There are many factors that go into training for a marathon properly and effectively. Even for experienced runners it can be a daunting experience - often you will end up wondering if you are preparing properly or if you are even doing enough.
There are several rules you should follow, to reach the optimal training routine and feel ready for marathon day.
Build A Strong Base
Having a strong base of running experience is the most important factors before even considering training for a marathon. Ensuring you have the correct form, breathing and most importantly that your body is ready for the tremendous challenge. You should be able to comfortably run at least 3 to 5 miles at a time, three to four times per week.
Follow A Training Plan
A marathon training plan will be extremely beneficial even for the most experienced runners. A marathon training plan is a schedule of workouts designed to prepare you for the marathon. There are many different training plans available, most plans will involve a combination of long runs, speed workouts, and recovery runs. It is extremely important to choose a plan that fits your level of experience and fitness - sticking to it as closely as possible throughout your training.
Rest & Recover
Rest and recovery from your training is one of if not the most important aspect of training for a marathon. It is important you understand and know how to rest after training. Now rest is not necessarily sitting on the couch with your feet up. Having rest days in between your training is crucial - allowing your muscles to recover fully will not only prevent unnecessary injury whilst making the training process much easier to follow.
There is too much that goes into correctly resting and recovering for us to cover here. A quick run-down of the most important factors to resting and recovering is stretching before and after training, getting enough sleep and having a healthy diet that supports your training and helps with rebuilding your body.
Increasing Mileage Gradually
It is in our nature as humans to get overly excited and rush into the deep end. If you are a somewhat experienced runner and are just starting to train for a marathon you will want to reach the goals and milestones in a rush. The trick here is to take it slow, listening to your body and seeing what you are personally capable of.
There is no set answer for us to give you in terms of how much you should increase your runs by or how you should progress with your training as everyone's body and capabilities will be different. In many aspects running is as much of a mental sport as much as it is physical. There will be people training for marathons that are naturally more physically able to run longer distances right off the bat; there will be runners that are more capable of ignoring soreness from previous training.
Listening to your body and challenging yourself is the key of progressing in running and being more and more prepared for the big day.
Cross training simply supplements your running, this can be cycling or swimming. Cross training is a great way of building strength, stamina and preventing injury. Cross training is an amazing way of not getting burnt out and having something different than running that will still boost you forward towards your marathon goals.
Choose something you will enjoy, something that will bring variety and excitement into your training routine.
Train In Similar Conditions
This will not always be possible, but if possible try training in similar conditions you will be facing on marathon day. You do not want to train in drastically different conditions as it will completely throw you off on marathon day.
Practice Nutrition and Hydration
After long runs your body will be completely depleted of essential nutrients and electrolytes. Ensuring you are hydrating before, during and after your runs. It is important to fuel and hydrate your body properly throughout your training if not done properly it will cause difficulties for your body to progress and recover.
In conclusion, using this key rule guide will help you keep your training routine in check whilst maintaining your body correctly throughout your journey. The key takeaways are to listen to your body and post a fair challenge for yourself - we are constantly researching and working on new ways to support your journey of healthy living and challenging yourself but doing it in the right way.
There is no magic formula to training for a marathon - it is a huge challenge for everyone that has gone through the process of training for a marathon.
Following guides and different tips will help you make more informed decisions on where to start, how to reach out for something and how to make your training work more effectively than ever before.