If you’ve been running for a few months or years, and maybe have been in a few races, you probably want more. We always want more, and we expect the best from ourselves. Running in itself is a challenge, it’s never easy to put on those shows and dash out the door in the morning, but it has a lot of rewards.
Many people think that one of the biggest rewards is signing up for- and completing- a marathon. If you are one of those people, here are a few tips and tricks for how to train for a marathon to make sure you can finish it… in one piece.
Starting A Marathon …
1. Patience, grasshopper…
It’s great when you get that first wave of enthusiasm when you realize you want to run a marathon. You’re probably so enthusiastic that you want to sign up for that marathon in 1 month. But realistically, unless you’ve been running for a year or more, and doing at least 15-20 miles a week, you should take it easy.
Rushing into it is the first sign that joining a marathon is all you will do- no chance of finishing it. If you want to be able to cross that finish line, you must be patient with your training and actually be ready by the time the starting shots are fired. Which leads to…
You should make a plan on how you are going to train for this marathon. Try to be specific, writing down the days of the week when you will run, and how many miles you should put in. Having a clear schedule in mind (and on paper) will help you visualize yourself closer and closer to your goal. You can make a calendar that you stick up on your wall, and cross of day by day as you complete the planned training.
3. Our Good Friend Common Sense
You’re determined, nothing can stop you and you’re ready to move mountains… except you feel that nagging pain on your shins… or your Achilles’ thingy is bugging you again.
The last thing you want to do is push through an injury. It’s usually our first impulse, when we try to harden ourselves up and say “stop whining, Me! Let’s do this!!”. But remember that pushing through a minor injury can lead to a major one. What would you prefer? To delay your training by a week or two, and let your body heal? Or to push yourself until you need to take 2-3 months off of your training because of your ambition and stubbornness?
This is the part that seems a lot easier than it is. Cause when you get in that runnin-forever kind of drive, you don’t feel like resting. Especially not the week before the marathon. But remember that your muscles heal and grow when you rest. And it’s very important to cut them some slack before the marathon, if you want them to be rested and ready for action on the big day.
Have you ever run a marathon? Leave us a comment and tell us how you trained for the marathon, and what tips and tricks you’d like to share to novice runners who have this dream.