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Essential Tips You Ought to Know Before Marathon Training
By Jacquie Barry

Running is a fabulous workout and a very easy sport to get hooked on. Some find running captivating and ultimately look for the challenge of completing a marathon. Speaking from experience, whether you have run one marathon or twenty marathons, completing a marathon is one of the most rewarding achievements that you can accomplish. Just knowing that you are within 1% of the population that has completed a marathon is a sensational feeling. 

With that said, however, a marathon is also incredibly grueling and can present runners with a real challenge. Shorter distant races are an excellent way to get started. But, when your goal is a marathon, you will need to train your body properly to ensure you see that finish line and to prevent the risk of injury. 

Let’s take a look at some of the finer details of training to run a marathon.

Medical Considerations

Don’t play around with your health. It’s advisable to get a medical checkup before you start training for any marathon. Distance running can put a great deal of strain on your heart and lungs as well as your muscles. Always be on the safe side and make an appointment with your doctor for a complete physical, explain your goals, and ensure that you are medically capable of running a marathon before you get started.

Body Preparation Is Essential

Preparing your body for a marathon can take months of hard work and training is crucial. You will find that increasing your distance needs to be done in short increments, with an increase of around ten percent a week. For example, if you are running 25 miles per week now, you could increase your distance to 27.5 miles next week and so on and so forth.  Make certain that you are not pushing your body too hard too fast, as you may ultimately burn out and not want to continue.

Cross training can be very beneficial in preparing your body for both the endurance and intensity that you will want for marathon running. Good upper body strength will assist you carrying your body upright and in a forward direction. Without upper body conditioning, as soon as you start to feel fatigue, your body will slouch and your back and neck will get tight and sore and you will wish that you had taken strength training more seriously. 

Watch What You Put Into Your Body

When training for a marathon, you will also want to pay attention to what you put into your body, not just the way that you exercise it. You want to ensure that you are eating the right foods and that your caloric intake is high enough for all of the exercise that you will be doing, tapering off just before race day. 

Hydration is also very important. Know that while you run, you will not only be losing water, but also important body nutrients, through your sweat. You need to rehydrate throughout your run and throughout the day with water and sports drinks to replace the nutrients. The critical timeframe for replenishing nutrients for optimal recovery is within one hour after your run.

Mentally Preparing

Mental preparation should not be under-estimated. It is actually just as important as physical preparation, and, for some, it can be harder. You will certainly need to be able to focus, and you will also need the right state of mind to avoid hitting the proverbial runner’s wall. This means learning to visualize everything about the race and to get into the mindset of success every time you do your longer training sessions so that on marathon day, you will succeed with a positive attitude.

The mental preparation begins when you physically start to push yourself through distances that are not familiar to your body. Mental preparation can also happen when running through weather conditions that you are not used to. You may be out for your longer run and a sudden downpour happens or you could end up running into a headwind when you think that your body is just too tired to push forward. What do you do then?  Call a cab? These are the times that you will need to condition your mental energy.

Preparation is key, and you will find that it takes months of hard work and dedication.  With that said, however, it is also the secret to achieving success. You should have no surprises on marathon day, know your mind, body and running gear. Running a marathon is one of the most rewarding and satisfying accomplishments that any runner can experience, and with the right preparation for both mind and body, you can achieve it.

About the Author:  Jacquie Barry is a successful freelance writer who has enjoyed running and triathlons for many years. Jacquie has completed 14 marathons and welcomes you to visit her website, Online Running Gear.

Thanks Jacquie for sharing your article.

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