Completing a full marathon is no walk in the park, but that's what contributes to the feeling of accomplishment once you cross the finish line. Knowing that you've pushed your body to its physical limits and successfully completed something that most people can only dream of gives you a feeling of pride. After your success, you’ll find yourself pushing the boundaries in other parts of your life as well, whether it's your career, education or personal life. Here we’ll take a look at some of the most effective ways to train and condition yourself for a full marathon.
The Dark Side of Marathons
Most people can barely jog a couple miles without getting minded, so you can imagine the difficulty of finishing a 26.2-mile marathon. Your feet may ache and swell, you may lose a toenail, develop blisters, get sick and dehydrated just to name a few.
Depending on where you’ll be running a marathon, there will likely be hundreds if not thousands of other people running it with you, so you can expect it to turn into a war zone of people trying to test their limits. They will be passing you, falling over, and even running into you. As a result, you'll probably want to give up at some point in the race, but you have to fight through this urge and continue on to the finish line.
Preparing For a Marathon
While some marathon runners have specific gym routines, the best way to perform for one of these excruciatingly long runs is to simply get outside and start running. Start off by running 5 miles a day, 3 times a week, and continue doing this for roughly a month. Once the first month passes and you’ve kept up with the 5 mile per day mark, turn it up a notch to 7 miles per day, 4 times a week. It may not seem like that much of a step up, but trust me, you’ll feel it in your feet and body.
Keep running and change your scenery up if you get bored. If there’s a park, school or outdoor hiking trail nearby, give it a try instead of your usual course. Something as simple as a change in scenery will make a world of difference in your attitude. On the third month, you should kick it up to 9 miles per day but remain at 4 times a week.
Marathon Preparation Tips:
Invest in a pair of quality running shoes with a supportive heel.
Keep a journal of your run distances and times.
Listen to your body and give it time to heal after practice runs.
Tell your friends and family members that you are training to run a marathon. This will give you the motivation you need to continue.
After running for three months, you should be just about ready to start your marathon. Just remember to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of water (no sodas), carbs, protein, fruit and vegetables. A good diet will give your body the ingredients it needs to succeed in a marathon.