The best way to prepare for a marathon could be different things. Over the past decade, marathons became increasingly popular in the fitness community. While it is not an absolute necessity to have years of experience, running a marathon requires you to at least be healthy and have the right amount of training. The ideal length of training for a marathon should take no less than 16 weeks. With this in mind, you can go from couch potato to a marathon finisher in 6 months or less.
There are a few essential things you need to consider for you to ensure that you are in the best possible condition. Running 26.2 miles is a challenge, but having the right preparation and application makes finishing the marathon an achievable goal. Here’s a handy guide to the dos and don’ts before running a marathon
Do’s Of Preparing For A Marathon
Do Check Your Gear Carefully
Before you start running, you need to find the proper shoes. It is essential to find use one that fits perfectly. You may need to buy a new for this, but it is undoubtedly worth it. If you are purchasing a new pair, be sure to ask what their return policy is. You may need to try a bunch before you find the right one. Fortunately, because of the online competition these days, most return policies are remarkably liberal.
Choosing the right shirt and pair of shorts is as important as shoes. Similar to shoes, you will need to find the right fit. Find clothes that are less prone to chaffing. It is essential not to try anything new on the day of the training, so be sure to try out all your gear during training.
Once you feel satisfied with your chosen gear, lay them out well in advance, even a few days before the event. This ensures you don’t forget anything, and you’ll have enough time to acquire anything that you are missing.
Do Plan For A Dynamic Workout
Good runners run a lot while great runners do other forms of exercise as well. Do other things aside from running, such as joining a yoga class, playing casual soccer games, or even riding a bike a few times a week.
Long runs are arguably the most crucial part of marathon training; however, speedwork is equally as important. Incorporating speed work in your practice could mean the difference between hitting your goal time and not.
Do Include Nutrition In Your Training Plans
Make sure to fuel yourself adequately during your training. Having the right nutrition during the training will help build you up to attain the perfect condition for the marathon. Protein and carbs should be a staple in your diet. Protein helps build muscle, recover from injuries faster, and avoid injuries altogether while carbs give you the energy needed to keep running.
When it comes to energy gels, different brands contain varying quantities of carbohydrate, protein, and caffeine. Make sure to find out which works for you best during training. As mentioned above, don’t try anything new on race day. You have all the time to test out products during training.
The Major Don’ts Before A Marathon
Don’t Forget To Rest Your Body
Don’t rely on your training plan to tell you when to take a rest. Rest your body when you need to. Skipping a single day of training won’t hold you back, but it may help keep you from getting severely injured. Missing a single day of exercise is better than skipping a whole week because of serious injuries.
You may have set rest days on your training plan, but you certainly are an expert at decerning your body condition. When you feel too tired, sore, or run down, take a day off. If you think you are coming down with a cold, take a day off. Getting to the marathon as fit and healthy as possible should be your number priority.
Don’t Overdo Carbs
A lot of beginners are expecting that they have as many carbs as they want while training for a marathon, but the truth is, you only need carbs in line with the running you are doing that day. It is not recommended to shovel in platefuls of carbs when your only doing an easy 5k run.
Excess carbs not used as fuel during a workout are quickly stored as fat. Putting on weight during training because of too many carbs is not going to help you with the race.
Don’t Deprive Yourself Of Sleep
Recovery is vital when training for a marathon. Having the right amount of sleep is the best way to initiate healing. You must be getting early nights and allowing maximum recovery during the final weeks leading up to the race.
Getting too excited on the night before the race might tempt you to stay up too late. This is something you need to avoid. Additionally, you need to be lying down as much as you can on the day before the race. The day before the track is a critical period in your preparation.
Don’t Neglect the Importance of Pre-race Recon
If the marathon is held in your locality, make sure to grab the opportunity to explore the race route before the big day. It is the perfect chance to do a simulation run on the course. You can even practice your long runs on the actual course.
If running the course is not possible, you can also drive the course instead to familiarize your self with the landmarks and the elevation changes of the road.
Don’t Over Hydrate Before and During the Race
The importance of drinking water before and during a marathon is common knowledge for experienced runners. However, the body has a limit on how much liquid it can absorb. Drinking too much water during the course of a 26-mile race can actually do more harm than good.
The abundance of water causes the cells to swell. Most cells can adapt to change. However, the brain cannot. In worse cases, this can be fatal if not treated immediately. Getting a good idea of how much you need to consume during the race can be determined during training.