Running a marathon is not a cake walk. But that said, it isn’t rocket science either! There’s a lot of planning and execution that comes into play and with dedication and perseverance, you can do it! Make sure you allow yourself enough time to train. It’s not a walk in the park, it’s a 42.1 Kms run. For running a marathon, count everything. Your current fitness level, schedule, diet and everything in between.
Here are 3 tips that nobody will tell you for running a marathon:
Focus on the technique
Run tall. Don’t droop forward or lean backward while running. Get your arm swing right. Do not keep them too stiff but don’t cut them loose either. Land on the front half of your foot; your toes and ball of the foot should touch the ground first. Invest in good running shoes to help you. Unless of course you decide to run barefoot.
Save yourself from chafing
Like it or not, for both men and women alike, running long distances results in chafing. And its as painful as it sounds. But we have a solution for you. For your thighs, armpits, area under the sports bra and the underpants, and others where friction is high, use a lubricant. Vaseline is one of the safest and is easily available. For your nipples, you could use a small round plaster to firmly hold it. Avoid cotton clothing. They soak the sweat (yay!) but stay that way (boo!).
No experimenting with absolutely anything. Your shoes and shirts and shorts including the innerwear; nothing new on race day or even a few days before. Not even your socks! You dont want to be uncomfortable. Wear them at least a week ahead to get yourself adapted to it.
A little bonus for you! Here are five things thatll help you otherwise. You know them already, all we are saying is pay attention to them. Its always difficult to start and keep going. But get the grit and let us help you get ready.
Start with training for a half or a quarter marathon first and then gradually increase. This will not just boost your morale but will also build your stamina and endurance, slowly but surely. Dont plan to track time from the very first. Start with the distance and challenge yourself.
Don’t just run, run and run
Just because you want to run a marathon doesnt mean you have to only keep running to prepare for it. Running on the treadmill, running in the park and then you also run to catch that bus or train. No! Work on bettering your endurance, flexibility and stamina too. Running 42.1 Kms will need you to be strong, energetic and active.
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Track your progress
Irrespective of how small your progress is, track it. Write it down or wear fitness bands, or even better, hire a personal trainer. Whichever way, keep a record to see how youre doing. Dont get disheartened by the downs once in a while. Its okay to not be on the high everytime!
Give yourself time to recover
Your body is not a machine. Allow ample time to recover. You need to have rest days and give your muscles the time to rejuvenate. Get the right amount of sleep every single day. There is no better way of recovering your sore muscles than a good nights sleep. Stretch, soothe and relax. A yoga session to flex those sore muscles could work magic too.
Eat right and hydrate
You need to manage your diet and also drink enough water. Hydrating is very essential as your muscles need to be cooled. Drink pre, during and post your workout and also throughout the day. Eat good healthy foods, lots of vegetables and fruits and ditch the junk food. Good amount of proteins and carbs are required. Give your body the boost that it needs.
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Ready for the BIG day?
On the day of the race or even a day before, do not eat or drink anything that you havent had before. Have an early dinner the previous night. Sleep well and in the excitement of the race do not over hydrate. Drinking excess water will flush out the necessary electrolytes and youll also want to take a leak more often.
Preparing for a marathon is a lot of mental workout too. Try not to overwork your mind and body. Its going to be a long and challenging journey but believe us its equally satisfying and pleasurable. Leave a comment and share your journey with us.