You might’ve thought about running a marathon at some point in your life. You might’ve already ran some of them. It’s also possible that you were someone from the sidelines, thinking how awesome it would be to be a part of such events! Whatever the case may be, you probably have no idea how long it takes to prepare for a marathon. With regards to training, time is the best thing you can give yourself.
The strength and conditioning specialists and exercise physiologists have always stressed on the importance of time in training. With the right amount of time given to your training, you’ll never have to rush. You can be better prepared on the race day, prevent injuries, and enjoy a better experience. Here are some of the things you must consider before running your first marathon:
1. Know that you might face certain issues
There’s a good reason why you need to give yourself sufficient time to train. Even if you have a perfect training plan, some issues would crop up. Maybe you’ll develop an illness and have to take some time off. It’s also possible that you might want to go on a vacation in between.
However, don’t be harsh on yourself owing to such things. Having a well-planned training schedule with roughly 25 weeks as its duration would be great. It’ll help you to make up for the lost time in between, if any. Thus, you’ll still be prepared well on the day of your marathon.
2. Increase your mileage slowly
There is no hard rule that dictates how you must increase your load. You just need to make sure you don’t increase your mileage by more than 10 percent every week. Of course, there are some individuals who can be comfortable with only 5 percent per week. That’s absolutely fine. It would be a good idea to begin with a 10 percent increase and then tweak from there.
Don’t hesitate to reduce your mileage if the situation demands. When you’re training for your marathon, your body takes time to respond. In the process, your skeletal muscle, heart muscle, bone, tissues, aerobic enzymes, cells, and chemicals are being built. You must always remember this fact.
3. Maintain a slow pace
Most of the new marathoners are not aware that they must train at a slow pace. Some runs would be at your targeted pace of the race or even faster. The long runs should be at a slower pace. That must be slower than your projected time of the marathon.
Experts are of the opinion that more than 99 percent of the marathon is aerobic. So, it is important during your training that you build your aerobic fitness. This involves not pushing yourself to the maximum during every training run.
4. Get regular strength training
Many of the new marathon runners think that they simply need to run more to become better. It would be a big mistake to ignore the importance of strength training. Experts recommend that the weekly training routine of new marathoners must incorporate two to three days of strength training.
Lunges, squats, bird-dogs, planks, and clamshells strengthen your muscles. You certainly need them to be a successful runner who is free from injuries.