There’s certain physical challenges that most people aspire to at some point in their life. Climb Mount Everest is a biggie, and one that the majority of people won’t even attempt to do. Doing 100 push ups in a row is a smaller scale target for strength and fitness. So let’s go somewhere in between. Running a marathon takes dedication, motivation and lots and lots of training. But millions of people have run marathons, so if you put your mind to it you know you’ll be able to do it. If you don’t feel like your mind is enough to take on a marathon alone, then check out this article that’s full of tips for ticking this one off the bucket list. Ready, set, go!
Do I have to run fast?
If this is your very first marathon then just forget about your speed. The important thing is doing it and getting over the hump. Marathon running is different to training for other sports, as the amount of training you do (i.e. the distance) is more important than the intensity of it. Run at a gentle pace, and try and run at least 30 miles a week.
How many days should I train?
Obviously, you won’t be able to run a marathon by training once a week, but there is a danger of overtraining too. Rest days are an important part of your training schedule, so 4 days should be your maximum amount of days training. On three of the four days you shouldn’t be running for more than an hour, then make your biggest weekly run anywhere between 1 or 2 hours.
Can I run two marathons in one year?
Most experts agree that you should run a maximum of two marathons a year, as each one should take between 3 and 6 months to train for, with around 2 months to recover. Recovery is often forgotten, with the buzz of completing one marathon driving your ambition to do a second one almost right away. If you want to do two in a year, run one in the spring then one in the autumn, as this gives you enough recovery and training time as well as weather conditions that aren’t too hot or too cold.
What about the shoes?
Please don’t get yourself a shiny new pair of running shoes and decide to wear them for the first time on marathon day. This will definitely cause blisters and leave your feet a mess after you’re done. That said, a pair of old running shoes that have hundreds of miles under their belt may not be the best idea either, as they could fall apart on mile 20 and leave you in a tricky situation if you want to finish.
One important thing to remember before you start training for a marathon is to consult your doctor and check if your body is capable of performing such a strenuous activity. A marathon isn’t for everyone, and if you have a pre-existing medical condition then you need to be extra careful as running such a long distance puts a lot of stress on the body.