Around 0.5% of the U.S population has successfully run a full marathon.
This proves how challenging marathons are from having a positive mindset to the grueling distance. Perhaps you’re planning to take on a marathon and are looking for advice.
Sound familiar? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our nine marathon training tips.
1. Create a Strategy
When training for a marathon, you must outline a strategy to cover any hiccups along the way. First, look at your current schedule and see how training will fit in your life. How will you add more runs in a busy workweek? What will you do if you can’t run because of the terrible weather?
If you’ve had less than a year of running, dedicate the upcoming year to getting used to marathon training so you can compete with no injuries. Runners who have finished several half marathons should follow a 24-week plan of training and they’ll likely succeed. And runners, with many years under their belt, only need a 16-week training plan.
You must make time for adequate rest, as many runners forget to recover after workouts. All athletes need a day of complete rest once a week or at least after 10 days so they can return stronger. Plus, runners must warm-up before each training, regardless of the duration, to prevent injury.
Not sure what to wear for a marathon? Wear sweat-wicking fabrics, including your underwear and socks. Choose shorts because capris or tights make you overheat and use this cream to prevent chafing.
2. Be Consistent
“How to train for a marathon?” You ask.
Consistency is the key to seeing results and completing a marathon. To be consistent, plan your training so you know how many times you’ll run a week, the best route, and how many miles you plan to cover. Once you’ve decided that, do this consistently for the 18 to 24 weeks of training so it becomes a habit.
3. Include Marathon Tempo Running
If you’re unsure how to run a marathon, include tempo running in your strategy. For instance, if you plan to run 20 miles at 6:00 per mile then use this as the basis of your training. Many runners want to finish the event in a timely fashion, but competitive runners want to beat their everyday pace so it depends on preference.
4. Simulate Race Conditions
Try to simulate race conditions on the lead up to the big day. You should practice water stops and consider the marathon’s conditions.
There may be a steady decline so brush up on your downhill running so you’re not shocked on the day. You should also train at the same time the marathon starts and in the predicted weather. Don’t forget to do a dress rehearsal a few weeks before the event so you can get used to your running shoes, socks, and pre-race meals.
5. Prioritize Strength Training
Your training before running a marathon must include strength training because runners suffer injuries when there’s an imbalance in their muscles.
Do strength training twice a week, focusing on your upper and core strength, so it improves your posture and breathing while you run. Include planks, squats, and forward lunges and commit to 30-minute sessions for great results.
6. Train as a Group
Running as a group is a fantastic way to boost morale and motivate you during training. Plus, we all have those days when we feel sluggish so your friend can encourage you to workout.
But make sure your group doesn’t get competitive and turn the workout into a race as it’s unproductive. It’s handy to choose a runner who is an excellent judge of pace and let them control the run’s tempo.
7. Listen to Your Body
Never ignore your body, otherwise, you’ll end up injuring yourself. If you’ve felt fatigued for several days, then spend the next two days resting so your body can recover. And if you feel any pain in your leg or feet, schedule an appointment with a sports medicine doctor because it’s likely not going to disappear by itself.
8. Prepare Mentally
A large part of training for a marathon is being mentally prepared. Constantly tell yourself that you can cover the distance, especially on days when you’ve had a bad run.
Know that it’s normal to skip one or two runs because it happens to every marathon runner. Focus on what you’ve already accomplished, confide in your running friends, and keep going because you know it’ll be worth it.
9. Include Strides, Drills, and Stretching
Add a set of strides in your training as it promotes good leg turnover, perfect for long-distance running. You should also do drills as they focus on a small part of your running stride and enhance it, useful for later in the marathon when your major muscles are fatigued.
And don’t forget stretches because they improve your performance and prevent injuries. The trick is to combine strides, drills, and stretching so your quads, hamstrings, calves, and upper body are strong and supple.
Those Are Our Marathon Training Tips
Now you know nine marathon training tips to help you accomplish your dream.
You must create an iron-clad strategy that you’ll stick to, consistently train, and always listen to your body to reduce the risk of injury. It’s also a mind game, so stay positive and lean onto your running friends for motivation when things get tough.
But, most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process. Happy running!
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