Training for a marathon can be an incredibly hard endeavor, especially if you aren’t normally a runner. It takes time, dedication, and careful attention to both your activity and level of nutrition. Luckily, there are certain ways to make sure that your marathon training does well. Here are a few essential tips that can turn you from amateur to pro when it comes to not only getting in shape for a marathon, but also making sure that you come out a winner.
Choose the Right Equipment
Effective running requires more than just your body. As with any job, you need to choose the right equipment. In this case, this means picking out clothing and shoes that will allow you to move effectively. A good running shoe needs to be well-vented and flexible so your foot can move naturally while still getting the support you need. Your clothes should include cotton or some other breathable material and shouldn’t be too baggy, as this would cause you to run less effectively. Sweat bands to keep your vision clear and a lightweight water bottle will also be helpful.
Stay Hydrated and Nutrition-Focused
Most Americans have trouble staying hydrated on a day to day basis. You absolutely cannot afford to get lazy about hydration when you train for a marathon. Make sure you get at least eight glasses of water a day, and add another before and after any workout. You should also pay attention to nutrition during your training. Focus on proteins and simple carbs that will digest easily in your body and which will provide you with lots of nutrition. Any heavier foods should wait until the evening after your training is over.
Build up to a Marathon Distance
You don’t train for a marathon by running the full 26 miles or even half of that in your first few tries. Start by building up slowly, targeting distances such as one to three miles which you may be more comfortable with. As you approach longer distances, make sure that you take occasional breaks from running to walk for a period of time. In general, if you run for 15 minute stretches, walk for five minutes in between. You will gradually build up to running the full distance and will eventually be able to go for the full 26-mile stretch.
Take the Extra Step to Win
You can train for a marathon all you want, but you need to be ready to take the next step if you want to win it all. To win a marathon, you need to make sure that you know where your strengths as a runner lie. If you are a natural sprinter, your goal should not to be to lead throughout but rather to keep pace with the leaders. Then, as you near the finish, you can focus on sprinting the last leg to make sure you take the lead. For distance runners, the goal is to make sure you can keep a strong pace throughout, even if you start to get tired.
If you train for a marathon using the tips outlined above, you will find yourself in great shape not only to do well with the marathon, but also to have a chance to win the entire thing with enough practice.