Steps for running a marathon
The marathon is a long distance race that covers 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers. Running a marathon is the ultimate dream for many runners as well as non-runners. People who have been running for years and some that have never run a day in their life dream of crossing that finish line one day. There is simply something magical about the concept of crossing the finish line after running 26.2 miles. For many, it seems super-human to compete in one or even to complete one. Have you been playing with the idea of running a marathon for fun or for competition? If so, you must know that it takes months of hard and consistent preparation before this dream can become a reality.
5 Keys to making your marathon dream come true
- Find running partner (s) or a running group.
- Establish a training plan that meets your goals
- Speak to your physician
- Leverage online resources (i.e. here)
- Have fun.
One of the first places to start your journey is to find one or more partners to come along for this journey. Join a local runner's group. If you are connected on social media, there are various ways to find a local running group. i.e.: on facebook.com, on meetup.com. You can also look at the tool we provide here to locate local runners groups or local races and events in your area. In addition your local shoe store should also be able to guide you in finding local runners in your area as well. Another approach you can use is to talk to your friends and find someone who is willing to train with you. Once you have found one or more partners, figure out a way to mesh your schedules so that you can train together, at least on your long runs. You’ve heard it said that ‘no man is an island,’ and that concept it certainly true when it comes to preparing for your first marathon. Most people last a few weeks at best when they have no one to train with and no one to hold them accountable as the training schedule becomes more intense.
Once you’ve found satisfactory training partner (s) your next step should be to take the time to research and decide on the best training schedule for your time, needs and running goals. Getting on a specific and solid schedule for marathon training will prevent you from overworking yourself or underworking yourself. It is no easy thing to get your body in shape for a twenty-six mile run, so make it a priority to find a schedule and then stick to it. Your schedule should include both short runs (usually during the week) and long runs (usually on the week ends). Plan for enough time to be able to recover after your long runs. Progressively increase the distance of your long runs and make sure to adjust your diet as well as your daily routine (sleep, work, ... etc) to take your training schedule into account.
Another very important aspect of marathon training is your conversation with your physician. A marathon race usually last upwards of 4 hours of continual physical effort, which put extreme strain on your body and sometimes under very challenging weather and road conditions. Talk to your physician about your dream of running a 26.2 miles. It is never a bad idea to check with a healthcare professional for any warnings or advice. See if your physician has any suggestions for ways to supplement your training with adjustments to your eating or sleeping habits. Proper eating and sleeping will only benefit the physical training you do to prepare for the marathon.
Check for various online resources and read about stories of those who have gone down your journey before. I'm certain there is plenty of resources available for you to read through and learn from. The information overload can sometimes be overwhelming, however, it is very important to reach out to some of your local running team for in person advice or conversation.
Remember to enjoy the journey as you progress through your first marathon. Make your trainings as fun as possible and really seize the moment.
Running a marathon is something that many people dream about but far fewer people actually accomplish it. With some careful planning and a lot of dedication you can be one of the few that makes the dream of accomplishing your goal a reality.