If you’re considering of running a marathon or have been reading about marathons, then you are probably aware that there’s a variety of opinions as to whether they are ultimately beneficial.
Running a marathon is a serious project and should be planned well in advance.
Your first 3 steps in any marathon training schedule should be:
- Talk to your doctor and get clearance to start out on your marathon training,
- Buy a new set of running shoes. Go to your local running store and get a running style analysis for free. They will look at your running style and recommend shoes that will suit you and keep you injury free.
- Set your goal. Choose a race, sign up for it and tell your friends about the challenge.
5 tips for your Marathon Training
- Start Slow
Many people get carried away and try to push themselves on their marathon training program from the very start. Avoid this – it will lead to injuries.
- Add 10% Weekly
As a general rule aim to increase your total running distance by a maximum of 10% per week.
- Follow a Marathon Training Schedule
Track your goals, progress and achievements by following a marathon training schedule. This will help motivate you and help you steer clear of injury.
- Rest and Recover
Do not run every day. Your body needs time to adjust to your marathon training program. Even once you’re far along in your training, your body still needs rest to recover and rebuild.
- Solid Training Plan
Remember, you need a solid marathon training plan to get you over the finish line of a marathon. You need to gradually increase your training levels, work on running technique, flexibility and your overall nutrition.
Check the Marathon training plan by Jeff Galloway
Are marathons any good for fitness?
Some question the point of running marathons for fitness, pointing out that there are less strenuous activities from which similar benefits can be derived. However, this is hardly an argument against running marathons.
Rather, it implies that those who choose to run marathons have plenty of motivating factors influencing their decision to run the race.
Some of them are directly related to the marathon race, while others are more applicable to the training that runners do in preparation for the marathon.
7 motivating factors to run the race
The best thing about preparation for a marathon is that you can do it anywhere and at minor cost. You don’t need specific gear other than proper running shoes. So there are no expensive purchases associated with it. Nor do you need to do it at a special location. You can run anywhere, and you can do so whenever it is suitable for you.
2. Goal to Work Towards
Because you are working towards a specific goal, you are motivated to keep a regular training plan. Thus, you are more likely to achieve the desired level of fitness.
3. Strengthen your Cardiovascular System
Training for the marathon is a good way to strengthen your cardiovascular system and keep it healthy. Good circulation is essential for good overall health.
4. Lower your Blood Pressure
Running is also a great way to lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause organ damage and strokes in the long term. So if it is possible to avoid these issues with active lifestyle, then that is ideal.
5. Endorphins Stimulating Happiness
Engaging in sustained, demanding exercise such as training for the marathon, triggers the body to release endorphins. They have the effect of reducing pain and anxiety and stimulating exhilaration and happiness.
Many runners pursue in training because they know they will be rewarded with the “runner’s high.” They know that running will help relieve tensions of life and work.
6. Positive Lifestyle Changes
Training for a marathon and smoking don’t fit together. Smoking constricts airways, lowers the amount of oxygen you can absorb, and consequently reduces the oxygen supply to the muscles. This affects your endurance, leading to sub-optimal performances.
Marathon training also tends to boost dietary improvements. Those who previously ate unhealthy meals are driven to eat healthier meals.
7. Overcoming a Challenge
Many people live for challenges. Thus, running a marathon fulfills that desire. You can feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with it.
Even for those who do not typically seek out challenges, running a marathon is a great achievement. In both cases, working towards a goal and completing it helps to build self-confidence.
One more tip: Remember to strength train also. According to study in Sports Medicine, marathon runners can improve their running economy up to 8% with regular strength exercise.