If you have been a regular runner, then you might have dreamed of participating in a marathon. Running a marathon is one of the things on the bucket lists of people who don’t run too. Everyone has it under ‘someday.’ Let’s say your ‘someday’ is ‘now.’ How do you prepare for it? Having proper preparation strategy, knowing what to work on, and also knowing the right gear for you is important to have a great first marathon experience. The feeling of hitting the finish line is exhilarating.
For many, it is a personal challenge, or they want to test their limits, or just want to prove themselves that they can go the distance. Maybe you are doing it for yourself or with a friend, or with your whole group. Maybe your reason is to lose weight, or get in better shape, increase your stamina, or raise awareness for a charity. Whatever your reason, just remember that maintaining your motivation in the months chalking up to the marathon is important and will help you get out and run.
It is important for your legs that you have a good shoe selection. Take into account the distance you will be running, the terrain, the problems your feet face, etc. Now that you have the proper running shoes. Focus on your stretching techniques and also breathing techniques. Proper mechanics are very important if it is difficult terrain.
You also need to be aware of your limits if this is the first time you are participating in a marathon. The 26 miles in a marathon can easily put you at a higher risk of injury than your everyday neighborhood or treadmill jogs. Before participating in a marathon, especially your first, consult with your physician before you even start training for the marathon.
Usually, people are recommended to begin their training a year prior to the marathon. Running a full marathon isn’t easy; it requires consistent practice and consistent base mileage. One of the most common causes of injury is people building their weekly mileage too soon and too fast. Which is why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of consistently running at least 20-30 miles a week regularly before committing to training for a marathon. Find out where you stand before taking on a challenge.
Before going all in and training for a full marathon, why not test the waters. Run a few shorter races like 5Ks and 10Ks, and then maybe even a half marathon. This is an excellent way to prepare physically and mentally for your first full marathon.