy process will go a long way and will ensure you are taking the best care of yourself.
Allowing yourself to relax during your training might feel like cheating to some people but is better for your training efforts than most people assume. Naturally, the amount you will need to rest and recuperate will vary greatly based on how you are progressing and where you are in your training programme. Listening to your body is the best thing you can do; rest if you feel you need to rest and push on if you feel able to.
Get Frequent Restful Sleep
Resting your aching muscles is not the only way to relax during your training. It would be best if you did what you can to ensure you get enough sleep each night. Everyone and anyone know the importance of a good sleep; you should do what you can to ensure this is something you are prioritising.
Assess your current sleep routine and whether there is anything you need to change or alter to ensure you are maximising your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Eliminate any aggravators from your routine and make substitutes to your nightly routine. At the same time, it might be worth getting your other half on board, too; having their support in this aspect of your training will do you a world of good and could even improve their own sleep quality in the process.
Overall, this piece detailed but the tip of the iceberg when training for a marathon. There are plenty of other factors out there that need taking into consideration, all of which contribute to your success. Know one thing; making an effort and changes now will make a world of difference, and your future self will be thanking you!