How to Prepare for a Marathon According to a Marathoner!

When you prepare for a marathon, you have a lot on your plate. It can be challenging. But, after thinking about it for a long time, you finally do it. You sign up to run a marathon. A marathon!

2 miles. 41.2 kilometers.

You’re excited about signing up and cannot wait to get that medal and show off your accomplishment. But then reality starts to sink in that you actually have to run all those miles.

This is when the panic may start to set in, but don’t let it. Running a marathon seems like an impossible task, but it can be done. In fact, 1.1 million people worldwide complete a marathon each year. So it is possible. You have to prepare.

How to prepare for a marathon, and NOT die trying!

Prepare for a Marathon: Preparation

When I ran the Los Angeles Marathon, I had a lot to do before the big day. There were things that had to be done, such as physically and mentally preparing my body. The following tips are what I did to prepare for a marathon, and thanks to these tips, I was able to finish it.

Ideally, you should allocate at least four to six months to train for a marathon. You’ll need all that time to get your body used to running long distances. This is especially important if you are a novice runner.

Next, have a training schedule and stick to it as best as possible. Remember, you are preparing your body to run for a long distance, and your body needs time to adjust. One recommended training routine is to start with one to three miles in the first week of your training and add a mile or two every week after that. Within that week, you want to run at least 2-3 days (3 miles each).

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Don’t think about finishing 26 miles; think about finishing 3 miles in one week, 4 in the next, and so on until you reach 20 miles. You want to set small goals that you can complete. If this is your first marathon, you will have more success if you target those small running goals first, and before you know it, you’ve advanced so that you are close to the big goal.

Prepare for a Marathon: Support

Training for a marathon is hard. Not just physically but mentally as well. Opt not to train alone. Find a running partner or group with the same goal of running a marathon.

Having a running partner or group will hold you accountable, making you less likely to skip training runs. Having this support also helps you become a better and even faster runner. And, if you have a bad run or feel like giving up, having that support system can help you overcome that sense of defeat.

Many major cities have running groups that you can join. A quick Google search for groups in your area is just a click away.

Equipment

You may think running doesn’t require any equipment, but it does. You need to invest in some good quality running shoes. Additionally, you must consider the clothes you will wear to train and on the big day. Clothes that are lightweight and breathable.

Another item you will need is a running belt to keep your food. Yes, that’s right, food. You need to carry fuel with you on these long runs. Your body is burning a lot of calories as you run, and when you get those long-distance runs, you have to eat every 15 to 30 minutes. Consider protein bars, GU, nuts, electrolytes, and so on.

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The Training Never Stops

It may seem like an impossible task, but if you break it up into small victories, you can make it. Don’t prepare alone, and make sure you have the right equipment. Never tell yourself you can’t do it. If you need someone to help you, never feel ashamed to ask for help from someone who has already been through one or is also training for a marathon. Never give up!