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How to Prepare for Your First Marathon
Before summer rolls around, many athletic-minded folks take part in a marathon for a challenging workout that can really pay off. If you've never run a marathon, it's never too late to start! Here's what you need to know.
Before summer rolls around, many athletic-minded folks take part in a marathon for a challenging workout that can really pay off. If you've never run a marathon, it's never too late to start! Dozens of half marathons and walk-a-thons are sponsored by various vendors and competitions around the country, and you don't need to be in incredible shape to complete one. Running a marathon can be a very rewarding experience; it can test your physical and mental stamina, and help you work towards a new goal. If you're looking a new activity and goal to set your sights on, a marathon can give you a fresh perspective! Here are some easy ways to prepare for your first!
Marathon Essential #1: Focus on building endurance
Every workout should be a part of your Master Plan, and you'll want to take small but strategic steps towards your goal. IF you're planning on running a full 5-10K, work your way up to a daily schedule with running and walking. No matter what your fitness level might be, you need to start slow and test your individual limits.
Marathon Essential #2: Set a specific goal
It won't do you any good to simply run until you're tired during your training period. You will need to set some specific goals; to begin, four weekly workouts that concentrate on running only set you on the right start. You want to test your heart rate after 45 minutes to makes sure you are reaching at least 75% of your maximum heart rate. After that, build up your distance on each 45-50 minute run.
Marathon Essential #3: Plan for at least 6 months ahead
You want to make running a regular part of your schedule for at least 26 weeks; this gives you ample time to build up stamina and endurance, until it only becomes natural to run a complete marathon!
Marathon Essential #4: Join a running club
Self-motivation only goes so far; on the darkest of days when you just don't feel like meeting your running goals, a running club can be the reason that you stay on track! Look up a local running club in your area, or locate a coach that can help you through the season.
Marathon Essential #5: Invest in good running gear
Running shoes, quality clothing, and a dependable wristwatch are all you need to get started. Make sure you are fitted properly for the right size shoes, and you avoid risking injury. Don't forget that sunscreen if you choose to run outdoors!
Marathon Essential #6: Eat like a champion
There's no better time to shape up your eating habits than prep-season for your marathon. Eating plenty of healthy carbohydrates, low fat meals, and staying hydrated are your goals. Carry a water bottle whenever possible, and learn how to formulate a healthy eating strategy that will give you the right energy to get through training. Combined with adequate rest, you'll be prepping your body for peak performance.
The first marathon is usually the toughest, but it's also the most rewarding. As you become more comfortable with the process, you can start to set some new goals for each season. Your self confidence will naturally increase after each one, and you'll be training your mind and body in the process.