Running a marathon is more about being able to complete such a feat than it is about the love of running. Although some people simply run for the adoration of the sport; the majority of us run to prove to ourselves that we can do it. If you are new to running or contemplating pushing yourself the extra distance the following tips may be helpful as you prepare for the 26.2 challenge.
Completing an endurance event such as a marathon can be the biggest moment in someone’s life. It’s the epitome of running and challenging your body to go the extra mile, literally. It can also be very strenuous on the body. Before you start training, make sure you get an okay from your doctor before preparing for such an event.
Nothing says commitment quite like filling out the sign-up sheet for your first marathon and paying the entry fee. Once you are registered, you can start setting up the necessary goals to complete the run. Give yourself 16 -20 weeks to train for the marathon. Mark the day of the race on your calendar and start planning backward from that date.
Set aside 3-5 days per week to run. This is a great way to ease your body into bigger runs in the future. The majority of your runs should be relaxed; you should be able to carry on a conversation while running. We offer Core cardio classes which are perfect for building up your endurance. Don’t overexert yourself too quickly.
Start your training calendar with whatever mileage is comfortable for you. On average a good starting point is 15 miles per week. Run 3 miles on day 1, 4 miles on day 2, 3 miles on day 3 and five miles on day 4. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% (1-2 miles).
The Long Run
One day each week you should set aside time for a long run. Every 3 weeks, decrease your accumulated mileage a few miles so as not to cause too much stress on your body. For example, you might run 10 miles one weekend, 12 miles the next, then 14 miles, and then 10 again before moving on to 16 on the fifth weekend.
Long runs are run at a much slower pace than usual. A slow pace helps the body prepare for running long distances and with less injury. A long run is typically considered to be 20 miles long. Any more than 20 miles and you risk injury before race day. The day of the race will be the first time you run the complete distance. Luckily, your body will be conditioned to complete the final 6.2 miles.
Time to Rest
Rest days are just that, time to rest. Your body needs time to let the muscles recover and rebuild themselves. It also helps prevent mental burnout and keeps your “head in the game.”
If you are the type of person that hates to not be moving, then keep all activity light on rest days. Do something different than running such as: walking, hiking, biking, swimming, yoga, or lifting weights.
Almost Show Time
In the last 2 week before the marathon cut back on the amount of mileage being run significantly. This is called tapering. It’s a critical part of training. It is the key component to having a body in good enough shape to cross the finish line.
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