Sports are just a wonderful way to feel better about yourself, take your mind off stress and everyday problems, get healthier and satisfy the urge for competition if you’re a competitive person. Even ancient humans worshipped sports the way we worship them today. One of the most famous sports today is running. And the way runners compete besides standard races is with running marathons. Finishing a marathon is not really an easy task and is definitely a challenge for the more “casual” runners. However, if you want to prove yourself that you can accomplish such a task or simply show your friends or family that you can do it, you’ll have to prepare yourself. In this article, we’re covering some of the best ways to prepare for a marathon, how to train for it and why you should consider completing one if you haven’t already.
Why run a marathon?
All athletes have a way of “proving” their skills and abilities. For powerlifters it’s setting new weight lifting records, for bodybuilding, it’s dropping down to a new record low body fat percentage, to swimmers it’s a new time record, and so it goes. For runners, the amount of marathons completed is one of the best ways of “collecting trophies”. Also, finishing a marathon proves that you’re a fit and healthy individual who cares about his physical condition. Not everyone can run and complete one. The most important reason to finish a marathon is the health benefits of course, but other than that, you will gain extra points in the eyes of other people. Plus, almost every marathon organizer has prizes like t-shirts and key-chains for the participants. You will get a warm feeling when you pull out that shirt from a marathon you ran a few years ago from your wardrobe.
How to prepare for a marathon
The preparations for completing a marathon can be pretty tricky if you don’t have someone experienced who can help you. Luckily, we’re here to help. First and most important is to know your limits. If you’re a totally new runner, you should not aim for marathons that are 60 miles. Fitness and every other sport, in general, is about consistency and making small steps towards your goal. You can start with a shorter marathon and move up from there. Also, before starting with any training, you should consult with your physician. One of the most common injuries come from overworking your body or trying to increase your record running lengths by a lot in a short time period.
The key to winning a marathon is having a great cardio capacity and good speed. Every week you should practice your long runs and short speed bursts as well. A long run should be done once every 7 days. The tempo needs to be moderate, and you should run as far as you can. Your body needs to adapt to long distances since marathons are basically the same thing. Then, you should do “speed work” once or twice per week. This means running as fast as you can or also known as “sprinting” for shorter distances and measuring the time as well. Try to always get a better time than the last training session. The last and most important thing is to get plenty of rest when you’re not training. Your body can only train as hard as you rest.