At last, you finally decided that you’re ready for your first marathon. You will probably start out with a 5-kilometer run then gradually go up to 10K, 16K, 21K, and eventually full marathon of 42K. But then again, running a full marathon can be a grueling feat even for seasoned runners.
There are a lot of factors that you have to consider in preparing for a marathon. In order to be successful in this challenge, here are 5 things you have to bear in mind before starting your marathon career.
1. Maintain Proper Nutrition Before, During, and After the Race
Diet is very important so make sure you eat something before the race. You’re burning calories while running, so you have to fuel your body with the right amount of nutrition.
Hydration isn’t enough during a full marathon so bring at least 2 energy bars, and grab one of those free bananas at the hydration booth.
2. Stick to Your Own Pace
Although they call it a race, don’t go running the marathon thinking like you should finish it in the first place. Remember, this is your first full marathon so don’t pressure yourself and stick to a pace you feel comfortable with. It won’t cost you a lot if you want to walk, or even stop. There had been cases where a runner would push himself too much thus causing him to faint or worse, experience cardiac arrest. Always remember that each person has his own limitations and you have to know yours.
If you’re already tired, then get some rest. Resume running when you already regained your energy.
3. Get Some Rest
Part of proper training is having a rest day. It can even result in a stronger run the next day which will ultimately make your training more fruitful. Running long distances every day would not give your body the chance to heal and recover. Give yourself a day to relax by swimming, reading a book or watching a movie. Further, most runners feel so excited the night before the big run, that’s why they have a hard time sleeping.
Sleep rests your mind and reenergizes your body and without enough sleep, you will easily feel exhausted during the run.
4. Proper Training
Running a marathon is a test of both your physical and mental toughness, thus the importance of proper training. Don’t go thinking that you’re ready for a marathon just because you ran 21 kilometres in the treadmill. You have to assess how you felt after running – were you so exhausted? Do you feel like you could still go on further? Does your leg ache that you have a hard time walking?
These are some factors you have to consider too. So take it slow and don’t pressure yourself too much.
5. Use the Right Pair of Running Shoes
Running a marathon may take some time especially for first-time runners. Running shoes that do not provide the proper support may lead to a slower time, or worse, injuries.
The kind of running shoes to use will depend on your type of feet and this can actually make a huge difference.
Completing a full marathon can be the most exhilarating feeling. But before going into marathons, make sure you have the right amount of preparation to keep you healthy and strong during the race.