Marathon running advice can help you get through that long trek
Running a marathon is no small feat. Those 26.2 miles can really break you, even if you pride yourself on your endurance. Unexpected cramps, discomfort and dehydration can all play roles in sabatoging your efforts to complete the race. And if you’re trying for the first time, sheer intimidation can make you already feel like you’re going to fail ? but you don’t have to.
With some helpful marathon running advice you can cross that finish line.
Wear the Right Gear
Your feet, legs and back bear the brunt of the impact, so you need to make sure you wear footwear that is adequate. Your running shoes should be light-weight, but sturdy enough to give you the support you need while racing. Your socks should also be comfortable and absorb sweat well, so that you’re not running with wet feet. If you plan on wearing new shoes for the marathon, take a 10 mile run while wearing them to make sure they are comfortable. Doing so lets you know if they’ll work for the marathon.
Wearing shoes that are designed for running is usually your best bet. These types of shoes are created with the needs of a runner in mind, so they will provide support for you where you need it and will likely feel the most comfortable during your run.
Start Out Slow
Although you may want to separate yourself from the pack early on, doing so could be a major mistake. Running too fast during the first two miles is almost sure to end in disaster. You’ll be so tired from exerting yourself in the beginning that you’ll burn out early on. Instead, keep yourself at a pace. For the first 10 kilometers, run a bit slower than you normally do. For the next 10, run at the pace you planned on. For the last 10, give it all you’ve got ? you’re so close to the end now that kicking up the pace won’t hurt you one bit.
Of course you are going to train for your marathon, but you have to do it the smart way. About one month before the marathon, run in a half-marathon. Doing so gives you the training you need and can give you an idea of how you’ll fare in the full marathon. This is the time to test out your gear to make sure it works for you. You can also find out if you need to train differently in order to finish. Plan on running this race at a slightly faster pace than you plan on doing for the full marathon.
Finishing this race can give you the mental pat on the back you’ll need going into the full marathon. It will also prepare your body for such a long haul.
Practicing drinking may sound silly, but doing so can really help you out during your marathon. Using the same type of fluid that will be provided at the race during your practice can help you prepare for how your body will react to the liquid. Using the same energy gel you plan on using at the marathon during your practices can also help you prepare for how your body will respond during the big day.
You could also carry a sleek, lightweight water bottle with you while you are running. Carrying this type of bottle won’t weigh you down and allows you to practice drinking while racing.
Perhaps the best marathon running advice of all is to believe in yourself. Having a positive attitude and a feeling that you can do it can help you achieve your marathon goals. Having a support team of friends and family is also ideal, as they can give you the encouragement you need. Even if you can’t finish the marathon, you’ve done what many will never do, and that is attempt to reach your goals.
Runner’s World: 26 Tips for Your Best 26.2
The New York Times: The Best Marathon Advice You’ll Ever Get