How to Train for a Marathon (Part III)

When race day comes you don’t have to try to do extra to prepare. Stick to your normal routine.

Race Day Tips

Don’t attempt anything new on race day including no new shirt, shoes, or shorts. Don’t drink four cups of coffee if you always have just one. Your long training runs are when you must fine-tune your gear, clothing, and fueling strategies.

Before the Race

Hydrate well for a number of days going up to your marathon. Drink a huge glass of water before you go to bed the evening before race day. Drink another one in the morning.

Eat a light, high-carbohydrate breakfast a number of hours before the beginning of the race. Bars, bagels, oatmeal, and fruit all are excellent. 

Layer up with Vaseline in any spots vulnerable to chafing. You most likely learned where during training runs.

Get to the starting line beforehand. If need be, go to the port-a-potty at least 40 minutes before the official start time. The lines might be long.

The temperature usually rises over the progression of the race, so don’t overdress. If you’re really chilly at the start, put an oversize trash bag over you to stay warm until the starting gun goes off.

If you decide to run with music, check ahead of time whether earbuds are allowed in the race; not all marathons allow them. Running with headphones can be hazardous if you don’t hear what’s going on around you, especially if you’re not on a closed course. Lastly, there’s something special about hearing the sounds of the crowds and your fellow runners.

During the Race

Begin slowly. It’s easy to get sucked up in race-day hype. But beginning too fast is a huge rookie mistake. There will be lots of miles over which to increase your pace if you’re feeling amazing.

Don’t fly pass every aid station or try to drink something while running full speed. Either practice drinking while running before race day or just stop for a couple of seconds to drink.

Bathroom lines are longest at the first few aid stations. If you can wait for another few miles without discomfort, it might save you time.

If you have a friend coming to cheer you on, plan ahead at which places along the course she or he will meet you. A friend along the way can be a big boost.

 

How to Train for a Marathon (Part II)

Hydration is important.

Hydrating and Fueling on the Run

Hydration

Nearly all marathons include water and aid stations along the course. If you decide to bring your own water on race day, buy a hydration pack or belt beforehand and get use to running with it. Don’t try something new on race day.

While training, of course, you will be doing lots of long runs without the advantage of aid stations. Several tried-and-true techniques to think about:

  • With a hydration belt or pack, bring your own water 
  • Do long runs on a short loop course, so you can put water in one spot along the way.
  • Plan your long run route to pass water fountains (but during colder months, be sure that they’re turned on).
  • Stash water bottles along your route the evening or morning before your run.

Fueling

You’ve most likely heard about the marvel numerous marathoners experience somewhere around the 20-mile mark, referred to as “bonking” or “hitting the wall.”

Your body can only hold a specific amount of glycogen. It’s your key source of energy throughout the marathon. As this level becomes reduced over the course of your marathon, your muscles will start to feel heavy and tire. While no quantity of fuel consumption during the race can completely replace your depleted glycogen, consuming little amounts of carbohydrates can aid in stopping you from hitting the dreaded wall.

Energy chews or gels are simple to carry and the easiest to digest. However, a fan energy bar or a couple of pieces of fruit can do the trick as well. For any race over two hours, try to take in around 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour.

As with everything, be sure to try out several types of fuel on your training runs to find out what your stomach tolerates best, so you can fuel with confidence on race day.

 

How to Train for a Marathon (Part I)

Start small and work up to the larger marathons.

For numerous runners, the need to do a marathon is all about doing a personal challenge. You may want to test your limits or prove that you are able to go the distance. Maybe a loved one has talked you into it. Perhaps you’d like to be healthier, lose weight, or raise awareness for a charity.

Regardless of your reason, keep it in mind and tell yourself of it frequently during the months that come ahead. When the weather is nasty or when your legs are tired, sustaining your motivation will aid you in getting out the door.

Getting Started

Be conscious of your limits: The 26.2 miles in a marathon put you at a truly higher risk for injury than your everyday neighborhood jogs. Talk with your physician before beginning any training program.

Start early: Conventional wisdom suggests that aspiring marathoners run steady base mileage for at least 12 months before starting on a marathon training program.

One of the most typical causes of injury is increasing weekly mileage too fast, too soon. Therefore, don’t underestimate the significance of unfailingly running at least 25–30 miles a week consistently before pledging to train for a marathon.

Start small: Run a couple of short races like 5Ks, 10Ks, or a half marathon. This is the perfect way to get ready mentally and physically for the first marathon.

Choosing a First Marathon

Marathons range from low-key, quiet races on backcountry roads to spectator-lined city races with millions of runners. To help you get used to the race vibe and find your preference, run a couple of shorter races, volunteer at marathons, or cheer on a friend.

Selecting a marathon close to home might provide home-field advantage with the chance to run on familiar roads; on the other hand, picking a “destination” race can truly stoke your motivation fire in the months going up to race day.

What Does It Take to Win a Marathon? (Part III)

Speed Work

Speed work is a voluntary element to put into your training program. It can enhance your aerobic capacity and make your easy runs feel truly easy. Tempo runs and intervals are the most common forms of speed work.

Intervals are a set of repetitions of a short, specific distance run at a considerably faster pace than usual, with recovery jogs in between. For example, you might run 5 X 1-mile repeats at a hard pace, with five minutes of walking or slow jogging between the mile repeats.

Rest and Recovery

Rest days mean NO running AT ALL! This allows your muscles to recover from strenuous workouts and help stop mental burnout. The biggest enemy of any hopeful marathoners is injury and the number one protection against injury is rest.

If you are just dying to do something active on your rest days, try cross-training. Cross-training includes hiking, walking, swimming, lifting weights, cycling, yoga, or any other active pursuit that isn’t high-impact.

14 – 21 days before your marathon, scale back on the intensity of your runs to allow your body to rest for marathon day.

Hydration

Almost all marathons have aid stations and water along the marathon route. If you’re going to bring your own water on race day, purchase a hydration belt or pack well in advance and get use to running with it on. Never, ever try it out on the day of the marathon.

During training, you’ll be doing lots of runs without the advantage of aid stations. Several techniques to consider:

  • Bring your own water using a hydration belt or pack, or even handheld bottles
  • Do a short loop course or long runs so you can put water in one spot along the way
  • Create your long run route to bypass water fountains
  • Put water bottles along your route the night or morning before the marathon

What Does It Take to Win a Marathon? (Part II)

The Building Blocks of Marathon Training

The principal elements of marathon training are:

Base mileage. Increase your weekly mileage over time. Run 3 to 5 times per week.

The long run. Do a long run every 7–10 days so your body can get use to long distances.

Speed work. Practice speed runs and intervals to improve your cardio capacity.

Rest and recovery. Sufficient rest aids in averting mental burnout and injuries.

Base Mileage

Most marathon training plans are from 10 to 25 weeks. 1st time marathoners should try to build their weekly mileage up to 55 miles over the four months leading up to the marathon.

3 to 5 runs a week is enough. A majority of these runs must be done at a relaxed pace. You should run at a simple enough pace to be capable of carrying on a conversation.

When constructing base mileage, don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% from week to week.

Your next step is to increase to a long run every week. This should be attempted every 5–10 days, increasing the long run by 1-2 miles every week. Every 3 weeks, snip off a few miles so you don’t overdo it and risk injury. For instance, you could run 13 miles one weekend, 14 miles the next, then 15 miles, and then 13 again before moving on to 16 on the 5th weekend.

Doing these runs at a considerably slower pace than usual increases confidence, allows your body to get use to longer distances, and schools you on how to burn fat for fuel.

Remember, always let your body warm up and cool down with a couple of easy miles at the start and finish of any workout.

 

What Does It Take to Win a Marathon? (Part I)

For many runners, the wish to do a marathon is about individual challenge. You could want to prove to yourself that you can go the distance or test your limits. Perhaps someone has talked you into it. Maybe you’d like to get healthier, raise awareness for a charity, or simply lose weight.

Regardless your reason, keep a grasp on it and remind yourself of it often during the upcoming months. When the weather is nasty or your legs get tired, sustaining your motive will aid you in getting out the door.

For a summary on how to get going, such as stretching techniques, proper mechanics, and shoe selection, keep reading.

Getting Started

Know your limits. The 26.2 miles in a marathon will have you at a considerably higher risk for injury than your daily runs. Talk with your doctor before starting any training program.

Begin early: Conventional wisdom suggests that would-be marathoners run regular base mileage for at least 12 months before starting a marathon training program.

One of the usual causes of injury is developing weekly mileage too fast and too soon. Don’t undervalue the significance of steadily running between 20-40 miles per week on a regular basis before starting to train for a marathon.

Begin small: Running a few shorter races, such as 5Ks, 10Ks, or a half of a marathon, is a great way to prepare mentally and physically for your 1st marathon.

Selecting a First Marathon

Marathons range from low-key, quiet races on backcountry roads to spectator-lined city races with thousands of runners. To assist you in getting use to the race’s vibe and recognize your preference, run a couple of shorter races, volunteer at marathons, or cheer on a friend.

Selecting a marathon close to home may give you “home field advantage” with the chance to run on familiar streets. Nonetheless, selecting a race somewhere else can keep your motivation fire burning.