Preparing for Your First Marathon
You did it. You finally decided to join your first marathon. Maybe it’s because you were pressured by your friends, or because you really wanted to see how far your body’s abilities can go. Whatever the reason, we know how anxious and nervous a person can be when preparing for his or her first marathon.
That is why Bree Lambert, with her 20 years of enduring training, shares with you her top ten tips in preparing for your first marathon. This is especially helpful for beginner runners, but seasoned runners are encouraged to continue reading. This may be the perfect time to remember the basics of preparing for a marathon.
10 Tips for Preparing for a Marathon
1. Make a timeline
Before actually deciding to join a marathon, make sure that you have more than enough time to prepare for it, especially if it is your first ever marathon. If you are a beginner, make sure not to exceed your body’s limits. Your first marathon should be able to tell you how far you can go for your next marathon.
Preparing for a marathon cannot be done overnight. The preparation period for a marathon usually ranges from 12 to 20 weeks. In these weeks, you will be doing various exercises and activities that will help you finish your first long-distance run.
Be sure that you create a dynamic but realistic schedule or plan for your training in these weeks. Having a timeline will help you actualize your goal. It gives you a guide to follow that can slowly help you reach your end goal.
2. Boost your mental strength
Once you have already set out your plan for your marathon preparation, you have to take the next step by boosting your mental strength.
When you are about to embark on a strenuous physical journey, you know that it will not be a comfortable journey. It is not just about the physical aspect. It is about your mentail approach, as well. For you to be able to reach your goals as a marathon runner, you have to supplement it with strong mental stability.
Your strong mental stability will get you going in your training, and most notably, during the actual marathon.
For starters, meditating helps you build that healthy mindset. Meditating once a day is sufficient.
Secondly, as minimal as this may sound, the music you play during your training and even during the marathon can actually contribute to your mindset and sanity. Make sure you pick a piece of good music that boosts your performance.
Anticipating obstacles is also helpful, but with that, you also have to make sure that you have a strong visual of your end goal.
3. Record your progress
Keeping a log of your progress is essential. You need to have daily reports on your performances. Take note of milestones, setbacks, and points of improvement. Doing so will help you know what you need to focus on the next day or the next week of your training. However, be sure to be aware of your limits. Once you have identified what you need to improve on, just be gradual in stretching your body’s ability and capacity.
4. Gradually increase your mileage
While it is vital that you have continuous improvements daily or weekly, make sure that your mileage increases are done slowly. If you feel confident that you can take a big leap for the next training, that is great. However, the most ideal mileage increase is 10%. Do not be afraid that you are taking things too slowly. What is important is that you are also reducing the risk of an injury.
5. Take a rest day
For every strenuous physical preparation, rest must always be included in your development. Allow your body to recover from the rigors of physical training. You also have to let your body recharge, especially if you have been in an exercise hiatus or if it is your first time. If you have been running for a long time, you would know how rest is essential to your overall progress. Make sure to have a rest day once a week.
6. Alternate your hard and easy training
While it has been mentioned that you need to have a gradual increase in mileage for every training session, it is also important that you alternate hard and easy day training. This also allows your body to recover from the hard effort. This will also allow your body to adapt to the higher step of your scheduled exercises.
7. Do cross-trainings
Running may be the only thing that you will be doing during the marathon, but it is also recommended that you do other exercises. You can do exercises such as biking, swimming, or rowing. These are the perfect complementary activities that can help better your overall body condition without having the additional running time for your training. Doing this once or twice a week for 45 minutes is sufficient.
8. Get the right nutrients
Aside from having that well thought out training, you should also be conscious about getting the right nutrients for your body by planning the perfect diet. Power up your body with protein. Examples of good protein food are milk, cheese, and eggs. Eating food equipped with protein is essential to repair damaged tissues and rebuild your muscles.
Carbohydrates are also essential in your diet. Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy. That is why you need to load carbohydrates so that your body will not experience extreme fatigue during your training and the race. Eat pasta, potatoes, and specific fruits and vegetables with stocked up carbohydrates.
9. Listen to your body
Even with a healthy mindset, you should also take time to listen to your body. Mind over body, as they say. However, the body is still part of the equation, and it needs some care as well.
If you feel like your body can no longer take much more exercise for the day, rest. If you feel like you need one whole day to recover, do so. Yes, you might skip or delay your training plan, but your body is the most significant factor in finishing that marathon. So, if you do not listen to it, it might not help you reach your end goal.
10. Get a personal trainer
The aforementioned tips will surely aid you in training for and finishing your marathon, but if you really want to go the extra mile for your run, get a personal trainer.
A personal trainer will significantly improve your overall performance as a runner. Having a personal trainer can help layout the framework for your preparation.
Getting a personal coach is especially important for beginners, and those with anxiety about their run. They will help you not only physically, but also mentally as they will be your support system.
With their experience, they will help you take note of key areas of your strengths and weaknesses. This will let you know where to improve to become a better and more prepared runner.
There is a big difference when training alone and training with a coach. Their company will undoubtedly boost your eagerness to become a better runner each day you meet.
Finish Strong with Bree
For most first-time marathon runners, their goal is to simply finish the race, no matter what their finishing time is. That is perfectly fine. Finishing a marathon in itself is a milestone, but if you want to finish strong, hire Bree Lambert as your personal fitness coach.
To finish strong, you need a coach with years of experience. Bree has been helping runners and non-runners alike achieve their fitness goals. What is excellent about Bree is that she goes beyond the physical. She is more than just your fitness coach, but also your friend. With a sound mind and body, you will indeed be able to finish strong in your run.
She helps runners in San Jose, but she is also able to help you online. So, do not be afraid to reach her. You can even get a free consultation just by visiting our website and reaching out.
Do more than just run. Live well and finish strong with Bree Lambert.