So you have booked to run your first marathon and your body has a rush of nervous excitement. You can’t wait to get started but you don’t have a clue where to start. We’ve all been there.
Here’s a few pointers to make running your first marathon a little easier.
- Find a plan: Wether you have a time goal in mind or just want to cross the line, without a plan you will struggle to train in the right way. However, take each plan and add a bit of ‘YOU’ as you will no doubt need to compromise or alter it due to personal commitments or unforeseen circumstances.
- Book in a half marathon: It will give you a smaller, more achievable goal and fill you with confidence once you have completed it. Aim for a half marathon around 8 to 5 weeks before the race to allow yourself time to train and then taper for race day.
- Get some reliable shoes: A beginner runner could get through anywhere between 400 – 800 miles over a 16 week marathon training plan, which equates to up to 3/4 pairs of shoes being worn out. It’s worth getting some specialist advice about your foot type and running style so that you avoid getting the wrong shoes and facing injuries as your mileage steps up. You don’t always have to pay a huge price for good shoes, but beware of the cheap ones… there could be a reason nobody wants them.
- Find a community: Finding a club, a running buddy or a digital community of people to talk to will really help you stay motivated and enjoy the training journey. You will learn faster and be able to pass on your knowledge to others in return.
- Track your Progress: You don’t have to invest in fancy watches from the first run (although they are awesome too). You can get by initially by downloading an app such as strava on your phone, that way you can track your runs an monitor your progress. You will improve leaps and bounds throughout your initial few months of training and it’s so rewarding looking back at the journey you have been on.
- Start today: Too many people put their training off when they first get their place, ‘it’s ages away, i’ll start next week’ DON’T DO IT. The earlier you start the more gradually you can increase the mileage and the more confident you will be in return. You will reduce your chance of injury and ultimately be approaching race day with excitement, not fear. So get cracking!
For more tips if you are struggling for running motivation check out some tips I’ve written to help you get out of the door and off the sofa! – Find more time to run