Monday 9 December 2019

Why good marathon planning is best for you in the long run

If you succeed, the run delivers a feeling of accomplishment like no other
If you succeed, the run delivers a feeling of accomplishment like no other

Catherina McKiernan

How is it that so many people are motivated to run a marathon? Almost every day I meet people with this wish to put their bodies on the line for a 26.2 miles challenge.

If you succeed, the run delivers a feeling of accomplishment like no other, but you can also get a great sense of achievement in completing a 5km or 10km race.

I ran four marathons and have no desire to do another. My parents didn't like the idea of me running 26.2 miles and I found the distance very hard on my body. The marathons I ran were fast, but a marathon at any pace is no joke.

I think any healthy individual willing to commit to the training can complete a marathon but I don't recommend that new runners jump into the marathon distance. That's an easy way to get injured and possibly end up hating running. Give yourself time and experience racing over shorter distances. It is a big time commitment and demands vast amounts of energy: physical, mental and emotional.

You should not run a marathon unless you have at least a year's running experience. You need a huge amount of support when training. It's important your family and friends are on board with your goal, to encourage you during all those difficult training days.

If you are considering training for a marathon, you should already be in good physical condition.

Here are some tips:

1 KEEP UP STRENGTH AND MOTIVATION

Working your body hard needs high levels of mental strength. If you are depleted mentally, it will be more difficult to stay motivated. Keep your mind clear.

 

2 IDENTIFY YOUR GOAL

If your goal is to finish the race, your training will be less rigorous than someone who achieve a set time.

 

3 GOOD NUTRITION

You will have to follow a healthy diet.

 

4 ALLOW ENOUGH TIME TO PREPARE

Start your training far enough in advance, to gradually build up strength. Most people have jobs and other responsibilities, which is why planning ahead will help ensure your success.

 

5 REST AND RECOVER

It's important to have rest days to allow your body to recover and get ready for any further strain on it.

 

6 FOLLOW A TRAINING SCHEDULE

Find a training schedule that fits your ability and fitness level. A great training programme allows you to increase the miles in a progressive way.

Running a marathon is a massive challenge, but if you have the right mindset you can go the distance.

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