How to Prepare for a Marathon

If you have a marathon coming up and are looking to participate, you can make the build up and preparation phase thoroughly enjoyable by adopting some smart preparation methods. Apart from ensuring that you turn up for the big day in full fitness and ideal body shape, these preparatory tips also help you finish the run in better time. Let’s take you through some very useful methods and tips for preparing for a marathon.

Get used the course you’ll be running on – Every marathon track has its own characteristics; there are some pretty flat marathon tracks in the plains, and then there are ones with loads of ups and downs in hilly terrains. Your body uses different muscles for energy and acceleration, depending upon the kind of topography you run on. This means that your body will adjust well for the ultimate race when you practice on similar terrains. If you’re set for a marathon run on hilly tracks, get a treadmill hire and practice running with different inclines. On similar lines, if you’ll be running on a plain track, your body will rely on the same set of muscles throughout the race.

Be selective about your shoes and socks – There’s nothing more important than getting the footwear right on the day of the run. Tight shoes and itchy socks will lead to blisters when you sprint, and that will severely impact your performance at the marathon. So, ensure that you get a good pair of running shoes and socks well before the event and wear them for a few days so that your feet adjust to them. Make it a point to wear your pair of shoes and socks for a continuous 8 to 10 mile run to test them out, so that you run through the marathon comfortably and without any accidents or troubles.

Streamline your training time table – Many athletes and runners commit the mistake of being over -zealous in the last few days of the preparations for the marathon run by overdoing things. Instead of doubling your efforts in the last fortnight, it’s much smarter to start earlier and sustain the same training load. This ensures that your muscles are accustomed to the stress and are not overworked as you approach the big day.

Set yourself a couple of goals instead of one – Marathons are tough on your body, and even the most well prepared athletes and runners can feel the heat of the weather and the nerves of the moment on the day of the event. Of course, you should be dedicated towards your primary goal, whether it is about betting your previous best, ending up in the top 20, or completing the marathon within a target timeframe. However, in case your body doesn’t quite respond well to the challenge for whatever reasons, your secondary goal will help you in not losing motivation. For instance, you will feel motivated to keep running even when the wind slows you down when you know that you can at least meet your secondary goal, if not the primary one.