The reason for running in a marathon can be anything. Some people take it as a challenge, whereas other people just do it for charity.
However, being a good runner is one thing, while running for a marathon is a completely different scenario. You have to run around 26.2 miles in a marathon, which is a way lot more than your usual running. That’s why you need to take preparation for it a few months before the event.
How to Prepare Yourself for The Marathon
If you’re a first-time marathoner, there’s a high possibility that you are nervous and want to take enough time to get ready for the race. To make yourself prepare, you need to consider a lot of things including the training schedule, outfit, foods and nutrition, and many more.
Make a Right Training Plan
You can’t just start running for 26.2 miles right out of the gate. That’s why it’s important that you need to come up with a plan.
A proper marathon plan will help you gradually build up your mileage and endurance, reducing the possibility of getting an injury. Some professional trainers may help you to get prepared. They will check your background, physical and mental condition and guide you accordingly.
If you can’t find any trainer in your area, you can also download training materials from the internet and start your own training.
Get The Right Outfit
Your outfit matters a lot when it comes to running for such a long distance. You must wear something that is comfortable and suitable for the weather. Wearing a tight-fit dress may not be a good choice in that case.
You should be extra careful while choosing the shoe for the marathon. The shoe you will be wearing must be light, comfortable, and flexible. There are some specialized stores where you can give a trial and get proper guidance before buying running shoes.
Running shoes that are the correct fit for a marathon is crucial to prevent any injuries and you should consider the shape of your feet, what type of foot arch and pronation, or supination your foot does when walk or run. Your running shoes should have adequate support and fit correctly to the shape of your foot. Researching your running shoes is critical to prevent damaging joints, bones, and ligaments. For example, if you have wide feet and narrow heels you should consider running shoes that help support this type of foot shape.
Having the right footwear to run a marathon is extremely important.
You can also purchase a pair of good running shoes online. Just go to a renowned shoe site, choose one, select your desired color and size and place the order.
Also, don’t forget to buy a pair of good-quality socks that are protective and comfortable.
What to Eat
You will definitely feel hungry and tired after such a long run. The glycogen level will get depleted and your muscles will be tired and heavy. That’s why you need to eat the right food at the right time.
No matter how much you eat during the run, it’s not going to completely replace the depleted glycogen. However, consuming a little carbohydrate can actually help you from getting tired.
Some experts say the ratio of protein and carbohydrate should be 3:1. You can also have some chocolate milk or protein shake while running for refueling. Also, drink a lot of water during the practice to avoid dehydration and other injuries.
Set a Goal
If you’re a first-time runner in the marathon, then you should not rush to finish the line too early. No matter how much you’ve practiced before, getting into the real race will be a different experience for you.
In that case, you should set a goal that exactly how much you’re going to achieve. For beginners, finishing the event can be a great achievement. You should take lessons from your mistakes and the other runners in the event, which you can apply in your next marathon.
Set a Rest Day for Recovery
You must be exhausted from all these tremendous practices. If you practice continuously without any break, your muscles will get tired and you will be injured anytime. That’s why you should take a rest day for complete recovery.
A rest day means there will be no running, no stretching, no jogging. You will be relaxing and taking rest. It will help your muscles to recover while preventing mental burnout.
However, if you don’t feel like resting, you can do some light exercises such as cycling, swimming, or yoga that aren’t as high-impact as running.
Gradually Increase The Mileage
You’re not planning to start running for 26.2 miles from the first day of your practice, do you? Getting yourself prepared for a marathon takes 12-20 weeks, and you should start with a short mileage.
While doing a short run every day, you should go for a long run once in a week. Slowly increase the mileage every week, but make sure you don’t increase it by more than 10% from week to week.
When it comes to speed, you should increase it slowly as well. Do not start running at a full speed from the very beginning as you might get an injury.
Start at a comfortable pace, and after a certain time, increase the speed. Also, remember to take a break or run slowly once you get tired.
Your mental condition, as well as your confidence level, can influence your performance during the big race. The entire event can be a huge surprise for you if you’re not mentally prepared.
While you’re practicing, try to keep a record on your best performances, which will inspire you during the marathon. Talk to the event organizers, study the course prior to the event so that you can start the race with confidence.
Besides, take a good amount of sleep the night before the big event so that you can start the race with a fresh mind.
Preparing yourself for a marathon is a lengthy process. It requires patience, time, and a lot of practice. However, if you enjoy running, you will enjoy it more when running with a big group.
Do some research about the marathon you’ve signed in for. Start taking preparation from today. With the right practice and right equipment, you’re going to ace the race.