So, you’ve done the decent thing and signed up for that charity marathon at work. While the buzz of doing something like this can last a while, you may soon start to feel the dawning realization of what you have taken on! Even if you are planning to run a marathon just because you fancy the challenge, it can soon seem a bit daunting after signing up. It may not sound much when you say it quickly, but 42 kilometers is actually quite a long way – especially if you are not used to running distance or exercising regularly.
The great news is that there is no need to panic. It all comes down to preparation and getting your training right leading up to the race. If you get all that in place, then you will be ready to run the marathon when the big day arrives. If you are looking for some top marathon training tips, then the below should help out and get you in fine shape.
Get checked over first
This may be a bit of a boring and obvious tip, but it is worth doing before you get stuck into marathon training seriously. See your doctor for a once over before beginning to train for a marathon. This will ensure that you can run the race and train with total peace of mind.
Get the right kit
Another very important tip is to have all the essential fitness gear that you will need to train safely. Proper running shoes that fit well are vital here to protect your feet and cushion them from the shock of pounding the roads. One great tip to use from the professionals is buying specialist compression clothing to wear. This usually fits under your normal gear and helps to support your body and reduce any soreness after training. This not only means that you lose less training time from feeling stiff but also helps protect your muscles and bones when running long distances. Tommie Copper is the leading name in sports compression wear that many use – check out the latest from Tommie Copper to find out more.
Start gradually and increase
Do not make the mistake of trying to run all 42 kilometers in your first training session! Instead, you should aim to start at a lower distance and build up gradually until you are able to complete bigger distances a week or two before it actually starts. Most pros will run a set amount of miles per week and then increase this bit by bit over the training weeks so that their body has the chance to adapt. When you feel ready to up your weekly mileage, only do it by up to 10% to stay safe.
Build in rest weeks
This may sound a little crazy especially if there is not a lot of time until the race, but it is a tip worth using. Every fourth week, try to cut back on the miles a bit and let your body have a week when it is not being pushed so much. This will help to avoid any overtraining injuries and also ensure that you can continue training at your peak level during the other weeks. You should still train on your rest week, but just go a little bit steadier in terms of miles.
Keep an eye on your resting heart rate
One clever way to help structure your training is to check your pulse each morning, before you do anything and when you are at rest. This resting heart rate is key because as you get fitter through training, it should come down. If you have mornings when it is more than 10% above the usual figure, then this could be a sign of fatigue or that you need a rest. If this does happen, then take it easy that day or even have a day off altogether. You should find that this helps you to stay healthy and keeps you from burning out.
Prepare to succeed
As with everything in life, it is important to prepare properly when running a long-distance race such as a marathon. If you do this and train well, then you will be able to meet the challenge and feel great when you cross that finishing line. Hopefully, the above tips will help you out – if you combine these with plenty of rest and a good diet, then you will be giving yourself every chance of making it to the finish.