Effective Tips and Tricks to Complete Your First Marathon
Although we know that a crucial part in preparing for any marathon is the physical aspect, sometimes people tend to overlook its psychological aspect. Through running a marathon, runners face their biggest fears and overcome them with sheer passion and dedication.
But training their heart and soul mile after mile and month after month takes its toll on the runner’s body. Running a marathon is an intimidating and exhausting task, but with the right planning and proper guidance, one can surely accomplish running the 26.2 miles with relative ease.
In this article, we’ll discuss some simple measures that you can take to better prepare yourself for your first ever marathon.
Top 10 Tips for Your First Marathon
It’s not wise to just start running the whole distance right away in a single day. It’s very important to work out a proper plan that will better help you gauge what to do and what not to. Devising a proper plan and following it through might just be what you need to start and finish your marathon safely without putting too much strain on yourself.
First of the few things that you need to keep in check is your gear. Starting from trail running shoes, backpacks, to hydration packs, each of these things will help you run the miles more efficiently. Many people still don’t realize the importance of having an effective set of gears and often struggle to find the suitable gear to run around with.
Consult Your Doctor
If this is your first time running a marathon, before prepping yourself consider consulting with your doctor and getting a full health check-up. A marathon can be very toiling and can have a long term bad effect on people with health issues.
It is quite impossible and disastrous for people with serious heart conditions to run a marathon without proper supervision of their doctor.
As running a marathon can have certain bad effects and sometimes can seriously jeopardize your health, you should be well aware of your current physical state before signing up for a race.
Set Goals and Motivate Yourself
The very first thing to do for any new marathon runners is to set up certain milestones so that they can stick to their plans and accomplish those milestones one by one. Consistency is a key factor here.
For most runners, finishing the marathon should be the primary objective. The important thing to understand is finishing the marathon is far more important than the time taken to finish it.
Try to remember why you are running the marathon, and nothing will be able to stop you from achieving your goal. The drive alone will help you overcome the tough challenges, the long workout plans, and training sessions.
Start an Effective Training Plan
The most important thing to do while preparing for a marathon is coming up with an efficient workout routine, which will help you understand your limits, build your strength, and ultimately help you overcome the obstacles related to the marathon.
There are a lot of marathon workouts and training plans out there to choose from. While sometimes it might be hard to understand which plan works for you the best, it gets easier once you start taking notes of progress. Try out different cross-training workout plans and cardio exercises, increase endurance, and incorporate mindfulness and relaxation.
Perform Diversified Exercises
Running a marathon, putting up a proper workout plan, and following through the training are all noteworthy achievements. You should be considerate with your performance since it is your first time around.
It is essential to focus on the task at hand rather than the time it took you to finish it. Simply running long distances will not cut it when it comes to marathons; you have to mix it up a little.
Performing diversified workouts like moderate water aerobics, cycling, brisk walking, hill runs, weightlifting, resistance band exercises, yoga, tai-chi, dancing, martial arts, meditation, and training exercises (circuit, speed, interval, tabata, tempo, & bodyweight), training can truly help your cause.
Stick to the Plan
Everyone you meet will have their definitive opinion on different things, but know your limits; it is up to you to decide which set of guidelines and training exercises to follow to get the best results.
Trying out new things before the long run can be dangerous, as it can have a negative effect on your body. Sometimes the hype, adrenaline, and excitement get to people, and they stray away from their workout routine. Eventually, they go overboard with the training and become weary.
This is the worst thing that can happen to a runner and his plan; slowly moving away from his effective training exercises will ultimately result in failure. So, stick to what you know and follow through.
Increase Duration & Pace
Most people ignore the basic stretching and strength work thinking it won’t do them any good in the marathon. But in reality, it is really effective to stretch and increase the running duration while slowly increasing the pace. This technique helps a lot of slow runners pick up their pace overtime.
Pack Your Gear
Getting the right equipment is key to participating and finishing a marathon properly. Choosing the right wear can just be what you need to complete the marathon properly. It is imperative to get your shoes, socks, t-shirt, shorts, water bottles, backpacks, and hydration packs in check before the marathon.
Prepare yourself for chafing and blisters on the marathon day; they are inevitable. It’s wise to take vaseline, body glide, gel, and other ointments with you in case of any small accidents. If it forecasts rain on the race day, packing a raincoat could come in handy.
Check the Weather
It is always for your own benefit to check the weather before going to the marathon. Sudden changes in the weather can really mess up your game plan on that day. Shifts in weather can have a negative effect on all participants if they don’t prepare for it early.
If you check the weather on the marathon day, you will get a clear idea on what exactly to wear for your marathon, such as a race day outfit or any throwaway gear. It will also help to keep your mind at ease from the sudden shifts of weather.
Balance Your Weight & Nutritions
While it is important to recognize that appropriate fueling is necessary for long runs, it is also bad for the runner if he goes overboard. If you run 15-20 miles, it does not necessarily mean you can overeat high carb foods every day of the week.
You have to keep your food intake in check and only eat according to the diet. It’s better not to rely on the food and drinks provided by other people on race day. You can take a race belt with plenty of pockets to carry dry food to help you along the road.
Stay Hydrated & Taper Effectively
Most runners during their first time panic and overdo the training exercises, get dehydrated, and jeopardize the progress they have made over the weeks. Putting too much strain on their body ultimately leaves them vulnerable on the marathon day and all of their efforts go to waste.
So, by the end of the training period and before the race day, take proper rest. Stay hydrated and rest your body so that you can have a pleasant marathon the next day.
Deciding to participate in a marathon can be a life-altering decision. It takes a lot of courage and willpower to see a marathon through from start to finish. Since you have made the decision to participate, you are already halfway through.
So, rest up, focus, and get yourself ready for the race by following the aforementioned guidelines. Finish the race with confidence & efficiency.