Ready to run your best marathon yet? Whether a beginner or an experienced racer, these marathon training tips will help you prepare for a successful race. Follow this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to crossing the finish line feeling strong and accomplished.
If you’re new to running, or it’s been a while since you last ran a marathon, it’s important to start your training gradually. Gradual training allows your body to get used to the activity and build strength, speed, and endurance over time. Your body also needs time to adjust to the high impact of running long distances. Start with a few shorter runs each week and increase your mileage as you become more comfortable. You can try running 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes. You can add more time or distance when your body becomes more accustomed to running.
Get Fitted for the Right Shoes
Wearing ill-fitting shoes will not only make running more difficult, but it can also lead to injuries such as blisters, black toenails, and shin splints. To choose the right fit for you, know what type of feet you have. There are three types: normal, flat, or high arches.
Normal/Neutral Feet: Runners with neutral feet can wear lightweight running shoes with minimum medial support.
Flat Feet: Runners with flat feet should look for shoes with extra cushioning to absorb shock and more arch support to provide stability.
High Arches: In this case, shoes with more cushioning and padding in the midsole are usually the most comfortable.
Incorporate Strength Training
To run your best marathon, you need strong muscles—not just in your legs, but in your whole body. That’s why incorporating strength training into your marathon training regimen is so important! Strength-training exercises such as squats and lunges help improve your speed and power, which are essential when running long distances.
You can also incorporate exercises like planks and V-ups to build a strong core, which will help you maintain good posture while running. Try joining a gym or signing up for a yoga class to help with your strength training. You can also include bodyweight exercises in your running routine, such as push-ups and burpees. These are sure to give you a good workout and help you build strength in no time.
Make Sure You’re Eating Right
Eating healthy is important year-round, but it’s especially crucial when training for a marathon. Eating foods high in carbohydrates will help give you sustained energy during those long runs. In contrast, protein-rich foods will help repair your muscles after tough workouts.
Choose healthy, unprocessed sources of carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes when seeking healthy carbohydrates. Avoid processed carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary cereals, which can cause an energy crash shortly after eating. Carbohydrates are essential in fuelling your runs. Choose lean sources such as fish, chicken, eggs, and beans for your protein. Protein helps the body by aiding in the repair of muscles after intense workouts and can help reduce fatigue and soreness.
Take Rest Days
Trying to fit in as many miles as possible can be tempting when you’re in the thick of marathon training. However, it’s important to remember to listen to your body and take rest days when you need them. Overdoing it can lead to burnout or injuries—neither of which are fun (or helpful) when trying to train for a big race. So make sure you’re giving yourself 1-2 days off per week from running (and cross-training) to let your body recover and come back even stronger for your next workout.
Rest allows your body to replenish energy stores, repair muscles, and avoid burnout. It also helps prevent injuries, allowing you to stay on track with your training. A few days off won’t derail your progress, so feel free to take them!
Manage Your Pain ASAP
It’s important to take any pain seriously, especially when running long distances. Make sure to stretch before and after your runs to keep your muscles loose, and incorporate foam rolling into your routine for better circulation. If you experience some pain during a run, don’t ignore it—stop for a few minutes and assess the situation.
Pain can range from mild muscle soreness to more severe injuries, so it’s important to determine the cause and address it as soon as possible. If it’s getting worse, take some time off. If necessary, consult a doctor or physical therapist to manage the pain. They will be able to determine the underlying cause and prescribe exercises or other treatments that may be necessary. Taking care of injuries promptly will ensure that you can stay on track with your training before going into the big race.
Running a marathon is no easy task, but following the simple tips in this article can make training a lot easier. Make sure to eat right, strength train, and take rest days when needed to be at your best on race day. And most importantly, don’t forget to listen to your body—if something doesn’t feel right, stop and assess the situation. This way, you’ll be well on your way to crossing that finish line. Good luck and happy running!