Running is really addictive. Before you even notice it, it has already grown on you. First, you would find yourself running small fun runs.
Then, you would start craving for more mileage and start joining 10-kilometer runs. You would then start asking yourself if you can push your body a little more and end up challenging yourself to do and finish half a marathon.
After knowing that you can run 21 kilometers, you will find your mind playing with the idea of completing a full marathon.
However, being able to run 42 kilometers is not an easy task. You really have to put a lot of time and effort in training your body and conditioning your mind in order to fully tap your potential and to be able to run at your best. Here is how you can train for your first marathon.
Careful planning is crucial
You should give yourself at least four months of training. Therefore, you should choose a marathon event that will be held at the same time with the end of your training.
There are a lot of scheduled marathons all over the country. You must then decide if you want to join a big or a small marathon. Or, if you want an out-of-town marathon or just the ones near the comfort of your own home.
After choosing a marathon, plan your training program
It is best that you slowly build up your mileage. That is, start with short runs and then gradually increase the distance as you go on with your training.
In this way, your body can slowly but surely adjust to the demands of long distance running. Incorporate the hard-easy principle.
Make sure that after you put stress on your body with a long distance run, you also take some days off to rest or you just run shorter distances instead.
It also helps if you join fun runs to get to know fellow newbies and more experienced runners. You can share your fears and your achievements with them. Runners are very friendly and approachable. It will keep you motivated and focused on your goal. Also, joining races can help you in developing your speed.
Stick with your training program
You have to fully commit yourself to it. If you are scheduled to run a certain distance today, do your best to complete and cover whatever mileage that is.
You should also do general strength exercises since your leg is not the only muscle group that is working when you run.
Remember that when you run a marathon, your arms are equally put to stress as your legs. Your arms also help you in running a full marathon by propelling you forward.
So, include strengthening your arms in your training. Also, keep your stomach in as you run. This will develop the core strength of your abdominal muscles.
Choose the best shoes for your feet
If you are going to splurge on running apparel, it should be a given on buying your shoes. A good pair shoes can save you from a lot of trouble and pain. For women, find a good sports bra.
Pulling a full marathon is hard work, which makes it all the more fulfilling and worth the try.