So you want to run a marathon? With a little training and determination, the 26.2 miles a marathon entails will be much easier and get you across the finish line with more ease. If you plan on running a marathon, training is extremely important and will ensure that you finish without injury or defeat.
Plan on training for your marathon anywhere from 14 to 30 weeks depending on your level of strength and health. The last thing you want is to be injured, and the proper training will guarantee a solid finish.
With some planning, you should finish your marathon with ease, savoring the accomplishment that only comes from a completed marathon.Set your Stride
One of the most important things about running a marathon is to find the stride that is right for your body. Too many runners opt for shorter strides that make it harder to really go the distance when it comes to running a marathon. On the other end, strides that are too long will tire your muscles more quickly and tire you more quickly. Finding a stride just in the middle of these two will ensure that you don’t tire too quickly and keep the stamina necessary to complete your race.
To find the stride that’s right for you, run at 70 percent of your maximum speed with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Drive them back and forth using a full range of motion. When you overstretch your arms, stride will increase, and when you reduce your reach, stride shortens. Play around with this until you find a stride that is comfortable, not too long, and not too short.Make Room for Other Training
Don’t just limit yourself to training with just running. Incorporating other forms of exercise will only increase strength and endurance. Cross-training a few days a week will hugely benefit you on the day of your big race. Try yoga, grab a jump-rope, or get in the pool and swim some laps. Yoga will increase core strength, give you added balance, and focus on upper-body strength you don’t find by running alone. Jumping rope is a great form of cardio and will keep your heart strong. Swimming laps is a great way to tone and get a full-body, low impact workout.Progressively Increase Mileage
When training for your marathon don’t think you’ll start by running all 26 miles at once. Start small and increase mileage over time. Doing so will safeguard you build endurance without injury. If you aren’t following a detailed training plan, try increasing by one or two miles each week. Doing so will give your body plenty of time to adjust to the road that lies ahead.Take your Training Outside
While the treadmill is a great place to train, don’t forget that you’ll be running outside on the big day. Getting accustomed to running outdoors will be a huge benefit on the day of your marathon. Not only will this help your body deal more efficiently with the elements, but you will get used to the uneven terrain that you will undoubtedly run into on race day. Mixing up your training between inside and outdoors will help tremendously while getting you ready for the road.Invest in Good Shoes
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