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Preparing To Run A Marathon

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Have you ever thought about challenging yourself by actually running a marathon? We all know of people who participate in marathons on a routine basis, almost as if they are addicted to it. They no sooner finish one than they feel that it is time to start preparing for another. Besides being incredibly motivated, these people are typically slim, healthy and in great shape.
What type of person do you have to be to run a marathon? Do you have to be a gym rat or a natural athlete? The truth is that people of all ages and from all walks of life participate in these grueling runs. Many of these individuals are not particularly athletic and have had no previous experience with any type of running. For a wide variety of reasons, they have decided to get themselves ready for an experience that they can be proud of for the rest of their lives.
If you are considering tackling this very ambitious goal, there are some tips that may help you on your way. Understand your body and what your personal limitations may be and work within that framework. People with numerous health issues are still able to participate in marathons. They simply do it at their own pace. Begin a work-out regiment that will strengthen your core and improve your stamina. Use weights and other exercises to help accomplish this and train at least three days a week in the beginning. You will want to be sure to get enough rest and to refuel by eating a healthy diet which will allow you to expend the necessary energy for your training. You should plan on running at least three days a week, preferably on alternate days from your strength training and then increase the distance (and speed if your wish) on one day of each week. Even if you have never been a runner before, once you get into your training program and stick with it, you will be surprised at quickly your body will adapt. Start slowly with your pace and then gradually work to get faster until you can run thirty or forty minutes at a stretch at least twice a week. Vary your terrain by running flat surfaces as well as hills and trails. A couple of months before the date of your marathon, you should be increasing your mileage to 20 miles one day during the week. Do not attempt to do the “long runs” on back to back days as your body needs time to recover. When you are a 2-3 weeks out from the big day, cut your mileage back to 10 or 12 miles on the days you run in order to save maximum energy for the race.
Make the commitment to start training now so that you can enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of accomplishing your very first marathon. Chances are that there will be many more to come.

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in Basketball Uniforms and Portable Scoreboards