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1. Get The Right Trainers
This is one of the most important marathon training tips, and Ive heard it over and over from every marathon runner and personal trainer I know. If your shoes or socks bother you now, while youre training, theyre going to make it impossible to run on marathon day. Get the right trainers, socks, and attire, and get them broken in, before the big day.
2. Start Slow
Remember this marathon training tip when it feels like youre just not making as much progress as youd like: you have to start slow, especially if youre just not an experienced runner (like me so inexperienced!) gradually add time and distance to your run, and if possible, run a half-marathon about four to six weeks before your big marathon.
3. Theres An App for That
If youre unsure of your pace or distance, no worries. Theres an app for that! My favorite is Nike + GPs, which costs about $2 to download to your iPod. I also like the Couch-to-Marathon apps, because they help you break into running at a healthy pace.
4. Get The Right Tunes!
Speaking of iPods, its also important to have the right music to motivate you while youre training for your marathon! I love anything by CAKE and of course, theres always We Are Young by Fun and I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones go with whatever gets you to that final lap or quarter-mile! This is my own favorite marathon training tip!
5. Feed The Beast
According to Runners World Magazine, its important to load up on carbs, not fats, in the three days before the marathon. One of their best marathon training tips is to increase your carbs (like pasta and potatoes and rice) before the big run, but not your overall calorie count. So its important to make simple switches to get your energy-providing carbs, like choosing a pasta with red sauce over pasta with a cream-based sauce. In the training phase, youll want to make healthy eating choices, ones that balance the need for carbs before marathon day with lean proteins.
6. Keep Hydrated
If you dont already know how, learn to drink on the run. While youre doing your 26.2, youll be at risk for becoming dehydrated, so simply drinking up before or after the run isnt good enough. And remember that while youre running a marathon, water wont be enough to keep you going youll need sports drinks.
7. Find a Friend
Im not a runner. Its not easy for me. So when I feel like I just cant lace up my trainers and go, I call a friend in the neighborhood I know will run with me, or at least encourage me to run. If you feel the same way (unmotivated at times), find a running buddy. He or she can encourage you, and when he or she is having a hard day, you can encourage them, too!
8. Listen to Your Body
If your body is injured, or dehydrated, or underfed, youll know but only if you listen! In fact, your body can also tell you if youre wearing the wrong shoes or gear, if youre pushing yourself too hard, and if youre just not ready to run a marathon yet. Dont risk an injury listen to your body!
9. Set a Reasonable Goal
My goal is to run a marathon this year. Since Im only now just starting, this is a pretty reasonable goal. I couldnt possibly be ready to run a marathon this summer thats just too soon! Be prepared to spend about 20 to 24 weeks training for a marathon. If youre already a runner, you know you can train in a lot less time but if youre a newbie, like me, you need to set a reasonable goal.
10. Sign up!
This is perhaps the most common sense marathon training tip, but Id have forgotten about it if someone hadnt reminded me. You actually have to register for most marathons, so get to it, love! Once youve set your goal, find a marathon around your goal date, and register! Then mark in the calendar and begin the big countdown.