For many people, running a marathon is a lifelong goal. Although the training and actual preparation for a marathon seems intimidating, here are some tips to help you accomplish this 42 kilometer goal.
Should I run a marathon?
Yes! Training for and completing a marathon may take time, but the journey can be a meaningful experience."Running a marathon is not only accomplishing the mileage of 42kms but it's totally a life-changing experience. The journey you take every training till crossing the finish line is worth remembering and maybe can open another set of motivation," said Marsha Yecla, an ASICS FrontRunner member.
7 marathon training tips
In order to train for a marathon you need to dedicate and allocate time for your training and runs.
“Start by running shorter trips and slowly progressing to longer distances before finally reaching a marathon. This will take many months. Listen to your body and respect any break it might need,” said Thomas Brandt, an ASICS FrontRunner member.
Below are training tips that can help you prepare for running a marathon.
1. Develop a training schedule that fits your needs
Creating and developing a marathon training plan will keep your goals on track.
How long does training for a marathon take?
How long it takes to get in shape for a marathon differs from person to person.
"I prepare for my marathons with 3-4 sessions per week. One or two jogging sessions, a split session and a long run. I also do yoga and strength training to avoid injury," says Vanessa Baltzer, an ASICS FrontRunner member.
It may take some time to build up the stamina for a marathon. All runners are built differently, so it’s important to listen to your body while training for such an extensive race.
2. Follow a balanced diet
It’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs to perform at a marathon best.
The best diet for marathon training
While on a strict workout regime for an extreme run, you want to make sure you’re fueling up with proper nutrition. Consider whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. These food groups can help lower fatigue during and after a workout.
3. Understand your local terrain
Each runner has a different comfort level and appreciation for the environment. Some runners enjoy hills and others, flat land. Urban runners can benefit from wearing flatter shoes, while outdoor runners may want shoes with larger soles.
4. Invest in proper marathon equipment
Clothing and accessories can change the outcome of a marathon. With all the time you’ll put into training for a marathon, investing in the correct equipment is vital.
AJ Andrassy, the Global Director of Performance Running Footwear at ASICS, recommends the GT-2000™ or GEL-CUMULUS™ shoe for daily training, the MAGIC SPEED™ shoe for speed, and the METASPEED™ Sky or Edge models for race day.
5. Condition your body with strength training
One important tip for running a marathon is to build strength and endurance prior to your race. This can be an effective way to help boost your marathon performance. Runners ranging from beginners to seasoned competitors hold different athletic abilities, which is why it’s important to train accordingly.
6. Allow yourself time to recover
Reserving time for recovery will help your muscles regain strength and lessen the risk of injury. Recovery is also important for an athlete's mental health.
The importance of tapering before a marathon
Tapering is when you gradually decrease the amount you run prior to the event. This provides runners rest and recovery after weeks of intense training. Many runners use this technique because it repairs muscle occasionally damaged during a heavy training period.
7. Log and track your training progress
Tracking your training progress helps runners view their progress more objectively and closely. The ASICS Runkeeper app is a great way to log your progress.
How to choose your first marathon
Once you know how to run a marathon, the next step is signing up for an event. When choosing your first marathon, there are many variables worth taking into account.
- Take the seasonal weather into consideration.
You want to be careful of the season you choose to run in. Spring or fall may be a good choice for your first marathon, as the temperatures will likely be milder. Determining a season to train in is just as crucial as picking the season for the race.
- Choose your desired terrain and elevation.
Knowing if the course is going to be hilly or flat will help you maintain your pace by practicing in the same terrain.
- Size and location.
For your first marathon, you may want to consider a smaller venue. It’s a great way to practice while still experiencing the competition.
Getting prepped for your marathon run
Runners are motivated differently. That feeling when you cross the finish line and all your hard work pays off is hard to beat. Proper clothing and gear will help push your marathon training and experience to another level. ASICS offers a wide range of products for long distance running and training.