I have been running the marathon race for few years now as well as guiding few new runners since the last couple of years. The activity is not just a mere run but needs a thorough preparation and readiness. It is a long-distance and challenging race that need perseverance. A lot of beginners who have just started their long runs have been asking me how to prepare for an upcoming marathon.
It is important to note that a marathon is strictly a 26.2 miles (42.195 Km) run. This is not an easy task, but a prepared runner will always be the best.
The current world time record for the full marathon is at 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds
If you are a beginner and you do not know where to start your preparations, then don’t be stressed. As a marathoner and a coach, I will give you some preparation tips. The following are some tips on how to prepare for a marathon for beginners.
Have a Training Log
Here you need to write down your daily training proceedings. You will need to record your race timings somewhere, distance, the marathon shoes you used, amount of water you drink, the energizers you use, and your feeling. It is essential to write down because you cannot remember everything you do daily.
Therefore keeping a training log for marathon will help you in the long run. This will also help you compare daily your workouts and measure your progress.
Train for 4 to 5 days a week
On the first two days, make sure you run short runs for strength and speed. On the third and the fourth day do long runs maintaining a constant speed. During the long races, you can include hills to build your strength and perseverance. On the fifth day repeat the long tracks but increase the rate at intervals of like 15 minutes or a certain distance.
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Hydration and Body Fueling
Note that in the marathon, there is an experience known as “bonking” or “bonking. It is experienced at around the 20-mile point. The cause of this experience comes as a result of glycogen depletion in your body. You need to hydrate and fuel yourself during the run. Water and body fuels are essential during a marathon.
A few of the marathon races do include water and aid stations along your way. You need to prepare yourself with a hydration pack/belt and some energy bars to consume along the run. Anything rich in carbohydrates will energize you and prevent you from bonking. I would advise you to try different fuels during your training to choose the one friendly to your stomach. You can also take electrolytes energy drinks which contains Maltodextrin and fructose for sustained energy.
These are effervescent tablets that delivers quick-release of energy and replenishes water, electrolytes, carbohydrates, performance boosting amino acids and provides endurance to athletes on the go.
During the Race
Always start with a slow pace and increase your speed in intervals along the run. Starting with a fast speed will break your energy and may end up giving up with the race. Make sure that your running shoes and costumes are comfortable and light. Choose your right running attire during your marathon preparation.
Care and Rest after the Race
Immediately after running, make sure you walk around or jog to let your muscles cool down. Drink plenty of water and take some kind of sports drinks that will help you to cool down your body. Do soft body stretching and eat carbohydrates. Have enough time to rest before resuming to your daily training. Take care of your injuries and visit a physician if necessary.
A marathon is a challenging race that needs effort and thorough preparation. As a beginner, you can’t wake up and participate in a marathon. You need to prepare yourself following the tips I have given you. I have been a marathoner for seven years and marathoners’ coach for five years, so the tips above will help you become a successful marathoner.