Tips for getting ready for your first marathon

Have you signed for a marathon? Signing up to run a marathon is a challenge most people aspire to overcome. Some join a marathon for health and fitness goals. Some join marathons to test their limits and improve them. Others join a marathon for charity or raise awareness, while others accompany a friend who made them sign up. However, after all, the excitement of signing up has died down. The overwhelming fear of whether you are ready for the marathon creeps in.

You need to prepare yourself to run the entire 26.2 miles, and this is not something you can wake up and do. It would be best to prepare your body to strengthen your body train and even eat right to be ready.

If you are about to participate in a marathon for the first time, worry not. Here are some awesome tips you can take to help you get ready for the day.

Focus on your nutrition

When getting ready for your first marathon, you don’t only focus on training, but also you need to have a solid nutrition plan. Ensure you calculate how much you will be running during training and how many calories you burn. 

If you are not practicing for longer than two hours a day, you don’t need to increase your calorie intake that much. The essential thing is to listen to your body. If you get hungry, you should eat. When training and you feel sluggish, try to figure out why. Maybe you are not getting enough nutrients or eating the wrong foods.

The food you eat on the days leading up to the marathon matter a lot because it will determine if your body is stocked up on enough fuel, you will need for the run. 

It’s essential to load up on healthy and clean foods so that your body’s metabolism is working at peak levels—stock up on carbohydrates, foods rich in proteins, and complex sugars. Eating a healthy balanced diet will work as stored energy that will come in handy during the race.

For extra added fuel, you can also reach out for an electrolyte drink from Tailwind nutrition which can offer energy during training and the marathon day.

Come up with an effective training plan.

You can’t just wake one day and run a 26.2-mile marathon. It would be best if you came up with a plan that will aid your body build tolerance, endurance, and mileage while resting enough to avoid injuries.

Your plan should consider your sporting background, if you are an athlete or not. Creating a plan is essential in building your strength and endurance gradually and carefully to meet the demands of the race.

If you want to build endurance, start running a few miles per day, increasing your limits every day. Once in your training, you must run the entire 26 miles to see how you perform. 

 It’s not a must you train every day of the week to ensure you have ample time to rest and allow your body to recover from the training. Remember two weeks to D-day to decrease your level of training. You can also include strength training in your daily runs to increase your body’s endurance. This will help your body heal and have a fresh start on enough fuel for the day of the marathon. 

Prepare yourself mentally

The confidence and mindset you have on how you will perform on the day of the marathon will significantly influence the overall results of the race.

One way to improve your mental preparedness is to have awesome results during your training sessions. This will enhance your confidence significantly.

You can start by studying the course you will use for the marathon, checking maps, or going physically. This way, you will avoid any surprises and train for it. Mental preparedness will increase your confidence, and you will be more relaxed during the race, which will increase your chances of successful results and completing the race.

Ensure you have the right running shoes

When choosing your running shoes, ensure you get a light, comfortable, and flexible pair. Numerous stores sell sports attire, and you can try on different pairs to get a feel of how they fit. Even specific stores will let you run in the shoes and give you the right pair of shoes that fit right for your foot.

During training, ensure you change your running shoes every 400 miles. This is because they lose their ability to cushion the strain and weight of your body.

Remember also to get high-quality socks when buying your running shoes. The socks should be protective and also comfortable. During the marathon or just before you wear your shoes before running, apply a thin layer of Vaseline on your feet to avoid blisters.

Bonus tip: Never wear new shoes on the day of the marathon. This means that you should have new shoes that have to go a few miles during training but are still fresh and comfortable to be worn during the marathon day.

Get a medical checkup.

Talk to your doctor to ensure your body can endure the strains and stress of running a marathon. If you have a preexisting condition, your doctor will help you with what to do during the race and check if it’s safe for you to participate.

Your doctor will also be of great help by giving you nutrition tips to ensure your body is well prepared for the marathon and that you are eating right.

It is essential to have a complete physical and get a clean bill of health during the marathon day so that you don’t have any accidents or risk an attack or worsening your condition.

The few days leading up to D-day will undoubtedly be the most nerve-racking days. Getting through these days in the best mental, physical and emotional health will help prepare you for the stresses of the marathon and will determine whether you succeed or not. Whether the marathon is something on your bucket list, doing it for charity, or reaching your fitness goals, it is essential to prepare well. Follow the above strategies to ensure you succeed your first-time running a marathon.

posted Saturday January 8th
by Colorado Runner