Tips for running a marathon
Few races inspire as much respect and “fear” as the Marathon. For almost any runner the 42,195 km of the marathon is the ultimate challenge to which they aspire, and preparing for it involves a great investment of work, effort, patience, perseverance and determination.
Training for a marathon is a challenge so big that it can change your way of seeing life positively, both physically and mentally. You will gain self-confidence to reach your personal and sport goals and you will find that you have abilities that you didn’t even know yourself.
Some tips that could help in your training would be
First you need to define your goal well: “I want to run a marathon”, but why? Because I have been running for many years and I want to take the jump and run a marathon. Because I like the distance and I want to try it out in a competition. Because a group of friends challenge each other to do it. I’ve already run the marathon distance and now I want to train again in order to reduce time, in short, whatever your goal is, you have to define it in order to know where we are and where we are going.
Find a good training plan.
There are many training plans for marathon, but the best plan will be the one that suits you and the objective you are pursuing. And it is that for each person each plan can be similar but different. To begin with, it is important to consider several points, for example, if it will be your first marathon, if you have little or much time running.
If you have one or more marathons done and now you want to decrease time; it also matters your age, if you are very young you can be very strong and fast but maybe you need to learn to be patient, and patience and strategy are very important in any sport where distance and resistance are found.
If you have a chance to find a coach who will do a personalized workout for you it would be much better, because he would follow up on all your workouts, and could make modifications to it depending on how you are progressing.
Time to train.
If you decide to train for a marathon it is, first, because you like it, because you have that immense desire to try a very big challenge. Or, you’ve run the marathon before and you liked it so much that you want to try it again. It could also be that the group of friends you run with are encouraged to run a marathon and are encouraging you too.
Marathon training is demanding, you have to be well aware that you are going to spend some time during the day to train well. Besides you will be taking care of your diet, hydration, sleeping well, reading good content about marathon that will keep you inspired and open your knowledge about the subject.
By the way, if you had the chance, there is a very good book about running and especially about marathon: “What I talk about When I talk about Running: A Memoir” by Haruki Murakami. I recommend it widely, very easy to read and it talks just about your experience when training for your first marathon. If you are training for a marathon it is very good.
Since the marathon is, par excellence, a distance resistance test, it is necessary to train a lot of distance. It is true that you have to train several more exercises in addition to distance, such as intervals, changes of pace, among others. But distance is, without a doubt, the most important of all because the marathon is basically resistance at such a distance. And to develop that resistance you have to do distance.
Practically all training plans include one session per week of distance, and generally they schedule it on Saturday or Sunday, because these are the days that, the great majority of people, have the day off and, therefore, we have enough time to train. A long-distance run can be considered from 70 minutes, that is, 1 hour and 10 minutes, to more. The distances will increase as the training plan progresses. Some plans include one or two 3:00 hour long run sessions, this being the longest for training.
It is important to know that, in training, you NEVER run the 42 km, many will think that, if you have never run them as you know you can stand them, you can trust that, if you can stand running 3:00 hours you will continue once or twice during your training, or 30 km, you will surely have developed enough resistance to stand the 42 km. And, by the way, an important point is that here we are talking about an average of distances for simple “mortals” like us, but in itself, the distance also depends on the pace at which you run.
Elite athletes, for example, do not need to run 3 hours because they will not exceed 2 hours and 10 minutes in the marathon, so the distances of them in training are much lower BUT their pace is much faster than ours. For that reason, they do not need to run that much distance and we do, because we will most likely take more than 3 hours running the marathon.