Global Running News  Global Running News
Injuries and Treatment  Injuries
Nutrition Information  Nutrition
Running Training Information  Training
Running Information Forums  Forums

   Running Information      USA Running      Running South Africa      Running New Zealand      Running UK      Running Ireland      Running Ireland      Carrera española      Deutsch Laufzeit      Copenhagen Marathon      Suomen Juoksu      Sverige Löpning      Tel Aviv Marathon      Running Australia      Running Africa      Running Kenya      Running Europe      Running Malta      Running Namibia

Top 7 Steps to Follow when Preparing for a Marathon

Preparing for a marathon is a lengthy process that you need to start almost a year before you intend to run the race. From diet and nutrition to ramping up how many miles you run, there are a lot of steps to check off and work through as you prepare to run a marathon, and you might want to plan to bring along a few good luck charms for competition.

Top 7 Steps to Follow when Preparing for a Marathon

Don’t overlook rest and recovery either, whether it is in the lead up to race day as you recover from your workouts, or after the race itself. The most important part of any marathon is preparation. You will likely spend several months, if not years, training for a marathon. The work you do ahead of time is going to put yourself in a position to not only finish the marathon but perhaps also make good time while you are running it.

Step #1: Get your Health Checked

Many people overlook this step, but before you undertake anything as strenuous as training for a marathon you need to meet with your doctor and make sure your body can handle it. Normally, this is just a simple physical with some bloodwork to make sure you don’t have any underlying heart conditions or serious ailments that could worsen if you undertake a lot of training for a marathon. Don’t withhold anything from your doctor, as getting a clean bill of health is the most important thing you can do before training for a marathon.

Step #2: Get your Diet right

The diet you need to train for a marathon is going to be different than your average diet. While any diet should include a lot of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, with marathon training you do want to consume enough carbohydrates so that you have fuel to energize yourself during training. It is probably best to stay away from alcohol or at least limit your intake. You want to fuel your body to be as efficient as possible in preparation for race day.

Step #3: Create a Running Plan

Depending on how much experience you have as a runner, start building up your training plan. Ideally, you will start on a training plan at least 4 or 5 months before the day your marathon is scheduled. In this timeframe, plan on running between 3 and 5 days per week and gradually increase your mileage each time.

Don’t worry too much about how fast you are running, especially in the early stages, as the most important goal is to build stamina not chase a clock.

Step #4: You will have Setbacks

Don’t get discouraged if you have setbacks in your training. Keep with a consistent training regime and don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t make it through a long run or if you aren’t as fast as you should be. One woman ran the London marathon after suffering broken toes and a broken ankle. While you might get some shin splints from extra running, hopefully, you will not experience anything that extreme.

If you need to add a couple of extra rest days in your training session to rest your joints, you can still consider doing some other low impact exercise. After your brief rest to heal, go ahead and ease back into training, but maybe start at a lower mileage than you last ran just to get your body used to training again.

Step #5: Vary your Training

While you might think you just need to run every day in order to build up miles that is not the case. Your body needs to rest muscle groups and joints giving your body a chance to heal between workouts. While you should have some complete rest days built-in to your training plan, also make sure you build in some days where you do exercises that do not involve running.

Swimming is a great total body workout, and you should also not be afraid to do weight training. Don’t ignore your arms and core. While you might think running is only about the legs, you need to have a well-balanced body in order to successfully run a marathon. Yoga is another great off-day exercise. The key is to rest your legs and joints but maybe stay a little active just to keep the blood flowing.

There are some myths that race day cramps can be solved by eating a banana or drinking more water, but in reality, you need to prevent race day cramps before race day. By doing strength training that incorporates all muscle groups, you stand a better chance at avoiding cramps on race day.

Step #6: Run that Race!

You should eat a meal full of carbohydrates the night before race day to begin giving your body the fuel it needs. Once race day arrives, eat a breakfast with a lot of carbs and proteins to again fuel your body for the long challenge ahead of it.

Stay hydrated during the race, but you only want to drink small amounts. It is better to drink small amounts frequently than large amounts of water irregularly.

You’ve trained for this! Once you get into the swing of the race just block out the mental chatter and let your body take over. Your months, or years, of training have positioned you well to be able to complete the race! Deep breaths, stop and stretch when you need it, and trust your body to carry you to the finish line.

Step #7: Recovery

Do not underestimate the importance of building in a recovery plan for your marathon preparations. You will want to start by slowing down your running pace for a few minutes until eventually, you settle on a brisk walk. Continue to slow your activity level as your muscles cool down. Perhaps the most important part of recovery is stretching. Make sure you allow a good 15 minutes to complete total body stretching. You will want to make use of a foam roller to work the muscles in your legs if you have access to one.

Speak Your Mind