Tips to prepare yourself for your first marathon

Quite often, same words can have a different meaning to different people, and a marathon is one such word. For some, this might be a challenge; others might want to test their limits while some might want to attempt it just for fun. Whatever the reason may be, if you have signed up for your first marathon, it is important to prepare yourself for the big day.

Before you start, it is advisable to get a green signal from your physician. Once you get a go-ahead, you need to have the discipline and dedication to finish the race. One of the best ways to ace the marathon is by starting early preparation, being consistent and not overtraining yourself. It is extremely important to create a complete training programme which takes into consideration both rest and recovery.

Importance of Training

Before you begin creating your marathon training programme, the importance of following a training programme must be known. When you start with the training, your body starts adapting and gradually the body muscles, ligaments, bones, respiratory system, tendons, circulatory system all adapt at different rates. In order to make the adaptations, they need a minimum time of six weeks. Apart from this, you need to keep yourself hydrated and focus on proper nutrition intake.

Let us have a look at how you can prepare yourself for your first marathon:

Follow a proper training schedule

Before making your schedule of a practice run, consider your capabilities. Nevertheless, people attempting marathon should be able to run for at least 30 minutes non-stop. Treat this time limit as your minimum goal and create a schedule that includes training exercises, miles in a single run and recovery exercises that you can attempt conveniently. You might take time to reach your desired goal, but in the end, it shall be worth the effort.

Long runs are important

Your musculoskeletal system must be prepared for the actual marathon, and planning long runs can prove to be beneficial. Attempt at least 1 long run every week and whenever possible, try and push your limits. 

Fuel yourself with the right foods

With all that running around, it is obvious to feel hungry. Be careful that you do not eat anything and everything. Eating right foods will fuel you and help you recover during training. After a hard training regime, within 30 minutes, the body can best utilize protein and carbohydrates used during the exercise. Chocolate milk or protein shakes are good options. Your diet must be rich in:

  • Carbohydrates: Add sweet potatoes, apples, wheat bread etc. to your diet plan
  • Proteins: Include eggs, chicken, dairy products, peanut butter, fish etc. to your diet
  • Calcium: Increase the intake of calcium-rich foods like salmon, broccoli, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese etc.

Take rest

It is good to follow a disciplined routine, but working out every day is not a good idea – this will only damage the joints and exhaust the body. Relax for two days in a week and allow yourself to heal. 

Lastly, make sure you have the right pair of shoes. Buy shoes from a store that is well-known for running footwear. Also, do not wear a new pair of shoes on the day of the marathon. Make sure you practice well in advance in those same shoes that you plan to wear on the actual marathon day.

By the time you successfully complete your first marathon, you would have made positive changes in your diet plan, exercising and sleep patterns, and this could impact your lifestyle forever!

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