Running a marathon is seen as one of the biggest athletic achievements anyone can make. Even if you don’t place first, being able to run 26 miles in one go is a humongous accomplishment. However, you can’t just show up the day of the race and expect to keep up if you haven’t done any training. This is a beginner’s guide to marathon racing.
1. Start slowly
When we say to start slowly, we literally mean to start slowly. The adage “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is meant to reflect the importance of pacing yourself in this type of competition. If you’re trying to run as fast as possible right away, you’re going to find yourself on the verge of collapse before the first mile is up. Run at as reasonable a pace as possible and gradually increase your speed. It can help to remember that the point is not to win the race but to prove to yourself that you can make a goal and see it through.
2. Have the right gear
No, you don’t need to have the most technologically advanced running shoes for your marathon, but they should be able to get the job done. Find a good pair that will fit your feet well. Make sure you break them in as much as possible before the race. To help protect your feet from soreness, look for inserts to provide support and cushioning.
3. Talk to your doctor
Training for and running a marathon can put a lot of strain on your body. Even if you’re regularly getting exercise, you should still consult with your doctor in advance of the race. Listen to their advice regarding any lifestyle changes you may need to make. You might need to change your diet before you start running. The demands of a marathon should not go overlooked, and you need to consider your doctor’s advice thoroughly.
4. Train regularly
Most of the work with a marathon occurs not on the day of the race but in the months leading up to it. You have to develop the discipline to constantly work out, especially when you don’t feel like it. Ideally, you should be able to run every day. On days you can’t make time for it, you should at least be getting some aerobics in. Remember the goal you’re working towards, and it’ll be much easier for you to stay motivated.
Running a marathon isn’t easy. But if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. You need to put in as much preparation as possible. Before you run a marathon, you need to understand what your body is capable and what habits need to be adjusted. As you cross the finish line, you’ll be glad that you put in as much work as you did.