How to Prepare for a Marathon

Running a marathon is a great project to undertake, it will not only get you in fantastic shape but it will test you and your mental strength as you both train for the marathon and run the actual event itself. Marathon running is far from easy regardless of whether you are like Steven Rindner and like to specialize in half marathon and 10k events or if you go full steam ahead and run the 26 mile marathon.

If you are preparing for an upcoming marathon either for charity or for personal gain then here are some top tips to help you get ready for the big race.

Train For the Majority

When you are running your training miles you need to do so incrementally with an eye on consistency. Start off running 6 or 7 miles and so for a week or two, gradually increase your mileage as the weeks wear on up to 20-22 miles. The key is not being able to run this distance once, but multiple times to ensure that you can consistently run this kind of distance. You do not need to run the full 26 miles during your training, the crowd and the adrenalin of the marathon itself will carry you over the final 4 or 6 miles.

Stay Healthy

When you are in training to run a marathon the status of your health should be the number one focus, there are no days or nights off and you need to ensure that you are eating and drinking right in order to give you the best possible chance of success. Don’t take any unnecessary risks in your life, getting injured is not on the agenda here and if you have trained hard and then injure yourself doing something stupid then all of that hard work will have gone to waste.

Train Smart Not Hard

Training 7 days per week is not a good idea, much of your body’s strengthening and conditioning comes through the recovery period and it is vital that you give your body time to recover during your training. Many marathon runners even suggests tapering your training for up to 3 weeks around 2 months before a marathon, once you get back to training for the final month you body and muscles will be tuned to the discipline and they will feel stronger for your training.

Pace Pace Pace

One of the toughest techniques to get right when marathon running is pace, start out too quick and you’ll tire and run too slow and the race can seem never ending. You need to be realistic with your time goals and you should break the down in to 9 mile quarters. You will naturally post better speeds in your first and second quarters than in your final two so you should make a note of how fast you should be running in each one to match your time goals. Use your watch during training to clock these times and if it feels too difficult then alter them to give yourself some leeway during the marathon.