Tips For Running Your First Marathon
The 2011 Chicago Marathon along with the New York City race marked the start of the marathon season with more than 80,000 runners between the two races attempting to complete the 26.2-mile or 42.195 kilometers marathon distance, according to Huffington Post. Whether you are a walker or a runner, if you are interested in participating and completing a marathon, with the proper training and nutrition you will be able to finish the race.
The first step is selecting the marathon in which you wish to participate. If this is your first marathon race, whether you are interested in walking it or running it, be sure to choose one that is scheduled at least couple of months in the future, so that you have plenty of time to train. In either case, marathon training should be enjoyable yet challenging and consistent.
If you’re a runner, your main goal of entering the marathon may be to win the race. If you’re a walker or that is your first marathon, your main goal should simply be to finish the race. The best training process for either goal is gradually building up your mileage.
Runners should be able to run at least 30 minutes straight before starting marathon training. This is to allow your body to become accustomed to running such long distances. If you are a novice runner, you might begin by alternating walking and running during the pre-training stage in order to reduce the risk of running injuries. According to Art Liberman, marathon coach and founder of Marathon Training “an individual should have at least one year of running experience prior to considering marathon training”.
It’s important to keep in mind injury prevention at all times. Refueling for recovery is equally important. Your body needs to rest between runs so it can recover from one run to the next, getting stronger between each run. Nutrition and eating the right foods at the right time also play a vital role in recovery. For instance, Art Liberman’s marathon training schedule requires three to four days of rest per week throughout the whole program.
Running shoes are an important aspect that you will need for the marathon. It is important to invest in a good pair of shoes even though they tend to be expensive. A local store that specializes in athletic footwear can help you choose the shoes that will work best for your feet.
According to Nutrition Advisor Alyse Levine, nutrition plays a critical role in the marathon training process and runners will fail to perform well during their runs if they are not fueling and refueling properly. Carbohydrates will be the primary source of fuel during long runs. If you’re a runner, you should consume a diet that consists of at least 65% carbohydrates. Also, make sure that you drink plenty of water or consume sports drinks throughout your walks and/or runs. In order to ensure proper hydration, make sure to drink 6 to 8 ounces of fluids every 20 minutes.
Consistency and dedication will help you to build up your distance capability as well as improve your endurance. Stay motivated throughout the whole training process until crossing the finish line. Without motivation, you may quit and not make it to the finish line instead, enjoy every moment of the race and remain determined to successfully finish it.
Make sure to consult with your physician before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or exercise habits and before starting any training programs.
Sources: Runners World, Art Liberman. “Preparing for the Long Run, Andrew Silegman. Chicago Marathon 2011. Huffington Post