Want to run Marathon?
How to prepare yourself to run a marathon?
Wish to run a marathon is like one of the biggest achievements of my life. This achievement can not even be compared with the wealth I have accumulated so far. And i hope its going to the same feeling with almost all of us. But running a marathon takes a toll and you have to prepare yourself for this and take it as a challenge.
When I ran my first marathon in 2013, I was not well prepared. I basically decided on a Friday night and began training the next day. I didn’t take time to think through what I would need to begin. It was a bit of a disaster. Kind of like going on a road trip without packing or looking at a map.
Marathon training is not easy. It is tough, difficult work. Before you jump into your training, (whenever that may be), here are the some things I think you need before you begin training.
RUN A HALF MARATHON
I think that before you can successfully run a marathon, you should successfully complete a half marathon training cycle. Sure, you can go from casually running a few miles here and there to running a marathon. Lots of people do it. However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Running a marathon is tough. Jumping in to a 16 or 20 week schedule can often lead to injuries if you are not used to training. What might be worse is when someone becomes so burnt out from the demands of marathon training that they quit running all together.
At a bare minimum, you should be able to run at least 7 kms (in under an hour), averaging 30 kms a week running 3 – 4 per week, and be doing that consistently for 4 – 6 months.
Because your body needs time to adapt. It will grow stronger and adjust, but only over time. You will set yourself up for a much better experience. Trust me, it will go better.
GET YOUR GEAR
When I started training for my first marathon, I jumped in without thinking much about the gear I had, or what I might need. That came back to bite me as I learned I was in the wrong shoes for my feet, for that distance.
Your shoes are, without question, the most important piece of gear you own as a runner. Your feet need to be treated with as much care as the tires on a race car. Spend the time now to get fitted at a specialty running store. They might cost 1K Rs, but well worth the potential problems from running in the wrong shoes.
When I was training for my first marathon however, I realized I needed a bit more stability doing longer distances (something I would have known, perhaps less painfully, had I trained for a half marathon first).
You’ll also need other gear. Shorts, shirts, hats, water bottles (and more depending on the time of year). You don’t need to get all high end stuff. I love decathlon sports wear! Over the years I have built up a great collection of higher end items. You get what you pay for.
3. DETERMINE WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE
Your first goal should always be to finish. It’s a very long way! I’m guessing most of us want to do more than finish however.
For first time marathoners, it can be very difficult to determine what sort of time you should set as a goal. I think your first goal should always be to finish (regardless of your time). After that, you need to determine what you think is a realistic goal.
I have heard that one way to estimate your time is take your half marathon time, double it and add 10 minutes.
4. FIND A GOOD TRAINING PLAN
There is no shortage of free marathon training plans out there. When I ran my first marathon, I analysed my body statistics, my BMI and then finalized my training plan. Now At our club everybody follows the same plan. Find out whats should be the best plan for you?
Also, you need to find a plan that reflects your current life situation. If you find something that only has you running 3 days a week, that might not be enough. If you follow one that asks you to run 7 days a week, how sustainable is that?
A few general guidelines to know if it’s a good plan…
- It Has some form of speed work. Even if you “just want to finish,” you need to be doing more than only running long slow miles.
- It Ramps up your mileage by about 10% per week. This assumes you have some base, and aren’t jumping into it . One sure fire way to avoid injury is to ramp up those mile slowly. If your plan shows big jumps, look for another.
- It Has a long run that is only 25 – 35% of your total weekly mileage. !
- It Doesn’t have you running longer than 3 hours. For newer marathoners, runs over about 3 hours bumps into the law of diminishing returns. You won’t be improving cardiovascular (although perhaps mentally). It is going to take you a few days to recover, and possibly not be ready for your next run.
5. MAP EVERYTHING OUT ON YOUR CALENDAR
Training for a marathon is like a part-time job. It can easily consume 10+ hours a week when you factor in all of the pre and post running activities.
Before you begin to run marathon, I encourage you to plot all of your long runs into some type of training log You can make simple excel sheet on computer or even on a paper as well.
Some planning will help you see the bigger picture. Can you run and do some form of strength training, while getting good sleep, eating healthy and keep your work, family and other commitments? If not, maybe right now you should train for a half marathon…
It’s also important to map your weekday runs as well. If the only time you are able to run is at 5 am, how will you adjust your evening routine to get enough sleep?
AND Most important .…
I was determined to run marathon back in 2012. So i got ready and ran first few kilometers and then i realized something is dragging me back and not letting me go ahead to finish my first day goal. Its was my weight. I was overweight to my age and to my height also. So I had to postpone my marathon training and did lot of research to find out solution to lose weight. I made my custom plan to lose weight and then i followed it. To everyone’s surprise in first 5 months only i lost excess weight and put on shoes again to start my marathon training plan.
Today I am a proud marathon runner and ran almost every marathon in Pune and around.
Sharing the experience with someone else is truly one of the most amazing parts of the whole process.
What was it like running your first marathon? Still considering it? What can we do to help