As I type this I am reminded of how much work running a marathon really is, and how good it feels when it is finally over. You too will understand this once its done. Preparing for and running a marathon is as much a mental game as it is physical. You will come across feelings you didn’t even know existed, and you will need to push your body through. Hopefully my tips below will help you gain a little insight as to how to prepare to make that push when the time is right.
Ready to toe the starting line? Great, let’s get going!
Pick a race that is obtainable.
Travel, cost, and timeline play a major factor in choosing the right race. How much will it cost to get there? Will you drive there, or fly? Do you have enough time to properly train for it? These are all important questions when finding a race that fits not only your abilities, but also your budget. What will rooms cost when you’re there? Are you taking time off of work to run? Once you’ve figured out what race you want to register for based on your ability and your budget, you are one step closer to being a marathon runner.
Find a Training Plan.
There are many training plan options available online. Some runners may rely on a coach to lay out their strategy. Even friends who have run in marathons before can be great sources of training advice to let you know just what it takes to cross the finish line. Make sure first and foremost that the training fits your schedule. Look closely when forming a plan exactly what is involved in training. Decide how long you will have to train each week and when you can fit that time into your day. Make sure you get the support of your friends, family and job. If everyone is onboard in helping you succeed? Go for it!
Get your gear straight.
Running in its most basic form requires only a good pair of shoes, and even, that is debatable. You will be lacing up those shoes a lot over the next couple of months, and if you don’t like them, you won’t want to put them on. Same goes with your clothing. Wear something comfortable. Find what works now and stick with it so you know exactly what to expect come race day.
Set a goal.
Whether its to just finish, or qualify for Boston, it doesn’t matter. Knowing in your head what you are shooting for will keep you accountable on those long lonely runs when you just want to give up (or when your hungry and you just want to stop and eat everything!). For me, I always have 2 goals going into a race, besides finishing. I have a goal time, and then a “perfect scenario.” It’s what’s called a PUSH goal. I believe it is always good to have something to push for and also something to fall back to.
Run a half-marathon.
Find a way to fit it into your schedule, sign up, and convince a friend to do it with you. It will give you a solid feeling of what race day will be like, and also give you the sense of accomplishment you need to keep you going. Once you finish one, you’re not going to want to stop. I mean, races are fun! Planning a half into your schedule will give you a nice build to the full.
I hope this list has helped you better plan for what’s ahead. I will warn you, though, running marathons is addictive! Once you get hooked, there’s no stopping you. Please come back and comment after your first race. I’d love to know how you did!
Oh, and one last word of advice? Sleep. Let your body recover. Every mile counts, even the bad ones. And no matter what, have fun and be proud of yourself!
Stuck in the office instead of exercising the way you’d like? Desk job have you feeling a little stiff? Check out this great article from our friends at Fatherly on The 6 Exercises For Guys Who Spend Their Days At A Desk!
You can read more from Jesse right here.