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Whether you are a couch potato or a fitness freak, if you feel the need to go for a marathon (whether you win it or not), there is no bad time to start training for it. The motivation must come from yourself and not from your favourite movie where the lead went for a marathon and won it, as that motivation will soon die and you will feel that there is no need to make a run for it.
If your will-power and motivation resides within you, welcome to the club. Before you begin the race, it is highly important that you train for it to get ready for those 26.2 miles that you aim to cover on the big day. It certainly takes months or even years of training to go for a marathon, especially if you don’t want to leave it in between.
If you want to know and understand how you can train for a marathon as well as finish the whole race whether you come first or not, we have a few tips for you. Have a look below:
Get a Full Health Check Up
You might be all set as well as motivated to get on the track and practice, however, it is quite important to pay attention to your body before you begin with the training process. It is necessary to visit a doctor and get a full health check up, before you start your training for the marathon. Apart from that, consider getting a cardiac assessment.
The reason behind this is that running for more than 26 miles can be an injurious sport and can be uncomfortable at certain times. Going to get an MRI done after every ache or twinge would not be right. However, during the training if something seems off you should certainly get it checked out by a doctor.
Train with a Partner
Perhaps you are one of those men who likes to go solo and would prefer to train for the marathon on their own. However, it has often been seen that when it comes to fitness, men can often lose motivation, unless they have a partner besides them.
If you can’t find a friend to train with you, go for a coach, a running group or a charity program as it can be highly beneficial. You will be accountable to someone for your training as well as be excited about it at the same time. Training with someone can assist you during those rough patches when the motivation is waning.
While it is important to run for a long enough time when you are training for a marathon, running for too long will have the opposite effect on you as you will be struggling to recover as well as start your marathon as a tired runner. Three hours is a good enough time for you to train and for some men two and half hours is as good as well.
If you haven’t run or jogged for a long time, you certainly need to start training for a marathon from something small. Firstly, you need to choose a base mileage in the beginning and go for it at least a year, before you opt for a marathon training program.
The most common causes of injury during training for a marathon is building weekly mileage too soon as well as too fast. So before you commit to running for a marathon, it is essential that you consistently run for 20 to 30 miles a week. Run shorter races, such as 5Ks, 10Ks or even half a marathon before you go for a full marathon as it will prepare you for it mentally as well as physically.
The Long Run
It is important to go long if you want to run a marathon, however, when you have to train for it, there is a certain strategy behind it. You need to extend your long run once every 7 to 10 days by a mile or two. However, every three weeks you need to scale it back a few miles so that you do not overtax your body as well as risk injury.
For instance, you might run for 12 miles one weekend, 13 miles on the second weekend and then 14 miles after that. However, you must run for 12 miles after that before you move on to running for 15 miles.
Train in the Hills
While you are running for long hours to train yourself for a marathon, you also need to increase your speed in the same amount of time. This can be done easily if you start training in the hills rather than in the plains. Hill training can be a speedwork in disguise as well as jump up your heart rate while increasing your strength in the glutes, hamstrings and quads.
You must challenge yourself by taking one of your midweek runs on the hills as well as working stretches of uphill at a strong and sustained effort, where you stay tall as well as light on your feet and drive your arms strongly.
Working on Your Strength
As a runner, who wants to run a marathon, it is very important to maintain your posture as well as your technique as it helps in the final stages of the marathon. Strength training is often neglected by runners, however, it can boost your performance in a marathon. One or two sessions during a week should be focused on strength training where workouts such as split squats, single-leg squats and bridges, as well as core work such as planks and side planks should be practised.
While you might be really excited to get on your feet and go for a run, you need to recover from your previous runs as well and get enough sleep for that. Eight hours of sleep is good enough for a man to recover, however, make sure that the quality as well as the continuity of the sleep is maintained.
Apart from that, create a cool, calm as well as dark bedroom environment for you to sleep in. You must not use your smartphone or have any screen time at least one hour before you sleep. Along with that, you must have consistent sleeping as well as waking up time.
As a runner who is aiming to run a marathon, proper nutrition is important for you as well as to fuel your body so that you can train well. You must eat a balanced diet which includes plenty of fresh fruits as well as vegetables, along with whole food groups.
This will fuel your training as well as your recovery during the training program. Apart from that, you must opt for 4gms of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight on the days before your key hard sessions or long runs. After your running sessions, you can opt for food or a shake with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein within a 20 to 40 minutes window of finishing.
If running is an ongoing process for you and you think that training for a marathon would be the best decision you would ever make then you are more than welcome to go for it. It will be a trial for you to prove your fitness level at all stages as well as to prove yourself that you can certainly run a marathon and cover 26.2 miles. However, do not enrol yourself for a marathon if you are not sure about it. You must be able to give your 100% to it.
Forget about other people, who might be trying to demotivate you. You must not let their negative talk ruin your training for the marathon. You must challenge yourself at all times, but do not forget that recovering is necessary as well during the training process.
The best way to win a marathon is by enjoying yourself during this whole training. You need to socialise with others during the program and always be motivated for the marathon. That is the best way to enjoy yourself as well as the training program that you have signed up for.
Of course, you might have anxiety as well as fears about the big day. What if I come last? What if I am not able to even finish the marathon? The truth is that you don’t have to fear the marathon, but respect it. If you have fears regarding the marathon, you might make poor decisions and try to progress too fast as well as too soon. This could lead to some sort of injury as well.
You need to reach the marathon as a healthy man who is full of energy. While the distance is a lot, it is not impossible to cover it up. Thousands of people go for marathons as well as finish it. With the right type of training you too can be the one who finishes a marathon.