Running in a marathon could feel like a never-ending distance if you don’t prepare well. Know that you have to strain your mind and body muscles if you have planned to make your marathon debut this year. As a beginner, you’ll need to dedicate more time and effort to meet the demands of marathon training.
Check the list below if you are looking for the secrets of building mileage and endurance for the run. It includes some proven tips on how to prepare for a marathon.
Ensure intake of proper nutrients and minerals
Make a proper diet plan according to current stamina and body weight. Lack of nutrients affects the training to a great extent. Don’t overeat, or else you’ll gain weight. Eating too little will affect your health and stamina. And with overeating, you will find yourself running to the bathroom instead of the finish line.
Fuel your body with energy drinks and protein-rich foods, which will help you, increase your energy levels. Go for tasty oatmeal with nuts, green juice, beet juice, and similar things. Give priority to unprocessed and fresh food.
Focus on cross-training to increase your stamina
Don’t limit your focus on strengthening your legs. Aim for improving your overall strength when training yourself for a marathon. However, legs and arms are the primary source of power for running, but every part of your body should be strong enough to provide stability. Cross-training will lower the possibilities of injuries during the run.
Go for bodyweight exercises to cross-train. Also, no-equipment exercises like squats, bridges, and lunges are best for a full-body workout. They will help you build the power needed for a marathon. Besides, these exercises will complement your fitness training in the long-run.
Give your body enough time to rest
Resting is both elite and recreational. Most of the aspiring runners forego rest during their marathon training. A tired and energy less body never brings good results. Insufficient rest could also increase the chances of injuries. Schedule enough resting time in your marathon training plan.
You may take rest as per your need and comfort. You may either schedule one full day for rest in a week or take rest in small intervals of time daily. For best results, train in the company of seasoned marathon runners, Kenyan athletes, or elite running coaches. They offer customized training programs designed according to the abilities and goals of individuals.
See a physiotherapist if needed
Often, aspiring marathon debutants ignore low-level injuries or pain during their high-intensity training. They keep straining their bodies even if it ‘doesn’t feel right.’ It’s not wise to ignore even a small injury or any low-level pain. As mentioned above, take enough rest until your body recovers completely from the injury. Seek the help of a physiotherapist if the condition worsens.
A professional will help you in recovering from the pain and elevate the strength of your body for the marathon. The expert will diagnose and treat the condition efficiently and ensure pain-free training/running.
Drink enough after before and after your performance
It is essential to drink enough water before and after your performance. Follow this ritual during practice sessions as well. Even a smaller percentage of dehydration can impact your running speed and energy. Keep your body hydrated for optimal performance, especially during the summer months. You may drink water/ an energy drink when thirsty. Alternatively, create a customized plan according to the results of your sweat test (measuring body weight before and after training).
For the ones who are looking forward to losing weight for a marathon should focus on reducing their water weight. At the same time, keep track of the fluid loss rate of your body. Drink six to seven ounces of sports drink or water before going on the trail. Take four to six ounces of water/sports drink while running.
Participate in sprints and slow distance runs
This activity is to build strength in your legs. Incorporate slow distance runs and sprints in your practice to improve your endurance and speed. Participate in 100 meters, full-speed races. Practice easy to moderate speed runs. Customize sprint intervals according to your goal and capability. Don’t put excessive strain on your body.
Slow distance runs allow individuals to run long distances at a comfortable pace. They help in building endurance while allowing the runner’s body to adjust to the impact of workout and running. Also, they are ideal for slow-twitch muscles.
Arrange marathon – friendly clothing to gear-up your spirit
Keep your fashion sense aside on race day – instead, put-up marathon-friendly clothing such as shorts, tights, sports bras, and more. You need to make sure you wear comfortable, wicking fabrics. They will keep your body dry and fresh as you run. Try different compression items to find a perfect fit for yourself. Go for compression tights or socks if you feel comfortable in them while running. Opt-out these items otherwise.
Listen to your body when choosing the items for the marathon. Most importantly, don’t invest in ill-fitting socks, or else you’ll end-up troubling your legs for straight three-four hours. Professionals, offering marathon training for beginner’s guide individuals regarding the selection of items. If need be, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a marathon expert.
Marathon demands a lot more than a healthy body. Physical strength isn’t enough in this race. Runners should be mentally fit to participate in the rub. Mental toughness is essential to save yourself from getting into a state of panic during the performance. You might have to deal with a roller coaster of experiences, so be prepared for it. After all, a marathon is no easy race to win.
There will be highs as well as lows. Things may not go as expected, but you need to stay positive throughout the run and acknowledge those fantastic highlights. Keep the finish line in mind and think about the indescribable moment of completing the race. The idea is to keep yourself encouraged and confident about your performance in some way or the other.