Top 10 Tips for Running a Marathon
How exciting would it be to wake up one morning and run a marathon? Unfortunately, life is not that easy and we aren’t Captain America. On average it takes about 12-20 weeks to prepare for a marathon. During the 12-20 week period, you should be engaging in vigorous cardio and gradually increasing your mileage before it’s time to run! At Health and Fitness Revolution want you to succeed during your marathon so we have provided you with 10 tips for running a marathon!
- Mimic the course: Try training on similar terrain as the race. The Houston marathon doesn’t have much topography (other than a couple of short hills!) and is run on the roads, so if you can, training on concrete is recommended.
- Drink while you run: Make a habit of drinking as your run during training, as you will need to stay hydrated during the marathon. Usually, marathons will have water and some type of electrolyte-filled drink like Gatorade Endurance Formula (Lemon-Lime) available about every 1.5 miles. Train a few times drinking the formula provided to make sure your body is used to it, and you enjoy how it works. If you don’t, pack your own energy drinks and gels for the day of the race!
- Don’t wear brand new shoes the day of the race: Wear shoes you’ve run at least 10 consecutive miles in so that you break them in and know whether they will cause blisters or discomfort. It’s also a good idea to train in the style of sock you will be wearing on race day- the last thing you want is to be worried about your socks riding down your shoes while running.
- Wear smart fabrics: Do your research and pick fabrics and clothes that are appropriate for running several hours. Try out several different race day outfit beforehand during your long runs, so you can pick the outfit that is the most comfortable!
- Stick to a program: There are many marathon training programs out there and even local running groups if you need some motivation and inspiration. Stick to the program as closely as possible, especially when it comes to the timeline of increasing mileage. You don’t want to end up injured before the race.
- Run during race time: Continue training as close to the race time as possible so that your body gets used to it and it will feel normal come race day.
- Rest up: The week before the race, reduce the stressors in your life- both personal and professional. Also, stay off your feet and rest your body as much as possible, your body will need to be recovered to accomplish the amazing race you’re about to run.
- Carb-load: For a few days before the race, eat carbohydrate-heavy foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and fruit. The carbohydrates will keep your energy levels up on race day.
- Visualize success: There is a big mental aspect of pushing yourself to run 26.2 miles or more. Visualize yourself running that race, how it feels, the positivity, and most importantly- you crossing the finish line victorious and happy! Have fun with it, and enjoy the journey!
- Start slow: Your adrenaline will be high as you start your race, but it’s important you pace yourself and slow down. Run the first two to three miles 10-15 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace. This preserves your glycogen stores for later in the race when you will need them so that you can finish strong.