Marathon is an extremely challenging and difficult race to go through. One needs a lot of endurance and a lot of determination to go through a Marathon. Many people have put running a marathon in their bucket list, but very few actually end up do it. The Marathon Training itself takes a lot of energy and dedicated to getting through, Yet, when one actually crosses that finish line, only then one realises how refreshing, rejuvenating and out of the world experience it is. Many people end up getting their training wrong which makes them unprepared for such a difficult challenge. There are many things one should follow and remember before running in a Marathon. Training is a key part of that-
Marathon is not everyone’s cup of tea. You should be aware of how much is too much for you. Know when to stop. Make sure you consult with your doctor before actually starting off. You need to be in good health to actually start your training. Marathon training is much more than just going out for your neighbourhood jogs. Make sure you are sure of what you can do and don’t end up endangering your physical health and body.
Start early: The training can take much more than a few weeks to make you fully prepared. It is not easy to run in a marathon, so don’t think that if you start just a couple weeks before the Marathon then you will reach your peak health and be successful. You need to really build up your body and your endurance levels to reach the main event.
Start small: If you want, then start small. Especially if this is your first Marathon then start by going to smaller racing events. You can start with a half marathon which is much less stressful than a marathon. A half marathon will be the perfect way to prepare yourself for the main Marathon event.
The Four Building Blocks of Marathon Training
The primary elements of marathon training are:
Base mileage. You cannot start off with great mileage, you have to build upon it over time. You can start building it up every week. Start running three to five times per week. Maintain a proper record of it and track your progress.
The long run. Do a long run every 7–10 days so your body can adjust gradually to long distances.
Rest and recovery. Adequate rest helps prevent injuries and mental burnout.
Most marathon training plans range from 12 to 20 weeks. Beginning marathoners should aim to build their weekly mileage up to 50 miles over the four months leading up to race day.
Three-to-five runs per week are sufficient. The vast majority of these runs should be done at a relaxed pace. You should run at an easy enough pace to be able to carry on a conversation.
When building base mileage, never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 per cent from week to week.
The Long Run
Once you have perfected the first step of starting and running, you have to know start prepping yourself for longer runs. Try extending your run by a mile or two every once in a week. If you feel its too much then every three weeks scale it back a little so you don’t over stress yourself. But be consistent, know how many miles you are running each day, by how much you are extending and by how much you are decreasing. You can start doing these runs at a slower pace than usual so that you can adjust to the longer miles.
Rest and Recovery
Your body at the end of a day is a machine. You cannot overwork it to a point that it breaks down. Make sure you get some rest days, which are days in which you do not run at all. Let your muscles recover from the exhausting workouts. This will also help prevent mental burnouts and keep you well rested. This ensures a balance between resting and training.
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If you really want to do something on your rest days then engage in some cross-training like walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, yoga, lifting weights, or any other active pursuit that isn’t as high-impact as running.
Make sure that as the Marathon event approaches you to scale back as much as possible, since your body needs the rest and needs to recover the energy to run in the final event with full potential. This is sometimes called Tapering.
Hydrating on the Run
It is very easy to forget about hydrating the body when you are too much into the workout. But this part is extremely vital to the body. During your training make sure you are hydrating yourself while on the run since you will be losing a lot of sweat which will make you dehydrated very fast. Carry a small water bottle when you go out for your runs and keep sipping it at regular intervals.
If by chance you are unable to carry your bottle then plan your route in such a way, that you can stop at shops and buy a water bottle.
If you do end up skipping this part, you are sure to fall severely sick. Instead of water, you can also carry a few energy drinks or juices that can keep you fresh and energised.
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However avoid taking too many energy drinks as they can be detrimental to your health, especially when your heart is already pumping faster due to the adrenaline rush from your training. The energy drinks make it pump faster which can be fatal at times.
There are some areas in your body that can end up chafing or getting dry during your training. That combined with the heat can make it really uncomfortable for you. You will start feeling an itch and then a burning sensation. So try and keep yourself moisturised so that such an issue is avoided.
It is hard to not lose motivation as you keep pushing yourself and keep training. Many people end up dropping after a few weeks of training since it does take a lot. But, don’t lose hope. Keep yourself motivated and most importantly enjoy. Your training will help you do something that many people are unable to. Keep that in mind and enjoy every bit of it.Home » Health and Fitness » Ready Set Go: Tips For A Marathon Training
Also published on Medium.