Marathon running is like pregnancy; it takes 9 months for a human being to develop inside the uterus and it may take the same number of months to prepare for a huge marathon. Most people make the mistake of thinking that running a marathon needs no preparation; as long as you have a cool customized running shirt, some comfy shorts and awesome running shoes, you’ll be fine in the marathon right? The bad news is that, the less prepared you are, the bigger the chances of getting an injury or being unable to finish the race.
If you want to be a marathon finisher, you’ve got to follow these 5 important tips and tricks:
1.) Better mileage = better speed: If you want to improve your running, you may want to improve your mileage first before you want to improve your speed. By focusing on getting more distance in terms of your running, you’ll be able to tackle more difficult challenges like speed training and endurance training. Start with an easy run first if you’re a beginner and work on getting those mileages.
2.) Prepare for long runs: One of the most important parts of your training is the long run. During your training, you should be able to cover twenty miles for 5 to 6 runs. By doing long runs, you’ll be increasing your endurance by allowing your body to improve its fuel burning process. Once you’ve run out of carbohydrates to burn, your body will move on to the next viable energy source; FATS. One more thing to note is that your mileage should be at least 50% of your long run; ergo if you’re able to run 5 miles every day, then your long run should be more than 10 miles. You can also cut down your long runs to 8 miles; these are called middle runs.
3.) Middle runs are good too: A second long run, often call middle runs, are good for improving your marathon performance. Middle runs will also help build more exposure to your long runs and also improve your body’s fuel burning process.
4.) Cut back on your training before the marathon: You need your body to be in optimal condition before the race starts. As early as 2 or 3 weeks before the marathon, you should cut back on your training load.
5.) Food matters too: Eating well is also the key to preparing your body for a marathon. Carbohydrates and protein are your best friends; carbohydrates will help provide fuel for your body while protein helps repair and strengthens muscles. You should increase your food intake in these food groups but don’t overdo it; you want to be in top shape to run without feeling sluggish.