As the fall marathon seasons nears, I am preparing all my training tips for a super marathon. I run a fall marathon every year, usually the New York City Marathon, and I train many of my clients to run marathons as well. I must mention that most of these clients could barely run a mile when I began training them, and after hard work, clean eating and preparation they complete the full 26.2 mile marathon, so anything is possible with proper training. If you have plans to run a marathon, here are my training tips for a super marathon.
1. Design a Training Schedule
Design a training schedule to prepare you for your marathon day. If this is your first marathon I recommend beginning with a 20 week (5 months) schedule at the very least and upwards to a year. With ample training time you will decrease your risk of an injury and have more confidence come race day. If you are not sure how to design a schedule you can seek out a running coach to create a customized plan or search online for free programs. Creating a schedule tops the training tips for a super marathon because this is essential!
2. Set a Marathon Goal
If this is your first marathon or you have done several, it is always good to have a goal. Without goals in life, where would we be? There would be no motivation to do better. Make a time goal so you will have something to work towards. If this is your first marathon make a time that is not overly ambitious so you can really enjoy the experience of running your very first marathon!
3. Run Shorter Distance Races as Preparation
Before you run a marathon it is important to understand the elements of racing. The best way to do so is race smaller races, such as a 5k, 10k and half marathon. You can schedule these races into your training plan and this will do wonders for you when you are standing on the starting line of the marathon knowing the race routine and being prepared!
4. Figure out a Pre, during and Post Race Fuel
What you eat the night before the race can make or break your race and the same goes for during and after the race for recovery. By trial and research find what works with you so you will be race day ready. I carb load the night before a marathon, have a light breakfast of toast and an egg for breakfast race day and eat a protein rich recovery meal. Find what works and use this practice for your race!
5. Figure out Your Race Outfit
It is important to find the proper race outfit to accommodate the weather. Your best practice is to dress in layers that are easy to throw if you are running a fall marathon. And make sure you wear a material that easily wicks away sweat so you are comfortable. I find regardless of the weather, I always finish a marathon in a sports top and shorts because as you run quick and your body temperature raises, you will warm up rather quickly. Wear what works and stick with it for race day!
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
The night before the race you may be tossing and turning, envisioning the miles you will run the next day, and that is okay. Two nights before the race it is most important to get ample rest. If you are restless the night prior, be aware that this is completely normal. Close your eyes and try to drift to sleep!
7. Ready Set Run
Make sure you have a race bag packed with plenty of clothing and items to refresh you after the race. You can check this bag in a baggage area. Arrive at the marathon at least one hour prior to the race start and get ready to have a great race. Know you are well trained and prepared and you will do great! Take a deep breathe, relax and enjoy this amazing accomplishment! Have a great marathon!
Hope my tips on how you can run a great marathon will help you prepare! Are you planning on running your first marathon or have you raced other marathons? Good luck, although luck has nothing to do with training and preparation!