Tips Preparing for Your First Marathon

Running is a great form of exercise, but others step it up by joining marathons. For some, it’s a personal challenge to test their limits. For others, it’s just for the love of running. Perhaps you want to try your first marathon because it’s for charity, your friends talked you into it, or you simply want to start a new challenge for yourself? If so, there are preparations you need to do. In fact, others would even opt for speed training in Vernon Hills just to prepare themselves.

 So whether you are preparing on your own or with a personal trainer, here are some things to keep in mind:

 Know Your Limits

Running marathons is a huge undertaking and comes with higher risk than your routine morning runs. Thus, it is important to consult your doctor first to know if you are really fit for it. Also, start gradually. Don’t overwork yourself a week before the marathon date. If you could start running a base mileage months before the run, do so. One of the leading causes of injuries is running too fast and abruptly.

 Make a Plan

Create a plan that takes into consideration your abilities and limitations. Also, keep in mind your schedule. If you are to join a marathon, you should be able to run for 30 minutes straight, without interruption during your training. Also, include in your plan the mileage you will be running, cross training, and recovery exercises.

 Training Building Blocks

Build a weekly base mileage. Three to five runs per week is sufficient and should be done at a relaxed pace. When increasing your mileage per week, do not go over 10% that of the previous week. Then build a weekly long run – extending your run for about a mile or two each week. This should be done at least every seven to 10 days.

 Another aspect of your training is speed work. As mentioned earlier, some athletes go for speed training in Vernon Hills. While this is optional, speed work can enhance your aerobic capacity. Two ways to do this is through intervals and tempo runs. Interval is running a set of short distance at a faster pace than usual. Tempo run is the same as an interval but doing it for longer distances.

 Rest and Recovery

An essential part of your training is a time to rest and recover, and this means no running for the day. Injury is the number one enemy of any athlete, and rest and recovery are a great protection against it. If during your rest days you find it difficult to not do anything, do cross training instead. This may include other exercises, swimming, walking, yoga and other activities that are not as intensive as running.

 Stay Healthy

Probably one of the most neglected advice but is actually one of the most important is, “Stay healthy!” No matter how hard you train when your body is not healthy, you will surely end up injuring yourself. Take in enough carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Also, do not forget to hydrate. Buy a hydration belt or pack and carry it with you during your training so that you will get used to it. Try out energy bars, energy gels or chews and certain fruits when fueling during a run to know which works best for you. Never try something new during the marathon day itself.