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Tips For Running Your First Marathon

Tips For Tackling Your First Marathon

Back in January, many of you wrote that running in longer races was one of your fitness goals in our Get Fit For 2010 community group and contest. Hopefully you signed up for a race, and are steadily training and staying injury free. The magazine Outside shared some training tips for newbie marathoners, and I'm going to share them with you.

  • First things first, the magazine suggest you "go for a run." Easy to do. Lace up your sneaks and go. Check!
  • The second suggestion is the same as the first. Endurance, like Rome, isn't built in a day.
  • Now "hit the brakes," says Outside: "If running feels hard, you're going too fast." Going slow helps avoid injuries.

For more helpful tips, keep on reading.

  • "Don't wing it" when it comes to training. The active living magazine thinks it best to have a training plan. Here's a half marathon training schedule and a four-month plan for a marathon.
  • Training to run 26.2 miles takes commitment. Elite running coach Terrance Mahon told Outside, "The more consistent you are [with your training], the easier it will be to conquer the marathon." Keeping a training log, suggests the mag, is a great way to stick to your plan and stay on track with your training.
  • Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor told the magazine, "You need to balance the workload with optimal rest." So do "curb your enthusiasm" to avoid overuse injures that come with overtraining.
  • The next best thing to a personal running coach, according to Outside, is a training partner. A running buddy "keeps you accountable" and you do "learn a lot by talking to other runners."
  • Don't skip out on your long run, and every training plan, no matter the distance, has one long run a week. These long runs "prepare you both mentally and physically." My fave runner Kara Goucher told the magazine that long runs are the "most important workout that you do."

Training for endurance events seems to be all about finding the balance between working hard and taking care of yourself. Are you training for a race? Tell me the distance in the comments section below. If you're planning on running the NYC Marathon in November, be sure to check out the March issue of Outside for specific tips on racing in the big apple. Be sure to join RunningSugar, our community group dedicated to running!

Image Source: Getty
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Join The Conversation
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
I'd love to run a half-marathon, but after months of not running outside I've realized this weekend how out of shape (for running) I am. Grrr! I know I just need to register and get started, but it's a little scary.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 5 years
Runningesq's tip # 6 - Learn what nutrition works for you is very important. I went to this race that they gave out Luna chew instead of gel, and I almost choke on them, not to mention that they stick in my teeth and make me very uncomfortable. I will for sure to pack my gel If my next race is going to hand out chew.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
These are good tips. Has anyone else entered the lottery for the NYC Marathon? I can't wait to find out if I got in! I know the odds are probably against me, but it would be so fun!
runningesq runningesq 5 years
1. Pick a race you're excited about 2. Register! 3. Pick a plan (Hal Higdon has several - and they are free!) 4. Stick to the plan ! A missed run here and there is not a big deal, but you should aim to make all of your long runs and most of your shorter runs. 5. Listen to your body --- if you need a rest day take one (even if it's not a scheduled rest day) 6. Learn what nutrition works for you. See what they are using on the course and if that works for you - "living off the land" is much easier than carrying your own nutrition/ hydration. 7. Make one of your long runs a "dress rehearsal" run -- wear your race day clothing, stick to your race day nutrition, etc. 8. Have fun !
Fitness Fitness 5 years
Good advice snapperdoodle and really similar to Outside's plans — the first twelve weeks are just about creating a running base culminating in a 10k race. The next 18 weeks are all about increasing mileage toward the 26.2 goal.
snapperdoodle snapperdoodle 5 years
A training plan is really important to prevent overtraining and injury! Also, unless you are in really good shape already, you might want to have a foundation of a year of regular running under your belt first. Going from zero to 26.2 miles too quickly can be hard on a lot of people's bodies. Also, you might try training for a shorter race first, like a half marathon or even a 10K, to test the waters. You can even run the half while training for your full marathon.
MegtheRed MegtheRed 5 years
I just signed up for my first marathon this morning (eek!). Thanks for the tips - they will be well used!
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