Russell Sergent is an experienced runner who has completed nineteen marathons since running his first in 2007. In order to prepare yourself, both physically and mentally, for a marathon it is important that you start your training early and dedicate yourself to it so you can withstand the rigors of the challenges you will face. For those who are new to marathons, this can often be a daunting task. With that in mind, these pointers should prove useful for those who want to make the most out of their preparation time.
Start A Log
A comprehensive log is essential to your training as it will allow you to track your progress and work out areas where you need to improve. Actually being able to run the distance should be your first priority, so use your log to keep track of your personal best distances until you get to a point where you can run the length of a marathon consistently. It also helps to keep track of your daily mileage and run times so you can notice when you aren’t performing to your best.
Take Rest Days
A lot of new marathon runners feel like they need to train every day to prepare themselves. While regular training is certainly important, you will only burn your body out if you don’t rest every so often. Try to build at least one rest day into your schedule, to give your muscles the chance to recover, and take it a little easier sometimes so you still maintain your fitness without pushing your body to its limits.
Get Good Shoes
It’s a simple tip but you will be happy you followed it come race day. Invest in a comfortable pair of running shoes that are also sturdy enough to withstand the demands of repeated long-distance runs. A poor pair of shoes will derail your efforts quickly when running a marathon.
Gradually Increase Your Weekly Mileage
If you are new to running marathons it can be tempting to feel like you should be able to run long distances as quickly as possible. This leads to burn out and can even result in injury. Instead, figure out your current limits when it comes to weekly mileage and then look to gradually improve that figure over time. A good baseline to aim for is a ten percent improvement for each week, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always achieve it.
The food you put into your body is just as important as your physical training. If you eat poorly you will be susceptible to the effects of fatigue and won’t perform to the highest level. Create a nutritional plan and stick to it to ensure your body has the fuel it needs.
Russell Sergent is an experienced marathon runner.